Congratulations are in order—you’ve received an official job offer! As a job seeker, it’s important to recognize these moments, even if you ultimately decide to move in another direction.
Job searching is stressful. Doing it well requires significant preparation, patience, organization, and confidence. To improve your chances of obtaining a great new job, you’ve likely sent in several applications and landed a handful of interviews. You’ve juggled the job descriptions and interviewers’ names alongside your daily responsibilities. An actual job offer is a testament to your hard work.
However, how do you let other companies know that you have a formal offer? There are many considerations, but first, you have to decide if you’re seriously considering the offer at hand. This decision will help inform your next steps.
No matter where you are in the hiring process with different companies, communication and transparency are key. Let’s walk through the best way to let a company know you have another job offer and integrate a few handy tips.
Actions to Take First When You Have Another Job Offer
- Get the job offer in writing
- Clarify when they’ll need an answer from you
- Reflect on the job offer
Get the Offer in Writing
Before making any type of commitment, get the job offer in writing. Hiring managers may first make an offer verbally, whether in person or on the phone. If you’re genuinely interested in the position, respond with enthusiasm and gratitude, but don’t immediately accept the offer. Request for your prospective employer to provide the offer in writing, including benefits, salary, and expected start date.
Clarify the Timeline
Ask the hiring manager making the official offer about the timeline. Clarify when they require a firm decision. This is important because it informs how soon you need to communicate with your other job prospects and defines your decision-making window. Respect deadlines—dragging your feet only makes you look unprofessional.
Seriously Reflect on the Job Offer
Once you have the offer in writing and understand the timeframe, take a moment to truly reflect on the opportunity. Does the job align with your professional goals? Do the pay and benefits support your personal needs? Make a list of your top priorities, whether salary, flexibility, or work-life balance, and weigh the offer within the context of those priorities.
Second, Remember to Communicate
Be transparent. If you decide to take the offer, you should let the other hiring managers know. Reviewing applications, scheduling interviews, facilitating background checks, and vetting candidates takes time and resources. Don’t string another company along if you don’t intend to pursue their position.
If this is the case, you can simply email the hiring manager, letting them know you’ve decided to accept another job offer. Be concise, courteous, and professional. They don’t need to know the specifics of the offer. Just be clear that they should remove your application from the hiring pool.
If you don’t plan to take the job offer or you’re on the fence, you should still communicate with other prospective employers. There are several advantages to sharing this information:
- Another offer makes you more competitive. You’re clearly a potential asset to that company.
- Knowing that you have an offer may motivate another employer to speed up their hiring process so as not to lose out.
- Another employer could then make a better offer.
You can share your competing offer during the interview or while waiting for another company’s decision. Be confident. There’s no need to dig into the exact details, but be honest about what attracts you to the offer.
At the same time, don’t play mind games. Let the competing company know if you’re actually interested in continuing as a candidate. Be honest about your prospects and motivations.
Next, Use the Offer to Your Advantage
Having a firm offer in your back pocket is a great advantage that may incite a competing offer from another company. This is an ideal position at the negotiating table. Compare the pros and cons of each job. Don’t get distracted by a flashy paycheck. Consider the whole package with special attention to job flexibility and benefits.
Identify a few reasonable asks. Does one job offer pay more? Could the competing offer match that salary? With a confirmed backup option, you have some leverage and can confidently negotiate for a better job offer with another company.
What Not to Do When You Have Another Job Offer
As mentioned above, don’t dilly-dally. Be prompt and clear with your position. Be respectful of deadlines and other people’s time. If you’re not interested in an offer, you can use it as leverage in a negotiation but don’t wait too long to decline the opportunity. Otherwise, you may accidentally damage your professional reputation.
Don’t be flighty or indecisive. Let the opportunity go if you are uncomfortable deciding. Trust your instincts. However, if you have committed an offer, stay firm. Let the other companies know immediately so they can move on to other great candidates.
When deciding on a job offer, don’t underestimate the value of workplace culture. In addition to low pay, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cites a lack of flexibility and feeling disrespected as the main reasons that workers leave their jobs. As you consider your options, consider your potential work environment. Many people will compromise on pay to achieve a more desirable work-life balance.
While the hiring process takes time, companies like to move quickly once they’ve made an offer. Be sure to clarify their expectations and request the time you need to reflect, make a decision, and communicate with other prospective employers accordingly.
Be proud of receiving a job offer, even if you ultimately move in another direction. Having a firm offer will make you feel more confident and give you leverage to negotiate with another company. Just remember to be transparent, prompt, and courteous throughout the process.
Find Your Next Great Opportunity
If you’re looking for a new, exciting job or additional job seeker guidance, connect with the Insight Global team today. You can leverage our job board to find your next great opportunity.