Author Topic: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?  (Read 5270 times)

jeromedawg

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Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« on: October 04, 2015, 10:59:47 PM »
Hey guys,

Just wanted to toss the question out there as there is a possibility of it happening...but, how do you guys handle timing and what not regarding multiple job offers?

Let's say I'm currently interviewing somewhere now and happen to get an offer this week but have more upcoming interviews where there could be the possibility of more offers opening up within the same week or the following week(s) after? Obviously, in order of interview/offer received, that respective employer would probably want an answer ASAP no? Or could I say something like "I need 1-2 weeks to think about it?" haha...I'm guessing not :T

Obviously there are a lot of factors and I know a lot of people suggest figuring out where you *want* to work beforehand... I suppose I can only really determine that once I actually talk more with the potential employers, but this could be a case where at least 2 or more of the jobs are desirable I guess.

Any advice? I haven't really been in this type of situation before. That said, I also don't want to jump then gun and get too ahead of myself (as that could lead to major disappointment if the interviews don't go anywhere), but just trying to think ahead and consider the scenarios...

A few notes about the potential jobs:

- Job A is with a well-known financial institution/bank. It is for a 100% telecommute full-time position (as far as I'm aware) and would probably be a mostly horizontal move (maybe to the next technical level) for what I'm doing now. Waiting for a potential call from hiring mgr on this.
- Job B is with a fairly large software company which happens to be my current company (they gave me advanced termination of my current position/role for June of next year... but doesn't prevent me from moving into another role/position with the same group or another in the company). In this case, the position is for a full time entry-level product mgmt position which is a huge shift from what I'm currently in (technical IT/Dev). I think the time-commitment would be bigger. I think the main thing here is just talking with the PMs in the group and showing genuine interest in transitioning to the business-side of things... since I have developed a certain level of rapport with some of those in the PM group and because it's internal, I think it would likely be the 'easiest transition' if they are willing to take me in.
- Job C is with an larger software and retail company. And would be for an advanced technical position in professional services with some sales exposure. It sounds like this would also be a very time-consuming and demanding position but I would guess this one would pay the most too... I also think the interview will be extremely difficult. I just have a phone screen with the recruiter on Tuesday - I wasn't even expecting a response from when I applied for the position (it was literally a shot in the dark).
- Job D is with a smaller local company that does background checks. Seems they are shifting more emphasis on the 'software as a service' model. My friend will be starting there soon after his termination notice at his current place goes into effect. He'll be working directly for the CTO (who was the director he worked for at his current place that's downsizing), and they are looking to revamp and rebuild the IT and dev teams pretty much from the bottom-level. Since it sounds like a very ground-level environment, it also sounds like something that could be pretty time-consuming and demanding. I'm meeting with my friend tomorrow at lunch to discuss things but he reached out to me first asking if I might be interested.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 11:21:30 PM by jplee3 »

mxt0133

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2015, 12:07:15 AM »
There are few standard delay tactics when it comes to negotiations, the most common one is to dig into specifics of the offer.  Such as taking the time to fully examine benefits, and company policies.  This back and forth can easily take a few days even a week or two.  It shows that you are genuinely entertaining their offer.  Another is to negotiate for a higher salary, vacation days, signing bonus, ect.  For example if they actually make you an offer and it doesn't make you immediately sign on the dotted line, you can say that based on the initial offer amount you would like to discuss the position more in detail, discuss future growth, what the next level would be, ect.  This can take a few day with some back and forth and then come back to them that you are looking for such and such based on the position you will be going into.

But one thing to remember in all this is to not try and make it too complicated, you will get into analysis paralysis and possible loose out on a good opportunity.  Always be as honest as you can, just remember that honesty doesn't mean transparency, and tell them that you are also currently interview with other firms and want to make the best decision for you.

Good luck, it's always nice to have options.

MidWestLove

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 06:29:31 AM »
Everything is negotiable depending on the will of the parties- including we 'Must' hear from you by within X minutes or this offer will self disintegrate, no way around it , it is the will of God/HR/company policy/industry regulations/whatever excuse. Ok, if needed, another offer could _always_ be created if there is an interest on both sides.

