When an offer is made to you, request the recruiter to give it to you in writing. Accept the offer only after you have thoroughly analyzed all the components of the offer.
Having multiple job offers in not a bad situation to be in! It is heartening to know that a number of companies recognize your skills, and want to get you on board. But, the process of making a decision on which company to join makes most job seekers anxious and confused.
The reason why most individuals find themselves in a dilemma when they receive multiple job offers is because they are not sure about what they are looking out for in their new job role. Due to the competitive nature of the corporate sector, our criteria for selecting a job revolves only on the annual salary that a company is able to offer us.
However, as most professionals will tell you, the lure of a high-paying job can lead to dissatisfaction if the job is not suitable for you. Apart from the salary aspect, there are other essential parameters that make up an ideal job offer.
Things to Consider
You can take the help of forums and websites, where former and current employees express their opinion of an organization. Also, a lot of major companies publicly declare their quarterly earnings and annual turnover. Analyzing these parameters can give you some clarity on where your prospective company stands financially.
When you have a number of job offers, the salary offered by each company should just be one parameter of judging the offer. You must look at other factors such as:
- Work culture
- Career advancement opportunities
- Office timings
- Leave policy
- Commute time
- Medical coverage
Once you have weighed all the job offers on these parameters, you need to shortlist those offers which provide the maximum benefits. However, it is also pertinent to mention that the decision to select a job will vary from person to person.
For example, a working mom might accept a job offer which pays considerably less, but requires little or no travel, while a woman who is single, or doesn't have family commitments, might be able to take up a position which offers a high salary, but requires extensive traveling and commitment.
Managing Multiple Job Offers
Scenario 1: You are in deliberations with a company, and the recruiter asks you whether you are looking elsewhere as well.
Strategy: Interviewees are advised to be open and honest with the HR manager during an interview. Instead of faking it, you can be really honest and tell him that you have interviews scheduled with other companies as well, and your decision will be based upon the offer that suits you the best.
Scenario 2: Company X makes you a 'final offer', and expects you to accept it immediately, but you still have interviews lined up with company Y and company Z.
Strategy: In such a scenario, telling the recruiter that you want to see what other companies are offering you, should be avoided. But you should not accept the offer out of compulsion, and without even knowing what company Y and company Z have in store for you.
In such a case, you should buy some time from Company X so as to appear for an interview with the other two companies. There are varied opinions on how you should delay accepting an offer. Some consultants are of the view that you should tell the recruiter that you need to discuss the offer with your family, as your decision will also have an impact on them.
At the same time, you can request the other recruiters to expedite the process so that you don't keep company X waiting for too long. Once you get the details of all three offers, you can compare the pros and cons of each, and base your decision on that.
Once you have made your decision of choosing the offer, of say, company Z, you should immediately call up the concerned representatives of company X, and tell them that they should no longer look at you as a potential candidate.
This is important to do, as you have to remember that you may not be the only candidate who has applied with that company. By not informing them about your decision, you might be holding up the position for someone who desperately needs the job.
Scenario 3: You have already 'accepted' an offer of company 1, but a few days later, company 2 makes you a tantalizing offer.
Strategy: Most management consultants are of the view that ethically, one should honor the promise that one has made to a company. If you have accepted company 1's offer, it is your responsibility to stand by your decision and join the company, irrespective of how tempting the second offer may seem.
However, there is also a vast majority of consultants who believe that this situation should be purely viewed as a business transaction. They opine that individuals should not think twice before accepting the better offer, as companies are out there to do business, and working for a firm which pays you more for your skills is a pragmatic decision.
If you really feel that you won't get an opportunity like the one presented by company 2, you should follow your gut feeling and accept the offer. However, you need to effectively communicate to company 1 about why you changed your decision. You should also brace up to the fact that you no longer will be able to work with company 1, ever in the future.
(Note: If you have signed an offer which has a clause that makes it mandatory for you to work with a company for a stipulated minimum time, dishonoring the agreement can have legal repercussions. Read the offer document carefully to know about this.)
As stressed earlier, the best way you can avoid putting your job search and your career in jeopardy is by not focusing on any one single component of a job offer. You should put in time and effort to know everything about the concerned company, and then make your decision on the basis of that.