If you’re looking for advice on how to tell a company that you have another offer, this article is for you.
As a former recruiter, I’m going to share:
Let’s get started…
The first step before you tell a company that you have another job offer is to decide whether you’re still interested in the company.
You see, you can simply tell a company you accepted another offer, which means you’re ending their interview process (though, potentially leaving the door open in the future).
However, you can also do a lot more when you tell an employer about a competing offer…
Assuming you’re still interested in this employer, too, you can mention a job offer as a way to encourage a company to make their offer faster.
One of the best ways to speed up an interview process is to tell the potential employer that you’ve already got an offer in hand, because they’ll be worried about “losing” you if they don’t move quickly enough.
You can also use your first job offer as a negotiation tool in your job search.
Letting an interviewer know that you have an offer elsewhere can help you get a higher salary in your second offer.
If Company A is your first choice but offered you less money than Company B, you can mention to Company A that another firm offered a higher amount, and then ask the hiring manager at Company A if they can match this.
It’s always better to have multiple job offers when it comes to securing a higher salary, since you’ll have more confidence and leverage to negotiate with.
Coming up, we’ll look at how to handle the scenarios above with exact word-for-word email examples.
If you received a job offer but are still involved in a hiring process with another company that excites you, then you can mention your first job offer to potentially move faster through this other interview process.
When you receive an offer from one company, tell the other company immediately.
Competing job offers will encourage hiring managers to accelerate their process and schedule your interviews faster, or combine/condense steps so you can move through the job offer process more quickly.
Not every potential employer will be able to accommodate you and speed up the process enough when you mention competing job offers, but it’s smart to give them the opportunity.
Maybe this potential employer is really excited about you as a candidate and will do practically anything to nab you. You won’t know if you don’t tell the hiring manager about your other offer(s).
So here is the email and phone script you can use to tell a company that interests you about Company B’s offer:
Hello <Hiring manager name>,
I wanted to update you quickly, as I’ve received a job offer from another potential employer in the industry.
Your firm and position still interest me greatly and I’d love to get to a hiring decision with you as well.
However, I’ll likely need to provide a final decision to the other employer on <Date>, so I wanted to provide this update and discuss whether we’ll be able to complete my remaining interviews within this timeframe.
Please let me know your thoughts, and I look forward to continuing to discuss the opportunity with you.
If you have multiple job offers and one role is best, but another role pays more, don’t make a final decision yet.
You may be able to convince the second hiring manager to match your higher job offer, so that you can start the new job you want with the best pay possible.
First, I recommend asking for time to consider any job offer.
Don’t accept a job offer on the spot without carefully considering it and planning your response.
Make sure you have no questions so that you can make an informed decision, too.
After reviewing the offer, when you respond, you want to express gratitude for the offer, and then politely inform the employer that you’ve been offered a higher salary for another position.
Then ask if they’re willing to match it or boost their offer at all.
Here’s a general script/email template you can use to tell a company about a higher-paying job offer that you’ve received, as you respond to their job offer:
Hello <Hiring manager name>,
Thank you so much for offering me the <Job title> position. The opportunity sounds fantastic.
After reviewing the offer, I do have a question for you:
I’ve received a written offer from another firm for a similar role here in <City>, which pays a salary of <Salary amount>.
I’m more excited about joining your company and team, but I wanted to ask if you have any flexibility in your budget to match this other written offer I’ve received.
If so, I’m comfortable accepting your offer right now.
If you use this template/strategy, just be ready for the hiring manager to “push back” a bit or point out other strong points in their offer besides salary.
For example, if you tell a potential employer that the base salary in an offer from Company B is $5,000 more, the hiring manager could respond and say, “Yes, but our company offers the best health insurance in the industry plus more benefits.”
Also note that this template works best if your other existing offer is for a similar role.
If you’ve got a job offer for $100K for a software sales position but the second job you’re considering is an office assistant role, they most likely aren’t going to match the first offer.
Not every hiring manager will have the budget to increase their offer, so be prepared with what you’re going to do if they can’t match the other offer.
Sometimes it makes sense to accept a lower-paying job. For example, if you’re going to be in a more promising company, learning more interesting skills, etc.
But decide what salary you’re willing to accept before making this job offer request, so that you’re not making a tough decision on the phone.
You can also send companies the script above via email, which removes the need to make quick, tough decisions on the phone!
Telling an interviewer that you have another job offer shows that you’re in demand, which will make potential employers more interested.
However, if you’re having a first interview with a potential employer, sharing that you’ve already got job offers could cause concern for some hiring managers.
They’ll be wondering if you truly have time to consider this job opportunity since another company is already waiting on your decision about an offer.
At this point, they’re not even sure you’re the right candidate, and it already sounds like you may be accepting another position.
So if you’re interviewing for multiple job opportunities, be strategic about if and when to mention other offers.
We already looked at some strategic reasons you might want to share this info, such as:
However, if you can’t see any strategic reason to mention your other offers or the fact that you’re being considered for multiple jobs, then it may be best to simply proceed with your other interviews as normal and not mention your other offers.
If other employers need to know this info, they can ask.
For example, most recruiters are trained to ask, “How is your job search going so far, and are you nearing the point of receiving any job offers for any other position?”
This isn’t a trick question. It’s simply them trying to understand the general status of your job search so they can anticipate the timing and scheduling.
It’s a good idea to tell a company you have another job offer if:
In all of the above scenarios, choose whether you feel more comfortable with a phone call or email, and then be clear and direct when talking to the hiring manager.
So clear and professional communication boosts your chances of getting a positive response to any requests you make, and also helps you keep the door open with an employer if you accept another offer.
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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