Would You Allow Candidates a Job Mulligan [poll]

by Sharlyn Lauby on January 19, 2014

Typically, we hear the term “mulligan” in golf. When a player tries to hit the golf ball and woosh! Completely misses. Often the other players will give that person a mulligan (i.e. a second chance, do over).

mulligan, job mulligan, poll, candidate, job candidate, recruiting, golf

During the Great Recession, The Wall Street Journal said Bank of America wanted a “mortgage mulligan” for their role in the housing crisis. Basically, they were asking for another chance. I’m not sure this was the intended use of the term.

Now, the word is being used in recruiting and job search. The “job mulligan” defines those times when a person takes a job then immediately realizes they made a huge mistake. Instead of hanging out for months or years so the resume looks good when applying for another job, a candidate can take a “mulligan”.

On the plus side, it’s refreshing to see that candidates can admit the mistake and move on. They aren’t staying with companies for the sole purpose of building time on their resume. Companies don’t have to worry about a disengaged employee sticking around, just waiting for the clock to run down.

The other side, the job mulligan takes some responsibility out of the recruiting process. Candidates should be interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing them. If the company can’t take a mulligan, should employees be able to? And how many mulligans are acceptable before it creates a new red flag?

I’m curious. What do you think of the “job mulligan”? Let’s take one of our quasi-famous one question polls:

This could be a tricky one. I look forward to seeing your thoughts. And I’ll post the result in a week/ten days. Thanks!

Image courtesy of HR Bartender

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Steve Levy January 19, 2014 at 7:02 am

Sharlyn…there’s an old joke where a newly deceased executive gets to choose her “eternity” which ends with her selecting Hell and the punch line, “Yesterday we were recruiting you but today you’re staff.” Google it…

One mulligan in real life is called a divorce; another is bankruptcy. Neither is pretty but they’re both realities. You see where this is going.

Frankly, the barrier to entry into recruit is pretty low and FAR too many people believe they’re superior interviewers when most are average at best (all one has to do is ponder how companies assess culture fit). Yeah, take a mulligan…

Terry Portillo January 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Yes, better to have a new hire take a job mulligan than to have a disgruntled employee on staff. Too many job mulligans could be a sign that either compensation is too low or that your recruiters/interviewers are doing a poor job of finding and hiring people that are a cultural fit for your organization. New millennials are very big on branding – seeing the organization they work for as a reflection of their ‘personal brand’ and visa versa.
Terry Portillo recently posted..Do Employment Laws Hurt Rather Than Help Those Who Serve in The Military?

lecairn January 20, 2014 at 2:24 am

I’m used to olay golf and with my friends when we give a muligan the one who recieve it knows he will have to face Mulligan’s revenge i.e we (the others players) will decide at any time that he should make again a great shot he made …. i think that’s the way the team players will recieve this 2nd chance, they will be a lot more accurate on the results that the mulligan people would reach ….

Richard Pachter January 20, 2014 at 9:27 am

Today, coincidentally, is the two-year anniversary of the start of a job that I left after nine weeks.

Long story, but I can break it down into three words: bait and switch.

So yeah, I don’t think something like that should be held against an applicant (though I hope there’s a special place in hell reserved for the guilty employer).

Your milage may vary.

Cathy Shanes January 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

It’s a real-life career nightmare – you grab onto new opportunity only to realize later how big a mistake it was. I’m sure it happened to most of us. But rotting in the place you hate just for the sake of nice and neat resume is weird. From the point of view of an employee it seems like the right choice to take a mulligan, but from the perspective of an employer not everything is so simple. Of course, as an employer you want your employees to love their job and be loyal, and in such context it looks like a good idea to let go of a stray employee, but if such cases become a tendency then you should take into account that such a game is not cheap and take some measures to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.

Sharlyn Lauby January 29, 2014 at 8:23 am

Thank you to everyone for the comments! This has been an interesting poll to watch. Can’t wait to report the final results.

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