It’s a job seekers’ market right now, which can mean you may be looking at multiple job offers from companies seeking your talent. This can be really exciting! It can also potentially be very stressful.
Determining the right choice to make goes beyond making a simple pros and cons list when negotiating multiple job offers. It’s important to conduct research around everything each organization is offering and to consult professional peers you feel comfortable confiding in.
Let’s start by noting every factor you should consider when choosing between two or more job offers.
All the factors to consider when negotiating multiple job offers
If you’re looking at two different salaries, it can be enticing to go with the highest sticker salary right away. Salary is just one small part of a larger package you’ll likely be offered and, sometimes, the additional benefits offered could move your total compensation needle.
While salary is important and is often the first number potential employees look at, keep reading – you may find other benefits outweigh a few thousand dollars one way or another.
Other benefits, including medical, paid leave, and other perks.
Tons of other factors go into your full compensation package — this includes your medical, dental, and vision plans, if offered. If not, it’s worth finding out how much extra you’ll be paying per month or year for those services.
Paid leave is another consideration to make. This includes vacation time, sick time, parental leave, and bereavement.
Stock options and retirement plan.
Not all retirement plans are created equal. Do each of your competing companies offer 401K matches? The same goes for stock option plans. Are you able to buy shares? Are you allocated a certain amount of shares upon sign-on? And what will their future worth be or their vesting schedule be during your tenure? If these questions aren’t answered in your offer letter, be sure to get more information ahead of time before negotiating multiple job offers.
Opportunities for growth.
While you’ve likely answered this question in your initial job interviews, it’s critical to learn more about the potential for growth within your role or within the organization. If you’re moving into a brand new role, press them for a potential trajectory. If you’re considering an existing role, understand the hierarchy of roles above you and what you could potentially be promoted to.
There’s no sense in choosing a role that doesn’t have even a remotely defined growth path.
Company culture looks and means different things to different organizations — and culture could potentially be the make-or-break factor in negotiating between two or more offers. While some people crave the familial relationship between coworkers, others prefer clocking in and clocking out while maintaining their freedom.
Is remote work important to you, or would you prefer to be in an office? Do you want on-site perks like free alcohol, games, and lunch stipends?
If the company allows it, try talking with current employees to get a first-hand take on what the company culture is truly like. You’re spending roughly ⅓ of your life working — it’s worth it to ensure it matches your own culture needs.
Tips for negotiating multiple job offers
“When it comes to negotiation, I think there’s this big scary idea about it being aggressive in some way, when it really doesn’t have to be like that. Once there are talks of an offer, make the ask to ensure you get what you deserve,” says App Academy Career Coach Allie Villarreal.
As a job seeker, you have so many resources at your disposal to arm yourself with information in making your decision. Here are just a few of those:
Get written offers from both.
It goes without saying, but you should have formal offers in hand from every company you’re negotiating between. You should also receive a rewritten offer every time you do negotiate parts of that contract. Don’t accept any offer without having it in writing, and ensure that you have the final versions of each as you’re weighing your options.
Determine the salary range for this role ahead of time.
Before you negotiate anything in your compensation package or otherwise — including salary, stock options, even time off — determine what’s standard in your industry or in roles like this. Having this information available and citing it in your negotiation is critical:
“It’s all about making a request and providing some justification in a way. There are so many tools like Indeed, Builtin, salary.com, Glassdoor and more to give job seekers insight as to what market values are and we can use that as data to provide for a reasonable ask and leverage other offers if there are more than one in the pipeline,” notes Villarreal.
Get a deadline from each company.
Companies want to move fast, but you also need to advocate for yourself to have enough time to weigh your options. If a company gives you anything less than 48 hours to make a choice, push back — you’re making a huge decision here! If you have more than one offer on the table, be honest about needing a few days to come to a conclusion.
Remember, though, this exchange is happening between two humans. Be kind, personable, and gracious when letting them know you need time. It’s important to note how the person on the company side responds. They should reply in kind. If they don’t, that could be a telltale sign of how the rest of your tenure at that company would look.
Learn more about elevating your career!
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