Typically, the higher level the position is (beyond entry level) the more is degree of freedom. So care less of what they tell you it 'must' be and focus more on what you want out of it - whether it is money, vacation, responsibilities expansion/limit, commitment detail, etc.  Also, nothing is done until it is done, including extended offers (those can and are seen retracted back depending on company needs), as well as generally 'at will' employment at US.

in your list below, you do not say what YOU want but keep writing 'higher level time/energy commitment' (which to me for example at this point in time is a negative).

MidWestLove

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 06:31:22 AM »
or a short answer - the same way I handle any individual job offer. is this something I care to do (logical, emotional review, etc)? if yes, good - moves to "may be" categories. if not, what is flexible here (can it be salvaged or changed to the point of turning into #1 category)? if nothing is salvageable - good luck with your search, I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. and move on to next one.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 09:25:26 AM »
Everything is negotiable depending on the will of the parties- including we 'Must' hear from you by within X minutes or this offer will self disintegrate, no way around it , it is the will of God/HR/company policy/industry regulations/whatever excuse. Ok, if needed, another offer could _always_ be created if there is an interest on both sides.

Typically, the higher level the position is (beyond entry level) the more is degree of freedom. So care less of what they tell you it 'must' be and focus more on what you want out of it - whether it is money, vacation, responsibilities expansion/limit, commitment detail, etc.  Also, nothing is done until it is done, including extended offers (those can and are seen retracted back depending on company needs), as well as generally 'at will' employment at US.

in your list below, you do not say what YOU want but keep writing 'higher level time/energy commitment' (which to me for example at this point in time is a negative).

Thanks! As far as what I want... I just had a kid, so a bigger time and energy commitment towards work would probably be more on the negative side. Of course, I might be willing to 'stretch' a little depending on what the compensation is. But I think that's sort of the natural 'inclination' no?

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 12:11:10 AM »
Had lunch with my friend today regarding Job D and it sounds like it would be a relatively 'easy-in' if I want it; just because the group is revamping and I have a connection. After talking with him, he sounds convinced that I'd fit the role pretty well, and he is pretty much architect/director level at this point but more on the development/engineering side (whereas I'm more on the infosec side of things). It sounds like it could be a really good opportunity for ground-up experience, and so it's unique in that way. Financially, the company (privately-held) is stable with good year-over-year growth. They're looking to drastically expand out their product line and offerings to be a front-runner, rather than playing it conservative and sticking with supporting current and legacy stuff. The potential drawbacks, especially compared to my current job and other places I might be interested in, is that the benefits don't seem like they're as good (e.g. from what I gathered researching on their site and glassdoor, there's no 401k matching and salary is typically under-market for the relative role). It also sounds like it could be super-busy the first year too. Now if they can accommodate the 'golden handcuffs' I have from my current company, that might make things more appealing but well just have to see.

I haven't reached out yet about Job B but that could potentially be another easy-in since I'm already at the company and it would be more of just transition, as I mentioned. Again this would probably require more of my time, energy, stress, and pressure of going a pretty different direction in terms of career path.

I haven't heard back yet on Job A but that seems like it might potentially be the most 'laid back'/least demanding with pretty good benefits. The part about being "laid back" and even receiving an offer is yet TBD, however. And as far as career growth and experience, I'm not sure what the opportunities would be (again, this is yet TBD)

The interview with Job C is tomorrow, and I'm relatively intimidated but should I pass the phone screen I'll just consider it good interview practice at a minimum. The company is pretty high-profile and is an industry-leader, and the position seems to be pretty high-profile and extremely demanding. I spoke about it with a previous coworker who's now working on the team that I'm applying to be on, as well as another friend who works on a different team. Both have indicated constant busyness and long work-hours too. He also told me that the other infosec guys on his team tend to have many years (close to or decades of infosec experience). So you can see what it seems so intimidating and demanding. Work hard play hard, literally...

