Dealing with Multiple Job Offers

Dealing with multiple job offers is one of the ‘problems’ perhaps long awaited by any typical job seeker. It is one of the good problems as you now have more than 1 option in making a career decision. But come to think of it, how would you really handle when you are facing it? Is it all good?

I was asked for opinion by MJ, who blogs at I am Rainbow, a blog rich with ramblings and opinions on career and job search guides regarding this problem. The question was, when dealing with multiple job offers, should a job candidate reveals the other offer(s) from the other company(ies) when striking a deal with each employer before accepting the final offer?

My answer to MJ is that, if I am in the said position, I shall look into how the prospective employer will react if I reveal to them about the other job offer. I may not reveal it if I feel the employer makes assumption that I am not serious and am just testing the job market.

This is evident to a case that I handled before few years back. A job candidate in the telecommunication industry was keen to accept a job offer from an employer but was looking if he could negotiate a higher salary. Since he was offered another job with another company (which he lacked desire to join), he used the offer as a ‘bait’ to get a higher salary offered. The employer did not like it as they felt they were a victim of ransom. They eventually withdrew the offer.

But if I feel that the employer is more receptive and open to discuss it, then I will go forward and let them know. Sharing another job offer can be positive as the prospective employer will tend to speed up the process and finalize the offer rather than making you wait and play a guessing game. Yes, there is some calculative risk involved in it, but I am willing to take the risk. And if you ask me how to gauge the employer’s reaction, I will advise you to follow Jack Welch’s principle, which is to ‘follow your gut’. When facing a dilemma of decision, always follow your hunch. You should trust yourself. Remember, a wrong decision is a better decision than no decision.

Then comes the other problem. If you reveal details of the other job offer to someone else, and the employer knows it, can they pursue with some legal action on you, on the ground of breach of confidentiality?

My answer: I do not know legally if they can do it, but the chance is very slim. Further, you have not signed any legal document when dealing with a job offer. And honestly, I am not sure if a company would waste their resources on pursuing this course of action and if they do, that means they are running out of other things to do, or simply they are emotionally unstable.

My next advice is that, when dealing with job offers, make sure it is done discreetly, i.e. only share it with those on the need-to-know basis. Do not make a hu-ha until a final decision is reached.

As far as the salary guide and negotiation is concerned, I have also discussed about some of the salary guides previously, which some of you may have missed them:

1. Negotiating a Job Offer – Should I reveal my salary?

This is actually my response to another of MJ’s writing on whether you should reveal your earnings to the prospective employer when negotiating a job offer. Some of the job candidates are reluctant to share this information, only to find that it will be detrimental to your chance of landing the next dream job. [Full article]

2. How to Negotiate a 2-month Contractual Bonuses

The post is targeted especially towards contract workers/staff, who are normally employed on contractual term, i.e. in this case, yearly contract. As a contract staff, your job security is less compared to a permanent staff, therefore you need to find a way to maximise your take home pay.

A 2-month contractual bonuses may sound a lot especially when you consider a lump sum payment, but if we can ask the employer to consider splitting the payment across the 1 year contract period, you will see that it makes a lot of sense, and surely it is a win-win situation for both the employer and the contract staff. [Full article]

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