As a specialist Quantity Surveying recruiter based in the UK, I'm working in a market where there is a serious skills shortage of good Quantity Surveyors in the market. Therefore it's becoming an increasingly common scenario for candidates to be talking with up to 4 or 5 companies when considering their next career move.
You might be thinking lucky them. After all, some people struggle for any work. However being in such demand does create its own problems and getting your desired outcome whilst keeping all parties happy can prove difficult. It's not all fun and games.
The best outcome we can hope for from having multiple job offers is that we get the best offer from the preferred employers and reject all other offers amicably and professionally without burning any bridges.
Below, I'll briefly explore a couple of important issues to consider from my years of experience dealing with such scenario's:
1. Communication is Key
It's easier said than done. In the worst case scenario candidates can be working with 4 or 5 employers, potentially being represented by multiple Recruitment Consultants. That's a lot of people to keep informed of goings on.
However difficult it is important that you try to keep lines of communication open with all interested parties and inform them of significant developments and your intentions.
There are more don'ts than specific do's when it comes to communicating. The absolute worst thing candidates can do in this scenario is to go AWOL and stop answering calls and emails. This approach can lead to frustration and can negatively impact your reputation.
Another thing to avoid is misleading people. It's never easy to let people down, however if you're upfront and honest with people, you maintain your professionalism and people's respect even if you're telling them something they do not want to hear.
If you act with honesty and integrity throughout the process then you shouldn't go too far wrong.
2. Don't Create an Auction for your Services
Most employers do not respond well to this way of trying to negotiate. In my experience, it often occurs when a candidate's primary focus is money and they have very little interest in any other aspects of a job offer such as the standard of employer, type of work they do or chances for progression etc.
If you're deliberating over which offer to accept, it's often because your preferred employer has not offered you the best package and you are weighing up whether it is best to accept the best package or join your preferred employers for a lesser salary. In this scenario, I would suggest you do the following:
- Rank offers from most preferred to least preferred
- Dismiss any offers from companies you have no interest in joining
- Decide who your preferred employer is
- Speak to your preferred employer - explain that you have a higher offer to join someone else, but you would prefer to join them. Could they match the offer to secure your services?
There's a couple of key points here. Firstly, if you're going to seek the higher offer I feel it's critical to give the employer your 100% commitment that you will accept that figure if offered and that you will not entertain any counter offers either from your current employer or your any of the other interested parties.
Secondly, it's not uncommon for the preferred employer to increase their offer but not quite match what you have asked for. Therefore it's worth pre-empting this and having a minimum figure that you would accept joining the preferred employer for.
To conclude this, promptly accept / decline all offers when making a decision.
You're in a very strong position if you have multiple job offers, but do not abuse that strength by messing potential employers around. Construction is a huge industry, but can seem incredibly small when you're looking for work and encountering the same employers and hiring managers every time you're looking for work. You do not want to unnecessarily burn bridges.
Senior Recruitment Consultant