More than one job offer

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 - Job Advertisement, Job Application, job offers, job search, recruitment, tutorial

More than one job offer


It is quite typical in a job search, that having made multiple job applications that you will receive more than one interview, followed by more than one job offer. The question of the job seeker then becomes not how do I get more job interviews but how to handle multiple job offers?

The answer to the question is actually in the tactics of handling communication, but the answer for every job seeker is always lies in that personal goal you have outlined in the medium term in your career plan. However, accept that not all job offers follow through to employment, so manage the process to maximise your chances of employment.

More than one job offer: communication

Firstly, remember that recruiters and employers are not daft, and recognise that good candidates will be applying for more than one job, and hence will probably have more than one job offer. Therefore expect all recruiters and most employers to ask you early in the job application process, probably in the telephone interview, if you have applied for other jobs? They expect you to say yes, so there is no need to lie. Secondly, when you do answer, don’t be specific about which employers, but do be consistent about which types of jobs in which markets. Desperate job seekers spray job applications around, and make themselves look less employable.

Secondly, if you are feeling the fear as the job applicant when you have more than one job offer, then the recruiter or employer is feeling it more. They do not want to miss out on a great employee. The only difference between the two of you is that recruiters and employers are used to this situation, and will hence press you for a decision.

Point number three therefore is, expect the pressure in this situation. Having probably not got a job offer for a while, you suddenly have two or more job offers from what now appear pushy employers. In all probability, the time scales of the job application processes will not be running in parallel or on the same process/duration, so make use of the employers anxious pushyness by being clear in all communication, and setting clear “I will get back to you on” dates.

Finally, once you make a decision, don’t play employerA off against employerB. Make a decision, ring the preferred employer, and tell them that you prefer their job. Now wait, let them speak, and you now have one point in which to adjust the terms of your employment contract. Think about more than pay, consider the whole process from this point forward, including:

  • Agreeing the terms
  • Signing contracts
  • Giving notice to your existing employer, and serving notice
  • Take-up training (which you could start today!)
  • Future career development

More than one job offer: recruiters

As a recruiter, knowing that people can flip-flop around emotions and packages to make career choices, like many I will ring you knowing you probably have more than one job offer, and ask what will flip you our way? I will actively use your emotions to get you to sign for my client.

Now, unlike some, if I honestly don’t think that during that conversation that you want my job but you are leaning towards the other employers job, then I won’t press you as hard as if I believe you prefer my job. Simply, our contracts include a full refund if employees we place walk away in the first 90days, and there is a high probability of that if you make the wrong decision. Hence, knowing this, if a recruiter approaches you about a job, always check their client side terms and conditions – it makes a big difference in your job search success!

More than one job offer: employment

James, a job seeker, asks: I have a job interview on Thursday, but I’m looking forward to another job. what should I do? A friend passed my Professional CV on to his companies HR department, and they have offered me an interview for an undefined position in their IT department. But, I really want to be an Air Traffic Controller, and am scheduled for the key exam towards the end of the month – just over three weeks away. I want that job and I’m going to do review/research everything to pass that exam! What do you think I should do? Should I still go on the interview? What if they hire me immediately, what should i say? I don’t want to make excuses which would make me look awful. Thank You!

In answer:
You have in every employment situation to keep your options open.

Your first question is which job do you want? You know the answer to that one, but as always keep your options open to maximise your chances of employment. Your second question should be: accept the pressure! It is honestly good to be wanted. The third question therefore, is do the time scales clash? In this case, no:

  • You go to the interview on Thursday
  • They probably won’t get back to you until next week. You explain to them then that you have had a series of interviews, and are awaiting the outcomes. Ask them to put their offer in writing in the post, as you have found in the past that employers make offers on the phone and then don’t follow through, hence why you need to cover your bases
  • You take the exam. Pass or fail, you make your decision at that point

Good Luck!


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