How to deal with multiple job offers

How to decide between two jobs

A woman outside on the phone staring out to the city

It’s every job searcher’s dream to have multiple options on the table, but it can make the decision-making process that much harder. And even more difficult when having to make the decision without risking damaging their relationships with the organisation whose offer they decide to turn down. You should really try to avoid accepting an offer and then retracting it if a better one comes along.

When an offer is accepted a chain of events are set in motion; the other applicants are notified; the job posting is removed; and a host of administration tasks are started. Retracting at this stage not only costs the company in real terms to the hours that staff may have put in, but they have potentially lost other candidates they were considering and hence putting them back into the starters block. 

To try to avoid being put in the situation where you may want to accept another offer once you’ve already accepted another, be honest and open. Most employers and recruiters will ask you if you are interviewing with other companies during the interview process. Be comfortable in answering this question honestly, as its completely expected that you will be interviewing with multiple companies. When you embark on a job search you will want to ensure you explore all the options available to you, just explain this to the interviewer. 

When you have multiple job offers on the table, you can ask for time to consider your options. Most companies accept this and it allows you space to make a fully informed and considered decision. More and more businesses are speeding up their interview processes in order to secure star candidates before a competitor can jump in and make an offer, but don’t allow anyone to pressure you into making a quick decision. 

Your recruiter is there to be your lifelong partner in your career journey, so lean on them to help you choose the right job for your career long term. By understanding your ultimate career ambitions, they can help you see the pathways the next decision could lead down.  

Weighing it up: Five steps you can take to deal with multiple jobs offers

Ask for time to consider your offers.  

Don’t be concerned to ask for time to consider any offer. Hiring managers or employers should be more than happy to allow you the space you need to decide whether the offer is right or not for you. 

Look at your long-term objectives

Is this a company you want to be working for in five years’ time? Does it provide you with opportunities to advance in your career path, learn and develop or benefits compared to what another company can offer you? Draw up a list of pros and cons for each organisation.

Who pays more? 

A higher paying salary is always an attractive incentive but it should not be your main motive for choosing one job over the other. The lower paying role could offer greater challenges, benefits or career advancement potential.

Process of elimination. 

Is there a job you can easily eliminate that doesn’t meet you career objectives? Or doesn’t meet any top line benefits you desire? If they don’t meet the basic requirements and it leaves you a bit unsure, eliminate them. 

Communicate your intentions

Let the company you’ve chosen know that you will be accepting its job offer. Let the others know, in a polite and professional manner, that you have chosen to go with another offer but that you were grateful for the opportunity. If they ask why you’ve chosen to accept another businesses offer, be transparent – it may help them in their next recruitment drive. 

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