Can consulting firm take back offer?

and Bain BCG consulting Coronavirus europe McKinsey Middle East
Recent activity on Mar 25, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 18, 2020

Hi everyone,

I accepted an offer for BCG, and I am supposed to start in September 2020.

With the current situation and the decline of economic activity, can BCG or any other consulting firm take back the offer?

Thank you for your answers!

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Anonymous replied on Mar 19, 2020

Hey A,

First of all my congratulations to your offer at BCG

I understand that you are now very uncertain about your future career in consulting. But I want to assure you that rescinding an offer is not a common practice. So you may be sure that you will start this year at BCG. What might indeed happen is that HR might contacting you asking whether it’s possible for you to start sooner or later than September depending on their stuffing situation.

This being sad I would recommend you the following:

  1. Sign the offer and send it back to HR (if not done yet)
  2. Calm down from the virus paranoia
  3. Focus on the things which really matter in your life – have some good rest, spend a lot of time with family and friends (you will miss this time in consulting ?), read books and take care of yourself!
  4. Get ready to start at BCG and prepare yourself for your future career – feel free to drop a line to get tipps if you are interested.

I wish you all the best for your career!

Best,

André

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Clara
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replied on Mar 18, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

At this point, I don´t think anyone can give you a certain answer -we are living a situation without precedents and it´s evolving by the day, so everyone, companies included, and in the wait-and-see attitude.

Personally, I think that it´s very very unlikely that this happens. However, not so unlikely that they ask some of the BAs/associates to start some months later, if there is not staffing for all.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Weiyang updated an answer on Mar 25, 2020
Advanced partners only // Roland Berger ex-consultant

I'm going to talk against the others' answer with my personal experiences : yes they can, by doing it very trickily.

In resume, what happend to me to Kearney Paris :

- Have been successful with all 4 Partner/Principal interviews.

- Another Partner (also Kearney's global representative at Davos), never exchanged before, told everyone that I "called him day and night" to get a recommandation.

- HR called me the next day to cancel my offer, without any explanation.

- Extreme deception with psychiatric care.

- Another partner close to me told me the truth only after his departure (the one diffaming kind of cofounded the Paris office...).

The real reason are both: 1. Asian origin - suspicion on my future performance. 2. Political battle - I was recommanded by the newly appointed office chairman at that time - who won the position at the expense of the one diffaming me.

Afterwards:

2 years later, I "revenged" this Partner by cancelling all the future applications from Kearney China within a Chinese leader in Telco (as i'm the son of one of its R&D founders by coicidence). I'm also working in one of European's leading insurer as an Internal Strategy Consultant...

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Mar 25, 2020
Thanks for sharing your experience. One thing I don't understand, did you receive an offer and sign it?
Anonymous B on Mar 25, 2020
Yeah, I have the same question. Looks like you had a verbal offer and NOT an offer letter/agreement. If that is the case, the situation is totally different.
Daniel
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replied on Mar 19, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

I think it's very unlikely

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 19, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

I don’t think this could happen for major firms, mainly for the following reasons:

  1. Legal. Unless there is a clause the company can cancel the offer, doing so creates a breach of contract
  2. Reputation. Rescinding offers will affect the general reputation of the company
  3. Alternatives. It is just easier for the company to suggest postponing the start rather than canceling the offer

Best,

Francesco

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Robert
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replied on Mar 18, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

I believe there is a legal as well as a practical perspective on that question.

1) Legal perspective

Legally, a written job offer is a binding contract for both parties in most jurisdictions, so no the offer cannot be taken back. I don't know BCG contracts in that level of detail - many contract however specify a kind of trial period in which both parties can cancel the contract with immediate effect and without reason > if you have such a clause, in the worst case it does not really matter if the contract is legally binding or not, your employer could cancel on the first day of your entry date without any issues.

2) Practical perspective

Once you have an offer, it's rather unlikely that your contract will be cancelled. First of all it's a reputation thing in a small and connected industry, and secondly BCG invested quite some money to finally hire you. So rather than completely wasting this money it's much more likely that you would be asked to start at a later point in time.

That being said - right now we are moving ahead with very limited visibility. Depending on the outcome of the current global economic experiment, everything is possible...

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Luca
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replied on Mar 18, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

It would be extremely difficult to rescind the contract, if it's a full-time offer. Once that they send you the job offer, they are formally committed to the offer.
Send the signed copy and wait for their news. Don't be afraid to contact the HR staff if you want to discuss this with them, they are there to help.

Best,
Luca

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Udayan
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replied on Mar 19, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

I know you are anxious. I can tell you that it would take a LOT for them to take back an offer. As noted by others, the most likely outcome is a delayed start date.

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Weiyang on Mar 25, 2020
It indeed happened to me with Kearney France because of racism + internal political battle...