How to Juggle Multiple Job Offers
If you’re in an active job hunt, you may find you’ll have more than one offer. If you’ve never been in this situation before, it can feel awkward. As a sales recruiter, I’ve worked with candidates who’ve expertly navigated the multiple offer situation with grace, professionalism, and transparency. I’ve also worked with sales professionals who found the situation extremely uncomfortable. So, if managing multiple offers is new for you, perhaps this information will help you navigate this new terrain.
What to Do When You are Expecting More than One Offer
Step One: Decide Who’s Your First Choice
There is usually a clear winner when it comes to which company you want to join. Make that decision and know why this particular company is the clear winner. Once you have a preferred choice, you can gear your behavior accordingly. Your clear rule will be to give this preferred organization preferential treatment at all times. For example, you will:
- Promptly take their calls and reply to their emails
- Book all interviews with them for the first available date that works with your schedule
- Let them know they are your number one choice, but you are actively interviewing with other organizations until you receive an offer
- Be as transparent as possible with them about where things are in your job search process
Employers Will React to Your Job Search Transparency and Let This Guide You
Perhaps you will share your situation with the hiring manager and they will try and help you with timing by accelerating their interview process. This is a good sign. However, if they respond to you with, “John, I know you need to do what you need to do for you and your family. But this is our process, and it may take us longer to get to the end of the process than you apparently have. So I understand if you might not be available when we’re ready to schedule final interviews.”
This is your cue that you might need to turn your attention to your Number Two choice. As hard as it might be to accept, this is a good signal for you to take your attention and focus to other opportunities. After all, we want to work for the people and organizations who want us to work there, right? We want to avoid being “another candidate” in their process while they turn all their attention to their number one choice.
It’s Normal to Have Multiple Offers
Sometimes people want to keep another offer under wraps because they don’t know the best way to deal with it. Many companies are aware that you may have more than one offer. If this is the case, it’s best to gently let each company know where things stand in your decision-making process. Employers respect your choices, and most want you to make the one that is right for you. What they want to avoid are:
- Bidding wars
- Being used for a counteroffer with your current employer
- Wasting their time by driving up their offer so it can be used for leverage with your number one choice
Keep in Mind This Critical Basic Negotiating Rule
If you ask an employer for more of anything, you need to be ready to accept their offer if they can meet your terms. For example, if your offer is at 120K base and you need 135K instead or if you want to increase a ramp from 0K to 5K/month, you need to be prepared to accept the offer if they are able to get approval for those adjustments.
You can’t ask for an extra 15K, have an employer go to bat for you over it, and then turn it down. This will get contentious. Follow this simple rule: When you’re ready to negotiate an offer, be prepared to immediately accept the job if the employer can meet your requests.
Changing Employers is Difficult
It’s never easy starting over again in sales. You will be challenged to learn new offerings, follow employer protocols, and discover how your boss likes things done. But switching roles can also accelerate your sales career. So, trust your instincts and have faith in your ability to make the decision that is best for you. Navigating the waters of multiple offers is much easier when you are clear about which company you want to work for.