I did solicited by another recruiter who I initially sort of 'turned-down' by indicating to him that I felt under-qualified for a position he originally reached out to me regarding. He got back to me after a week or two and said in more or less words "I still really think this would be a good fit" which was surprising. Either he's desperate or he really truly believes it, haha. I have my doubts though - it's also a 100% telecommute position with a pretty high profile healthcare company HQed in the midwest. But the title of the position and what is implied within is not something that *entirely* appeals to what I want to do... the role/position is just one facet of what I would want to do in my day-to-day... otherwise, I think I'd get really frustrated (given past experiences...which is why I told him I thought I was under-qualified). I felt weird telling him that, and it's even stranger that he actually replied back and is still trying to convince me to go for it.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 12:16:55 AM by jplee3 »

MidWestLove

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 06:59:55 AM »
"also a 100% telecommute position with a pretty high profile healthcare company HQed in the Midwest"
the one with name like one of the great lakes? if yes, heard good things about it.

As for your comments, you still sound confusing and all over the map - you mentioned lesser commitment as interest and in the same message also talk about career track, which one is more priority _at this time_ ? if in doubt, start bumping up compensation requirements, there is always a wiggle room there (especially if done right and non threatening way during negotiations) and yes, absolutely , pay off of current retention could/should be part of the deal. I have seen some payoffs to be slightly offset/delayed (say 3 or 6 months post start of new job) as this way you get you pay, and company gets to 'test' you before paying off earlier retention agreements to entice you to move.

mozar

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 08:49:24 AM »
To borrow an expression, don't count your chickens before they hatch. I would go full bore on all of the positions until you actually start getting offers, and then decide. I was interviewing for about 8 different jobs this summer, and as I got closer to getting offers, about 4 of them disappeared, just like that. Once you get offers, or contingent offers, you can compare them. If there is one you like more but with worse benefits you can ask them to come up in salary to match your other offers.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 08:54:33 AM »
To borrow an expression, don't count your chickens before they hatch. I would go full bore on all of the positions until you actually start getting offers, and then decide. I was interviewing for about 8 different jobs this summer, and as I got closer to getting offers, about 4 of them disappeared, just like that. Once you get offers, or contingent offers, you can compare them. If there is one you like more but with worse benefits you can ask them to come up in salary to match your other offers.

Yea, I'm trying not to get too ahead of myself... it's easy to when I haven't really been in this type of situation before. Even with the 'easy-in' positions you never know. So we'll just see how things go.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 09:00:30 AM »
"also a 100% telecommute position with a pretty high profile healthcare company HQed in the Midwest"
the one with name like one of the great lakes? if yes, heard good things about it.

As for your comments, you still sound confusing and all over the map - you mentioned lesser commitment as interest and in the same message also talk about career track, which one is more priority _at this time_ ? if in doubt, start bumping up compensation requirements, there is always a wiggle room there (especially if done right and non threatening way during negotiations) and yes, absolutely , pay off of current retention could/should be part of the deal. I have seen some payoffs to be slightly offset/delayed (say 3 or 6 months post start of new job) as this way you get you pay, and company gets to 'test' you before paying off earlier retention agreements to entice you to move.

No, I think it might be a different company.

And I do feel all over the map as you said - all of this hit me out of nowhere, and now the interviews are starting to come in out of nowhere too. I think I'm still sort of in a state of shock from how fast everything has progressed. So yea, I probably just need to slow down a bit and really think about things. I think there are two things and they might be at odds with one another: A) being able to spend quantity and quality time with my family and newborn but also B) having a stable job and career path where I can provide. For B), I just don't want to get into a situation where I pigeonhole myself. I still feel like there could be room to keep growing and moving up like into mgmt or what not. I guess I just don't know what all that entails (e.g. if it entails more time away from my family, then maybe I wouldn't want it then). At the end of the day, I guess the main thing is maintaining whatever my salary is and [hopefully] growing it more over time. Of course, this is not the mindset of FIRE either. So I suppose working hard on passive income streams too, is important. But for career, I've always wanted to be at least above average and striving towards excellence and challenge with whatever I'm doing. I think now that I have a kid, it might be one of those things where I can't have both (time with family and better position w/o sacrifice of time)...or at least, it would be very difficult to find something like that.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 09:18:57 AM »
I've called companies who were considering me and said "Hi- I have an offer from your competitor. Could you please tell me the time frame you will be making a decision in?"  In both cases, I was told "don't take it!" and had an offer in hand within a day. 

