Statistics released recently from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) indicate that the employment market in retail and the wider market is improving. As the market picks up and skill shortages in certain sectors start to appear, candidates may find themselves in a situation where they receive multiple job offers. For many this may be a new experience. So how do you manage this potentially tricky situation? Whilst most people would be envious of your dilemma, this could be one of the most important decisions of your life. So how do you go about making that all important decision and how do you manage the communication with all parties? There are no hard and fast rules but walking this potential tightrope ensuring your integrity remains intact takes some careful consideration.
Below are some tips and considerations to help you make the right decision and ensure you communicate your decision appropriately to those concerned.
MAKING THE DECISION
What criteria should you use to help make your decision?
A multitude of factors are ultimately going to affect your decision and undoubtedly it will be a complex decision to make so the first thing to do is to right down the Pro’s and Cons of the different opportunities. This will make the comparison between the two (or indeed more!) opportunities easier. Some of the considerations you need to make are as follows:
I am often surprised by people’s focus on basic salary. The benefits packages on offer vary dramatically and in total may be worth as much as 50% of the basic salary. The best and easiest way to compare the two is to put together a spreadsheet providing a direct comparison in every area eg. pension contributions, holiday entitlement, single or family private health insurance etc. This must be looked at in totality to draw a full comparison. However as discussed above, the package should only be one element in the decision making process.
To me this is a really important factor in your decision but one that is ultimately very subjective. Most businesses will tell you that they can offer you a fantastic career path with lots of opportunities to progress however you need to ask how realistic this is. Through the interview process you should ask what examples they can give you of people who have joined and then progressed. Of course, progression will be largely down to you and what you deliver but it is still important to understand their views and policies around internal promotion.
Let’s be honest, everyone would love the perfect job on their doorstep but in reality this is rarely the case. However, the length of commute is an important consideration both from a cost point of view but also from a time and work/life balance perspective. This should be weighed up in the context of other elements of the offer.
Culture and Work/life Balance
This is often linked to an individual and their values however company culture plays a big part. What are the expected hours of work, how people focused is the business really? What are their expectations of you? The more you can find out about a company and its culture through research and speaking to people in the business, the easier you can ascertain whether it is going to be the right fit for you. For further information on how to identify a people focused business, click here
In our careers we don’t always get a say about who we work for but as we all know it can make a lot of difference to both our success and our happiness at work. When comparing opportunities consideration should be given to who your prospective line manager will be. You should consider what you are likely to learn from them and how much will they assist you in your development. However, it shouldn’t be the over-riding reason because you may get a new boss in a month’s time.
People you work with
Similarly the people you work with are highly important. Do the people in the company seem like people you could hang out with? Do they seem interested in you and give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? Do you respect their professional backgrounds and accomplishments? Would you feel comfortable being part of their team?
The company’s position in the market.
Sometimes overlooked, but where does the company stand in its market and what sort of reputation does it have? This is of particular importance when you look to move on from the business and further your career elsewhere. Don’t underestimate the effect this will have on your marketability. Equally, the financial stability of the business and its future strategic plans are important as an indication of your own financial security should you join.
Seeking the counsel of others
I would always be sparing with your discussions with others (particularly current colleagues), however if you have a trusted confidant it can be very beneficial to gain an alternative perspective. They are likely to provide an impartial view without the personal attachment you may have developed.
Use your instinct
Weighing up two very similar opportunities is difficult and sometimes it will come down to listening to your instinct. If, after given the above consideration, there is genuinely very little to choose between them it may be a case of going for which one feels right or indeed turning down the one that doesn’t feel right. Sometimes it can be difficult to pin point just what it is however sometimes you need to be brave and go with your gut.
COMMUNICATING YOUR THOUGHTS AND DECISION
Deciding between two offers is one thing – managing the timescales and communication around them can be equally complex. Honesty is very important particularly when asked direct questions by recruiters or the company directly. Playing any sort of game is an extremely risky strategy as it could result in you jeopardising one or both of your offers. Whilst your objective is to get the right result for you, this needs to be done in a way that does not leave people feeling mislead. After all, you may turn a business down now for a variety of reasons but that doesn’t mean you may not want to consider them as an employer in the future. If, during the recruitment process, you are asked about other roles and offers, be honest but generic. It is generally considered poor form to get into specifics at that stage unless asked very directly. There is no harm saying you are interviewing elsewhere but that you would love to work at their company. If you need more time then ask for it – if companies genuinely believe you are the right person they should be prepared to give you a little time to make the right decision. It is important that in no way do you create the impression that you are playing one company off against the other. Instead, try to position it in a pragmatic and practical way, justifying your rationale and your reason.
When you have made your decision, ensure that you turn down the other offer in a professional way. A telephone call followed up by an email to the Recruiter and the person who interviewed you thanking them for their time and for their interest in you is a good way to leave a positive impression.
It will never be an easy situation to manage but just be very mindful as to how your actions are landing with your future prospective employers. It is a very small world and it is wise to avoid burning bridges as you never know when your paths may cross in the future.
Finally, having made your decision and resigned, be aware that you may receive a counter offer from your current employer. For advice about counter offers, click here and For advice about how to handle your resignation, click here
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