Managing Two Job Offers Presents Problems.
While that’s an expression commonly associated with bad things happening in our lives, I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve heard a job hunter say essentially the same thing, as in “Here I go all this time looking for something, then I get two realistic possibilities and have to make a choice.”
In this tight economy it’s rare that you’ll have two simultaneous offers. But you might encounter a situation where you have an offer on the table, but also have a realistic chance of getting another offer soon.
What can/should you say to each employer so that you can not only have a “choice” between both of them, but also maximize your leverage when it comes to salary negotiations?
Let’s talk about what to do when you receive that first offer when you’re in the midst of interviewing for other jobs.
Your first thought should be to restate your interest in job No. 1 – the one you’ve been offered – and ask when they’d want an answer. This buys you time to think it over and see about your other prospects, as well as to formulate a counteroffer.
Now it’s time to contact the other company (job No. 2). Don’t ask them to circumvent their process and, whatever you do, don’t make them feel like you’re forcing them into a corner. Simply call them, express continued interest, and share with them the fact that you’ve received another offer you’re weighing.
Let job No. 2 know you’re interested in them and tell them you’re not asking them to skip steps in their hiring process, but wanted to at least make them aware you’ve received an offer … and ask whether they might be able to move in a timely fashion to allow both you and job No. 2 to vote each other up or down.
Timing is critical in most everything, including the hiring process. If you are truly a top candidate, you might be surprised what a company can and will do when they realize you’re about to come off the market.
But don’t bluff. If you don’t have an offer you’ll take from job No. 1, you run a huge risk by engaging in those talks with job No. 2. They may tell you to take job No. 1 since they can’t move fast enough to meet your timeframe. Then you’re left holding the proverbial bag.
Let’s now say you have two competing offers. No company wants to feel as though you’re playing them against the other. I don’t know of a nice way to tell a company you’re being courted by another without the company feeling pressured.
So don’t go there. Instead, try to negotiate a higher offer from job No. 1. And, for that matter, a higher offer from job No. 2. Just be careful that you’re not issuing an ultimatum where one, or both, companies pull out. Source: Randy Wooden for the Winston Salem Journal.