But if I only had the interview scheduled, I think I'd just have to evaluate the current offer as if it were my only one. If I decided to take it, I would call the other company and cancel the interview.

MidWestLove

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 11:06:24 AM »
My recommendation would be to take the time to short out internally what you want - if you can not define and describe it , you definitely can not get it. I would also ask for you to think on what 'being above average' means - are you really wanting to judge yourself against some external standards/peers? is someone's approval that important to you? if yes, who is such person(s)?

cloudsail

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 11:28:39 AM »
Usually if you tell the upcoming interviews that you have an offer in hand, they will work with you to speed up the process, like move the interview from next week to tomorrow.

For some reason my job searches have always been "it doesn't rain but it pours" kind of thing.  Like no offers.... nothing.... then multiple offers bunched together.   

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 01:34:33 PM »
Usually if you tell the upcoming interviews that you have an offer in hand, they will work with you to speed up the process, like move the interview from next week to tomorrow.

For some reason my job searches have always been "it doesn't rain but it pours" kind of thing.  Like no offers.... nothing.... then multiple offers bunched together.

That makes sense. Unfortunately, no offers on the table at this point. But Job D seems to be speeding along as far as the interview process goes - seems they want to get started on stuff right away if not ASAP.

The other thing is I'm not sure what I'd do about my parental leave and FMLA if I happen to get offers soon. I haven't even taken any and was hoping to at my current place in December and January. I guess this isn't something to obsess over too much, but it kinda stinks if you think about it... especially because it's our first kid and I could use the [paid] time. Unless whichever company is willing to let me take that time off [paid] as part of negotiations...

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 02:56:10 PM »
Another big factor in play here for negotiation is the bonus payout we get if we stay around at the current place, not to mention 20weeks of severance on top of the stock options, 401k matching, tuition assistance, etc... That seems pretty tough for a smaller private company to match. I'd have to be willing to probably take a pay cut those things factored in if I had to guess.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 03:35:09 PM by jplee3 »

mozar

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2015, 04:29:01 PM »
You made it sound like the severance and bonus weren't guaranteed? And a smaller company can come up in salary to make up for worse benefits.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2015, 05:16:45 PM »
You made it sound like the severance and bonus weren't guaranteed? And a smaller company can come up in salary to make up for worse benefits.

Well, they didn't make us sign anywhere but unless they decide to pull the plug on our division completely before my end date, it would look really bad on them to not pay it out...not to mention facing possible multiple lawsuits. And even if they decide to terminate you earlier for any reason outside their cause, we would still qualify for the bonus (basically, if we finish what we need to sooner than later and the company feels they don't need us, they'll let us go with the bonus payout and severance. I suppose they would probably want this too...)

Guess we'll just have to discuss. Does the saying "cash is king" still come into play here? Even if it would be mostly post-tax and losing out on some pre-tax benefits? Will have to see if they have hsa/hdhp too.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 05:20:54 PM by jplee3 »

JustTrying

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2015, 12:20:50 AM »
In my experience, being honest with potential employers worked well to my advantage in situations like this. If a company has already given you an offer, it's not likely to expire quickly, but you can ask them if it will. For example, "I'm still thinking things over, is there a specific time that you absolutely must know by?" They should be able to give you a clear answer. Then you can tell other companies that you already have an offer, and that will typically make their timelines much faster. For my current job, I had one offer in place and the company that I now work for told me they intended to interview me, but then took their time organizing an interview. I told the recruiter that I had another offer, and she immediately went to work to get me an interview ASAP. At the interview they told me that they'd take some time to consider before giving me an offer, but then since they knew I had another offer on the table, they got me an offer less than 24 hours after the interview.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 01:38:25 PM »
So I just got an offer from the large financial institution for the 100% telecommute position. Of course it was verbal and pending my "definite" interest before they proceed with the paperwork. I had a couple things to 'negotiate' on the table: A) bonus from my current company promised which could parlay into a signing/delayed signing bonus at the new company and B) parental leave time-off from my current company

As far as the time-off, I have two timeframes scheduled (11/30-12/18 and all of January 2016). The recruiter said she'd check with the hiring manager and thinks pushing out past the 12/18 date might be doable but probably not for all of January 2016. Anyway, not showstoppers but certainly things to consider...

