How to professionally handle poor organizing for pre-employment screen
November 22, 2016 12:22 PM   Subscribe

I've been offered a new job and already given written notice of my last day at my current job. New job had me conduct approval to a long invasive pre-screen digital set of paperwork 2 weeks ago. Today, New Job says due to a 'glitch' they lost my digital paperwork and made me re-do everything and that my official employment date may/will be delayed. More details under cut.

I've already given the official notice, due to the pressure from both New Job and Current Job that I will be leaving, but I have no official promise of a start date. I'm not sure how much of a delay of income my bills and other expenses can take, especially around the holidays.

The New Job hasn't been very accommodating about this, but they seem highly unorganized, and the office for New Job I'm working for, the New Job recruiter, and the New Job rep that is handling the pre-screen process for employment are in different states all around the country. I don't think the recruiter or the rep handling the pre-screen are even in contact with each other as the recruiter seems to be tugging on ropes while the rep had indicated as of a phone conversation yesterday that everything was fine.

How do I professionally handle the fact that their glitch is now going to affect my income and thus affect my life?

New Job Office pressured me to go ahead and put in my notice at Current Job as there was no possible way I was going to have a delay in employment, but New Job recruiter and New Job pre-screen rep seem to be indicating otherwise.

There's a reason I'm leaving Current Job. I would prefer not to have to stay any further days, nor do I think they'll allow such a thing as the reason for the notice was so HR can begin their process to find a replacement.

Has this ever happened to you? What did you do? How can you get 3 different locations with a New Job to communicate more effectively?

I might lose it if I literally have to spend even more time and effort to fill out further screening checks, etc all because someone had some kind of technical 'glitch' that no one is owning up to.
posted by camylanded to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I feel like I should add - I did send them the confirmation number and proof I've already done a drug screen for the job as well as the pre-screen digital documentation they asked me to submit 2 weeks ago.

They said it was a glitch, it was lost and to re-do it.
posted by camylanded at 12:25 PM on November 22, 2016

How long is this delay? What level is the job? A week or two is kinda tough cookies territory, more than that and you might have a justifiable complaint. But I think it really depends on the seniority of the job.

The thing is the only leverage you have is not taking the job. They won't want that, recruitment is a total pain. But finding a new job is a total pain too. Ask them for a date and confirmation. Have you signed a contract? Did you keep a copy? It should have had a start date on it.
posted by smoke at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2016

New Job Office pressured me to go ahead and put in my notice at Current Job as there was no possible way I was going to have a delay in employment, but New Job recruiter and New Job pre-screen rep seem to be indicating otherwise.

You: "[Name] told me the start day would be X."
New Job Recruiter / Pre-Screen Rep: "Oh, that's not right. They shouldn't have told you that."
You: "Where does your supervisory chain and [Name]'s supervisory chain intersect? Give me that person's name and phone number, because this needs to get sorted out today."

Someone will have the power to just put you on the payroll while the paperwork catches up, even if it's just to cut you a check as a contractor, and then you sort out the taxes later while you're not quite so worried about making rent and buying food. Note that this will not make a friend of New Job Recruiter / Pre-Screen Rep, so judge whether you care about that.
posted by Etrigan at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2016 [23 favorites]

Was there a contract with a start date? Was this part of the digital paperwork that was lost in the glitch? As annoying as it is, I'd definitely try to find somebody in the company to talk to, and the first thing I'd be asking for is a contract to sign that shows my (unchanged) start date, even if that means using another method (faxed physical copies instead of the apparently glitch-prone digital method).
posted by destructive cactus at 12:58 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Until they negotiate otherwise with you, your start date is as promised. If they're not ready, they pay you from the start date to twiddle your thumbs at home. You do have some documentary proof of this somehwere, I hope …?
posted by scruss at 2:15 PM on November 22, 2016

I do have proof, I signed an offer letter with the start date on it as well as proof of the already passed drug screen and proof I submitted their pre-screen paperwork as soon as they offered me the job 2 weeks ago.... Pretty sure it's one of those "employer covering their butt contingency" offer letters though....and they said the proof doesn't matter...
posted by camylanded at 2:28 PM on November 22, 2016

Does your offer letter specify that your start or hiring is pending background check? If so you're likely out of luck. Background checks get delayed all the time - particularly if they find something amiss and are willing to dig a bit to clarify. (In most circumstances when anything appears hinky they just rescind the offer.)

This is sucky and stressful but I'd redo everything ASAP. You need a job as quickly as possible. Stalling on filling out the paperwork isn't going to help you get employed pronto. Don't lose even more time to the holiday (assumes USA based).

Also, in my experience, recruiting and hiring are often a hot mess in companies that are generally well-run and professional. Potential hires are reticent to make waves. I wouldn't assume that a company with disorderly recruiting is necessarily a bad place to work. (I've also worked places where recruiting and onboarding were handled exceptionally well but those were places with specific human capital needs.)

Fixing recruiting's wagon isn't your problem. Just get past them as expeditiously as possible.
posted by 26.2 at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would start with something non-confrontational that just assumes they are going to make it right, "How do you guys normally make up the loss of income when something like this happens?"

This seems like the perfect place for a signing bonus (or increased signing bonus) to cover this time.

If the recruiter gets nowhere I'd go talk to the hiring manager (they are probably also annoyed at a delayed start, they want you in too).
posted by magnetsphere at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2016 [6 favorites]

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