Please help with ethical dilemma

<p>There is a person in my life who I occasionally provide some advice too. Today I'm stuck and hoping you can help. Here are the facts.</p>

<li>They applied to job A. Job A did not work out and so were encouraged by job A to apply to job B.</li>
<li>Applied to job B.</li>
<li>Hired at job B.</li>
<li>Job B starts Monday.</li>
<li>Today job A called and offered the job.</li>

<p>Job A pays substantially better and has better benefits. However, they have given their word to job B to begin on Monday.</p>

<p>I'm really at a loss. My one suggestion was to call job B and see if they had any alternates who would take the job asap. But that didn't feel like the right advice. I'm really torn between encouraging them to take job A and encouraging them to stick by their word and start job B.</p>

<p>Help, wise CCers!</p>

<p>S/he should take Job A. In this economy, I'd be surprised if Job B had any trouble filling the spot with someone else. S/he should tell Job B s/he got an unexpected offer for a better position at a higher pay, which is true. This is a common reason for people to turn down or leave a job.</p>

<p>I would keep my commitment to job B -- unless the "better benefits" at job A is something of crucial importance (like getting health insurance immediately instead of having to wait three months for it).</p>

<p>Unless he/she plans on ever working for Job B, go with Job A. This is a business transaction and a job seeker needs to do what is best for him/her, not feel badly about the other company. Job B has likely been outbid before, and will again in the future. Nothing new here, they will find another new hire.</p>

<p>Job A. But be very up-front and honest with Job B. Who knows...maybe they'll match the offer.</p>

<p>This happens all the time. In this economy, especially, go with the better job. Go with A.</p>

<p>Does job B seem preferable in any way (location, type of work, stress level, etc.) to job A?
If not, accept job A.</p>

<p>Did the person sign a contract with company B? (Not sure if that would be a complication.) I would call company B and tell them I wouldn't be able to take the job after all. Not sure if company B would ask the reason--"received a better offer" is a good reason. I'm sure this happens all the time. Although it seems like going back on a promise to company B, don't think of it that way. My rationale is that "all's fair in love, war, and business." Companies don't hesitate to lay off workers if money gets tight. Companies don't seem to have much loyalty even to long-term employees these days, so an employee needs to look out for number one. Although the person may feel grateful to have an offer from company B (and should politely thank them for it and their time/consideration, not burn bridges, etc.), no loyalty is owed to a company he/she never worked for. I'm sure company B had plenty of applicants for the position and should have no trouble filling it.</p>

<p>Wow, thank you all for such swift and thoughtful answers. I will share them all and let you know how it turns out.</p>

<p>I would just be a little worried about the security of Job A since it was apparently offered first to someone else, and your friend is the second choice - s/he might want to find out a little bit about why s/he wasn't offered the job in the first place - what changed? Job B was seen as a match for this potential employee by both Job A and Job B - something to keep in mind, perhaps.</p>

<p>Ethically the person can go with either job A or B. Most jobs today are 'at will' where an employee can leave at any time and the employer can terminate the employee at any time. The term 'loyalty' doesn't really apply. Unless it's in a contract most things like giving 2 weeks notice, etc. are on a best effort basis. In this case the employee hasn't actually started yet but the conditions still apply. To be courteous the person should inform B right away once the decisionis made - not wait until the last second or until the start day.</p>

<p>Practically, if the person now turns down B they need to understand that if A doesn't truly work out, the door to B might be closed - i.e. B may get upset that the person changed their mind and decided to go with another company and might be dis-inclined to hire the person again.</p>

<p>Also, why did A tell the person they wouldn't be employed and suggest B only to turn around a little later and make an offer? It makes me wonder about how solid the offer and likelihood of reasonable security of that position at A is.</p>

<p>I've had someone back out of an offer I gave him after his company counter-offered. Although it meant I now had to look for someone else, I didn't hold any animosity toward the individual since he made IMO a business decision. It may have helped that he told me he wasn't just grubbing for a carrot to get his company to counter and he truly felt bad about the change in decision but he needed to go with what he thought was best for him. I'd actually much rather have him do this than go ahead and come to work with me out of some feeling of obligation only to end up leaving anyway after a few weeks or few months when he truly recived a better offer but after I spent a lot of time and money bringing him up to speed.</p>

<p>What do you mean by:

Job A did not work out


<p>Was your friend originally not hired, or were they hired and then let go?</p>

<p>If he was originally not hired ad Job A, but now has an offer, I say he should take it. Then tell Job B that he has a higher paying offer at another company. He doesn't owe Job B anything more than that. If they want to make a counter-offer, they can, but don't expect them to.</p>

<p>I can't help wondering if Job A was someone else's Job B...thus they abandoned the offer, leaving Job A vacant.</p>

<p>You all ask such good questions!</p>

<p>Job A was not offered but they were placed on the "alternate" list. As it turns out, they were first on that list. </p>

<p>As of an hour ago, job A was accepted and job B was notified of that. </p>

<p>Thanks to all!</p>