I recently had another interview with a cloud gaming division of a larger tech company, which seems like a better career-path opportunity for the experience and type of stuff they're working on. I haven't heard back yet but fired off a couple emails to the recruiter and my old coworker who's there now to find out if they're interested in me and if they plan to make an offer.

In terms of whatever happens with taking an offer, I'm hoping also not to burn bridges with my current company in light of how everything is lining up with parental leave and everything. They're currently going through a transitional phase and I feel like if I just jumped ship without any sort of effective notice, bridges might get burnt...

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 02:27:58 PM »
If I still have questions for the hiring manager who interviewed me in the original interview, but the recruiter is working as the "middle man" to close the offer, is it weird to be direct and email the hiring manager directly with my questions? These are questions along the lines of individual growth in the company, and other logistics about the position itself that the recruiter may not know.

The recruiter is the one who reached out to me directly about the offer. I haven't heard anything directly from the hiring mgr.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 03:25:50 PM »
I went ahead and just emailed my questions directly to the hiring manager. I hope me asking the questions and also considerations for later start date isn't going to make them rescind the offer, since it was a 'verbal offer' - I asked for something in writing but the recruiter was really insistent on me saying that I'll accept the offer before sending me anything. I'm a bit concerned about that now... maybe I jumped the gun there :(

I told company B that I have an offer on the table as well and the recruiter just replied saying she'll check with the hiring manager to see where they are with things. I think my 'gut' preference is to go with company B if I get an offer. But I think they may offer less $$$ and slightly lesser benefits in favor of better 'career-growth' experience and socially neat place to work.

TheDudeReturns

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 10:41:00 PM »
100% telecommute: this is all you need to see. Why are you even thinking about this? If you want to game it, use the offers from the others to boost the offer on this one, but this is the one you want.

You're a developer, right, so why the hell do you want to be chained at any physical location? Do the work in 20 hours a week and consult on the side for the rest of the week. Hell, get 2 telecommute jobs :P

I always have a laugh at people who are worrying about junk like "career progression" and comparing all these "offers" they have when at the end of the day, most places pay roughly the same for a similar position. People jump from plum jobs (stupidly) to a position that pays maybe 10% more but where the work load is 25%+ or more. Get the money + time now.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2015, 12:40:41 AM »
You can tell all these companies that you are interviewing somewhere else.  This will play in your favour for making the timing match your needs, but it will also give you a solid leverage when negotiating.  Hiding that you are considering other places does not buy you anything.

jeromedawg

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Re: Hypothetical - how do you handle multiple potential job offers?
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2015, 03:40:31 PM »
100% telecommute: this is all you need to see. Why are you even thinking about this? If you want to game it, use the offers from the others to boost the offer on this one, but this is the one you want.

You're a developer, right, so why the hell do you want to be chained at any physical location? Do the work in 20 hours a week and consult on the side for the rest of the week. Hell, get 2 telecommute jobs :P

I always have a laugh at people who are worrying about junk like "career progression" and comparing all these "offers" they have when at the end of the day, most places pay roughly the same for a similar position. People jump from plum jobs (stupidly) to a position that pays maybe 10% more but where the work load is 25%+ or more. Get the money + time now.

Haha thanks, I ended up taking the offer. Well, also because it's the only offer on the table. But I was able to get a small signing bonus out of it after telling them about how I'm on a "long-term project and slated for a bonus" (which really is a target termination date w/ a bonus).

I'm not *quite* a developer - on the QA side of the shop. Anyway, telecommuting is a different animal and I've not really done it. I can see how slacking off would be a real temptation though and that concerns me.

My hope is that it's not too crazy demanding and that I'm not more stressed out than I currently am (well, currently I'm not really stressed at all - just plain demotivated)