How I Hire: How to Blow a Job Offer

A couple of years ago a colleague of mine was being wooed by a well-regarded university (not my own, incidentally). We’ll call him Ben Evans to spare him embarrassment. Ben was flattered that Arundel University (also a pseudonym) was interested in him and excited about the prospect of moving back east.

There still were some issues to be worked out, though. Arundel’s usual practice was to have lateral hires come in as visitors for a year before being given a permanent position. “Sorry,” said Ben, “but you know my work well and I’m not comfortable with being on probation.” Arundel made an exception and agreed to grant him tenure right from the start.