Once an employment offer has been received, it is important that you have your documents and references ready. Background check can also be conducted prior to receiving an offer and the process has to be managed well.
Some reasons when and why your employment offer can be withdrawn are
An Unsuccessful Background Checks. Background checks are conducted with your last 2-3 employers. Your current or previous employer is most important. You can also prepare yourself for reference checks with clients, colleagues or even suppliers / vendors (depending on your role). Criminal record or a police clearance will most likely be required by certain companies. Even your education certificates or training certifications can be referenced. It is highly probable that if any one of the above fails to meet your prospective employer's expectations, you won’t likely move forward even if you have a written offer in hand.
Meeting an Acceptance Deadline. Most (if not all) employment offers will carry a deadline for your acceptance to be received. This entails that you have signed and dated your acceptance and returned it back as an email or in-person to your employer before the deadline. Failure to meet this timeline allows the company to withdraw your employment offer. It is advisable to keep all your documents like passport copy, emirates ID, Ministry or Foreign Affairs (MOFA) attested graduation certificate and a passport size photo ready. If you are on your spouse's or parent's visa, then their passport copy, emirates ID and NOC is essential.
You make a major faux pas. I remember a time when my client introduced a candidate (who had just signed and submitted his acceptance) to the team and offered him to spend some time with them to get to know them. The introduction went well and so did their bonding until the candidate in his over enthusiasm and unconscious words chose a "bad" joke to make about his new employer. This reached the ears of the General Manager the next day and his offer was rescinded.
Company (or Economic) Downturn. While unfortunate, economic changes and management decisions can affect the company's immediate or future hirings. This can range from situations like COVID 19 to lost or delayed projects, organization restructuring or last-minute budget cuts, which can also lead to an offer being revoked.
Disagreement among decision makers. There was a lady who had approached me for a job a couple of the months ago. She explained how she landed an employment offer only for it to be revoked. She was interviewed for a role and her qualifications and experience was a good match. The COO asked her if she would be interested in a special project with an increased salary during the project execution, which she accepted. Unfortunately, the CEO and COO could not agree on her candidature for special projects role and in the disagreement that followed her application was revoked along with her offer.
Do I have any legal recourse if my offer was rescinded?
If you are being hired as an employee in the UAE/GCC, both you and the employer can decide to end things whenever you want—for any reason or no reason at all. In many cases, it is perfectly legal for an organization to let you go, even before you have technically started the job. You have the option to check with an employment attorney about the legalities of a withdrawn offer, but in my opinion, it may have no positive outcome.
Is there anything I can do to prevent an offer from being withdrawn?
I’m a big believer in controlling the things you can control to the best of your ability and working hard to let go of the things you cannot control. There are plenty of factors related to job offers that are simply out of your hands—such as market downturns, corporate reorganizations, and hiring freezes.
But you can get ahead of things like your background check. Do you already know what will turn up? If you know that you have answered and shared honest and accurate replies, then it may be best to build your references and in time check with them if they would be willing to share a "positive" reference about your character, work and performance—and definitely, definitely, don’t lie.