When Candidates Have Multiple Offers: How Their Perspectives Can Inform Yours

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When job candidates apply for new positions, they often hope to receive a half-dozen offers to choose from. Or, they may hope to use one offer to leverage a more favorable salary and better benefits from another. However, this rarely works out in practice.

Each company has a different interview process and has to work within interviewers’ schedules. One company might require a single interview from a hiring manager, while another might require several layers of interviews with multiple stakeholders.

The number of applicants each company receives can also vary greatly, meaning one company might have only a handful of candidates to consider, while another has to sort through hundreds or even thousands.

The result: Candidates may receive an offer from one organization while in the thick of the interview process for one or more additional positions.

An Awkward Situation

This can put candidates in an awkward position. What if, out of five active applications, their third most desirable position makes an offer while they are still waiting to hear back from—or even still interviewing with—their first choice?

Should candidates play it safe and take the job offer or wait to see whether they are offered their preferred job? Should candidates disclose to the company making the offer that they are waiting to hear back from other companies and want to wait to decide whether to accept the offer? What about the companies they are still waiting to hear from? Is it appropriate to prod these companies by informing them there is an offer on the table and asking them if they can speed up the process?

For this feature, we discussed these types of questions with a number of industry experts, and we attempt to provide some insight and best practices relevant to both candidates and hiring managers.

Should Candidates Disclose They Are Waiting to Hear About Another Job?

While candidates may feel the urge to be fully transparent with a company that makes them a job offer, it’s wise to be a bit more strategic when considering one’s future career. “At Rocket, we recommend candidates handle the process of receiving offers with integrity and tact,” says Abhinav Agrawal, CEO and cofounder of Rocket, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced recruiting and HR company.

“When given an offer, candidates don’t have to mention interviews and potential offers from other companies, but instead should politely ask for a reasonable amount of time (1–2 weeks) to make a decision,” Agrawal adds. “Mentioning other interviews expressly indicates that the candidate would prefer an offer from the other company—which may lead to the current offer being rescinded.”

Should Candidates Let Their Preferred Employer Know About Their Other Offer?

When it comes to the preferred employer, the calculus is a bit different. While it would certainly be off-putting to a company that just made a job offer to hear the candidate wants to wait for another offer before accepting, the candidate’s letting the preferred employer know he or she has received another offer but is still interested is not only a sign of strong interest but also a way to further demonstrate his or her desirability.

“From an employer perspective, if I was part of this second company, I would do everything in my power to garner approval from the hiring team to expedite the process,” says Agrawal. “While nothing is guaranteed, the candidate’s willingness to go through another interview process despite an offer in-hand is usually a signal that they would accept if given a compelling offer.”

The Importance of Timing

We’ve talked about if a candidate should be transparent with a prospective employer about a job offer from another company. But how should the candidate approach the delicate subject?

Eva Weiss of ECG Resources says timing is key. “Firms are usually understanding of a candidate interviewing in more than one place. However, timing is important here,” she says…

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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