After spending hours applying for jobs, moving through various interview stages, and painstakingly awaiting decisions, you’ve now found yourself in the fortunate position of holding more than one job offer. That means you have a tough decision to make about which offer to accept and which to decline.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips and advice on how to make this decision a little easier, alongside helping you compare offers to choose the deal that best suits you, your lifestyle, and your skill set.
Choosing between multiple job offers
So, how do you choose between the offers on the table?
Drawing up a list can solve most problems – and that’s almost definitely the case in this situation. Write down all the pros and cons of each role, ensuring you examine all aspects most important to you. Not only will this help you compare the qualities of each job, but it’ll also give you an idea of which you’re more naturally drawn towards, too.
Remember – an informed decision is usually the best decision.
Below, we’ll take you through some prominent job aspects to consider as part of your comparison…
Hours and flexibility
In the post-Covid era, many prospective job candidates are looking for increased flexibility in their work. Whether you want to prioritise having fewer working hours or the ability to work whenever suits you, this is worth mulling over.
Again, Covid changed workplace habits. Working from home and hybrid options are now available in many office jobs, although opinions can be divided.
Ensure you make clear which opportunities align with your ideal working environment – whether you want to work fully remotely or be able to pop into the office a few days a week or even work in the office full time.
Company culture is likely to vary anywhere you go – especially if the role is hybrid or completely remote. If workplace culture is important to you, it can be worth noting everything you know about the company culture from interviews, websites, your network and other forms of communication.
During this process, ask yourself how well your personality and working style align with the different working environments on the table and the team you will be working with. This is where your instincts and “feel” for a certain job can come to the fore.
Whether you’re just starting out in your career and want to know how you can progress or you’re happy to stay in the role for now, it can be good to understand the options available. For example, if a company is looking to promote quickly and this doesn’t align with your plan, then it could be viewed negatively.
However, if the goal is to move up the ranks and show your value higher up the chain, then understanding how that might work and whether there are opportunities to do so is likely to be a priority for you.
When looking for roles, always be mindful of your five-year plan and try not to get side-lined by things like salary and benefits. After all, even if a job pays well, it may not be the best fit for you if it doesn’t offer the career development that aligns with your long-term goals.
Although benefits are often listed relatively low on a job offer, these can be looked at for comparison.
One job could offer money-saving health insurance, while another could host quarterly social events for you to get to know your colleagues.
Make a note of any benefits mentioned so that you can compare the job offers against one another. Anything like employee discounts, events, advice sessions, memberships and free food can count as benefits.
If one of your offers doesn’t mention benefits, that doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any. A company may provide lots of additional benefits that don’t feature in the job ad, particularly non-material benefits like team socials, that you may not learn about until you get started.
It’s always worth following up with a question about the benefits a job or company offers if they haven’t been mentioned it far in the application process.
Salary is a fundamental consideration for most people, but less money isn’t always a dealbreaker. For example, other aspects like working from home and benefits can outweigh a lower-than-anticipated salary.
However, if you have one offer with a significantly lower salary offer than another, then this could be a reason to rank it lower in your comparison.
Coming into the job search, you should have a general idea of what you want your next salary should be. You’ll likely have a figure in your head based on the roles you’re applying for, your experience level and skills, and the duties you’ll be carrying out. Any offer not matching this expectation could be a dealbreaker all on its own.
Should you negotiate when faced with multiple job offers?
Technically, you hold the cards once you receive an offer from an employer. However, the negotiation process can look slightly different depending on your experience, the opinions you’ve already formed about each job, and the role you’re applying for.
For instance, if you have a good few years’ experience on your CV, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate. If, however, you’re applying for a graduate role and have no prior experience, your options for negotiating may be limited.
Negotiation isn’t always necessary if you’re happy to proceed with the original offer. However, there may be an opportunity to play the field to find the best deal if receive multiple offers.
Below, we’ll discuss various negotiation scenarios that could occur:
Negotiating for a better salary
The first thing to do when negotiating a salary is to decide on a range you’d be happy with. You should be basing this number on location, skills, duties, and anything else you feel the salary represents rather than simply plucking numbers out of thin air.
Once you have this in mind, you can initiate a negotiation.
For example, you could respond with something like:
“First, thank you for your generous offer. I’m excited about the prospect of joining the team and the role as discussed. I was wondering if you have any flexibility regarding the salary stated in my offer? I’ve received another offer with ‘X’ salary, along with ‘XYZ’ benefits. I’d like to reiterate my excitement for this opportunity and truly think I’ll be a great fit for your company and the role. I’m hopeful we can work together to come to an agreement.”
You won’t know if the salary is up for negotiation at all unless you ask, which is why it’s always worthwhile. If you successfully bump up the salary, you should always ensure you get another official written offer.
Asking for more flexibility
If you’ve decided that one of your options has everything you’re looking for except for flexibility, you can initiate negotiations around this.
Using a similar script to the salary negotiation, you can leverage the flexibility options given in another offer to see what you can get from a company.
Receiving one offer before another
Multiple job offers are rarely ever offered at the same time. Therefore, you can attempt to bring all the decision-making time windows together by negotiating with employers.
The important thing to remember is that by stating the time frame in which you’ll give your decision, you shouldn’t create doubt or display a lack of enthusiasm in working for any of the companies. Candidates can be granted a reasonable amount of time before giving their decision for several reasons, and you aren’t under any obligation to reveal that you have multiple job offers.
If you need time to reach a decision, however, companies will respect you more if you’re open and honest about your circumstances. What’s more, by telling them that you’ve had another offer, they may put a better offer on the table. Just make sure you have evidence of this; businesses won’t want to feel messed around.
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