Multiple Job Offers

How to decide when you have multiple job offers?

Do you have multiple job offers in your hands? As the title says, it’s a good problem to have; nevertheless, it’s a problem you have to deal with.

Decide which one you weigh in toward: Immediately jot down, side by side, the pros and cons of different job offers you got, as much as you have gathered. Key indicators should be: Job profile, potential opportunities for growth, people, commute, expected hours, vacation, overtime policies, wages etc., Assign weight to each criteria, this will help you making the right decision.  For example:

Importance Description Company X Company Y
1 Job profile

8

7

2 Salary

7

8

3 Work hour demands

5

5

3 People

5

5

Total

25

25

Point to be noted that we have deliberately tied the score in above example; this could happen, in that case, you will use the key indicators. In above example, if the job seeker weighs ‘job profile’ as the most important factor, then the Company X job offer will be a preferred one. If salary is the important factor, then the job seeker would have gone with company Y.  You get the idea.

Excuse for time: In case you are expecting an offer in few days from one company and you have another offer in hands, then you can ask for some time to consider from the Company who made the offer before you decide. In any case, if an employer has sent you a job offer, the Employer will certainly gives you few days to sign and return the acceptance. If you need more time, it is better to call the company on the day of the deadline and let them know that you need more time. It is required to have a reason.  In some cases, you can take excuse of Dad or Big Brother or College professor being out of town and you wanting to convey him/her before signing the offer – or something in those lines. If your excuse is ‘I have to make up my mind’, the chances are that the Employer will figure out that you are waiting for another offer.

Negotiate: Take the scenario we used in the beginning. Say you want to join company X because the job profile stands out and that is the most important aspect for you in a job. However, it does not mean that you have to sell yourself short. In this case, you already know that another Employer is willing to pay more. You can openly discuss with the company about your keen interest and the offer you got from the other company.  Let the company X know that you really love to work with them and would need them to raise the offer, at least, to match the Company Y’s offer. Most companies will not back down for few extra $$s on a competitive candidate. This is a good strategy to negotiate but do not over kill. Before you move on to the negotiation phase, make sure you have made up your mind to join Company Y, in case Company X withdraws their offer.

Use your lifelines: You have life lines, just like the player on ‘who wants to be a millionaire?’, use them in time.  Call your friend or professor who may shed some light, ping someone, scour through your facebook friends and see if someone is in the market already and knows more about the company’s you are juggling with (and use that in jotting down the pros/cons we talked about earlier). Check the interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn, if available, and see how long they have been with the company. If they have been with the company for long consider that as positive indicator.

What the future holds? When considering accepting or rejecting the current offer, making sure you have considered the future prospects that each offer holds. Some companies have great policies for growth and learning of their employees, they invest a lot in the personal development of their human resources, this may limit the fancy offers. In long run, this maybe a better place to be than the company that pays you good at the beginning but offers no potential for your growth as a professional and an individual.  This is where research comes handy.  There is lot of information on the internet that provides the details of initiatives that companies take for their employees.  IF the company you are researching about does not have great online presence then you should gather this information, as far as possible, during your interview or network sources.

When all else fails, rely on your intuition:  In an unlikely situation, where all the job offers you have in your hands tie – then you have to make up your mind based on your intuition or gut feeling. This is the LAST resort, after you have done analytical and pragmatic evaluation of each offer.

Once you decide, let the other employer(s) know: Remember that corporate world is small and it is critical to maintain good relationships with every potential employer, especially, the one who made you an offer. Let the company, whose offer you have decided to turn down, know of your decision in time.  Let them know that your personal situation, at this time, has prompted you to make the decision to not accept their offer. Thank them for their time, hospitality and help. In case, if they come back to negotiate; humbly let them know that you have ‘signed’ the offer of the other company.