It may seem like a dream position to be in — you have multiple job offers on the table and it is entirely up to you which one to choose. But sometimes, having that choice can make your decision much harder. How do you know you are picking the right offer? Does the higher paid one is really better? And most importantly — how do you politely turn down a competing offer?
You’ll get answers to these questions and more from this post!
What to Do When You Have Multiple Job Offers?
First of all, give yourself a good pat on the back! You did super well with all the interviews and the most stressful part is over.
But before you go all festive, make sure that:
- You have received multiple written job offers. A ‘congrats, we want you onboard’ call from an HR doesn’t count as an actual job offer. Because an employment offer that is not put in writing can be easily retracted or changed at any time. So make sure that you receive a copy of a written offer via email, clearly stating all the terms.
- You are not canceling other interviews. That can be tempting, sure. But don’t bail on other interviews even if you already have 2+ job offers, especially if one (or all) are non-written. In fact, having more job offers on the table can be better for you as this way you’d be able to truly zoom in on a good role.
At this point, your goal is to:
- Complete all the remaining second interviews
- Wait for all the written job offers
- Ask the recruiters for some time to make the final decision.
Regarding the latter, the general multiple job offers etiquette suggests that 48 to 72 hours is an acceptable range for deciding on a job offer. However, if the position requires relocation, a longer time-frame is acceptable too.
In any case, the timeline for accepting a job isn’t set in stone. If you are negotiating multiple job offers, be forthcoming with the recruiter. After receiving a written job offer via email, provide them with a short ‘thank you’ email within 24 hours tops, and tell them that you need some time to consider the job offer.
While you are not obliged to explain why you are not accepting their offer immediately, it’s a good practice to state:
- When they can expect to hear back from you
- What part of the offer concerns you (e.g. salary, benefits, working hours, etc).
If you are considering other offers, you can also bring that up in the conversation as a prompt to further salary negotiations. According to a Robert Half survey, 6 in 10 job seekers have received two or more offers at the same time, so most recruiters won’t act all surprised upon hearing that. Instead, most will often suggest scheduling a follow-up meeting to further ‘sell’ you the idea of choosing their company or talk over the exact offer terms. It’s up to you to accept or decline the negotiations at this point.
How to Deal with Multiple Job Offers in 6 Steps
Once you’ve secured some ‘think’ time, research each job on offer and decide whether it is a position you would gladly accept over another. You want to have a choice between comparable positions or at least jobs in different areas of your expertise or interest with similar compensation.
So here’s how you should deal with multiple job offers:
- Determine how each offer fits in your career path
- Compare the wage vs work/life balance
- Review the benefits and other work perks
- Understand how you feel about the boss/team
- Gauge job security
- Make a comparison chart
Now let’s take a look at each tip!
1. Determine How The New Job Fits in Your Career Path
When you are faced with multiple job offers, one of the easiest ways to decide about a role is to look at your potential career path with each one.
In particular, ask yourself this:
- Does this role align with your current career goals?
- Do you see new learning opportunities?
- Will this role help you expand your skillset?
- Does it offer vertical or horizontal career progression?
Remember: while the proposed position may not provide an immediate vertical growth opportunity (e.g. because you’ll be one of ten people at your level with only one position above), it may help you master a more diverse range of skills or gain knowledge in a new industry.
2. Compare the Proposed Salary vs Work/Life Balance
Multiple job offers allow negotiating a better salary — that’s certain! But higher compensation also mandates longer working hours and more responsibilities. After all, no employer will pay an above-market rate to someone’s not delivering on their above-average expectations.
When assessing multiple job offers, thinks about this: will a higher salary really compensate for longer workweeks and perhaps, a more stressful work environment?
Now certainly, you don’t want to go with someone who’s undervaluing your abilities too! So as you review all the numbers in the contact, re-check the median compensation for similar roles and see how the figure compares to yours.
If you are viewing two job offers with similar responsibilities, hours, and benefits, but a significantly different base salary, consider reaching out to the employer and asking them if they are open to negotiating a salary.
3. Compare the Benefits and Other Work Perks
Also, look beyond the wage to decide on one job offer over several others.
You can look at the extra benefits being offered with the position, both in terms of financial and reward systems, as well as the workplace advantages.
For example, if a company has a particularly good performance-based rewards system but not the most impressive wage, look at the overall package and weigh up the end value. Other good benefits that can compensate for a lower base salary include:
- Generous insurance (including family coverage)
- Longer (or unlimited) paid vacation time and PTOs
- Vested stock options
- Annual, performance-based bonuses
- Personal learning allowance
The way the company works is another factor to consider. Company culture and the environment of a workplace can have a massive impact on your life and should be an important part of the decision.
Remember that you will probably be spending most of your waking hours at work, so you should make sure you would be happy in their working environment.
4. Understand How You Feel About the Boss and Team
While being best friends with your boss isn’t an important criterion for selecting a job, don’t discard your gut instinct towards the person who you’d be working under.
If you were unimpressed by some aspect of their approach, then think hard about the proposed role. If that’s how you felt after just one interview – what would it be like if you worked with them daily? On the other hand, if you liked them, felt they had similar ideas and approaches to you and your personalities gelled, then this is a good sign. Of course, people can put their best face on for interviews so don’t use this as the deciding factor.
Also, consider your overall impression of the HR team and anyone else you’ve dealt with so far. In particular, ask yourself this:
- Did you like the overall ambiance in the company when you visited?
- Was the HR team acting professional, organized, and polite?
- Are there any negative reviews online about the company?
Be sure to check employee reviews about the company on Glassdoor or a similar website.
We also talked at length about how to research a company for (and after) an interview.
5. Gauge Each Job Security
At some point, job security can become more of a priority for you. For example, if the industry you were working in got badly affected by the crisis or for personal reasons – .e.g when you plan to start a family or buy a house.
In such cases, assessing each offer from the ‘security’ perspective can be a wise choice. A recently funded startup may offer a more dynamic and interesting role than a more traditional corp. But, at the same time, they have a higher chance of going out of business if they fail to raise more funds or launch a market-ready product.
On the other hand, legacy businesses are more prone to having bloated org structures, and, subsequently – redundancies, downsizing, and branch closures.
Again, doing some quick online research can help you better understand where each employer stands financially and whether you should be worried about the job security prospects with this particular company.
6. Organize all Your Thoughts in a Decision Chart
Nothing beats a simple comparison chart when it comes to decision-making.
- List the pros and cons of each job on offer.
- Award them a number between one and ten – ten is the most important while one is the least important, for example.
- Then rate each job on a host of different things. Don’t forget the smaller stuff such as the traveling time or cost of getting to work or where you can park if you drive as car parking can cost quite a bit of money if it is not provided with the job.
Run the final tally and analyze how you feel about the offers that ranked the highest!
Deciding between multiple job offers can be tough when all offers seem pretty dang good. But don’t drag the decision for too long. Remember: most employers are eager to hire people as quickly as possible, so they may be quick to switch to the next-best candidate in line if you don’t proactively communicate with them regarding your decision timeline. Finally, always inform the employer about your decision to go with another offer!