Posted by Robert Half on 23 May 2016
So you got lucky and received multiple job offers and now need to choose? As enviable as this situation may seem, comparing job offers and deciding among them can be tough. Your career is, after all, a key part of your life and moving to a new job will in many ways define your future.
When you need to compare job offers, here are some questions to ask yourself when determining which professional opportunity will be the right choice.
What matters most to you?
Do not compare job offers solely based on salary. If truly enriching work tops your career agenda, the position that carries the greatest salary offer may not be the best choice – unless, of course, the job content appeals to you as well.
When comparing job offers, take your strengths into consideration. Of your multiple job offers, which would make the best use of your skills and talents? Be honest with yourself about your limitations: An offer that comes with a great salary and an impressive title might be flattering, but you don’t want to be in over your head either.
What’s the total package?
As anyone who has spent time in the workforce knows well, salary is just one part of a complex compensation package. For instance, some companies offer a rich array of employee benefits, while others have leaner ones. Additional leave or flexible working hours can also boost the value of a compensation package. Conversely, if the job you like the most comes with benefits you find lacking or unacceptable, find out if there is any room for salary negotiation.
What’s the company’s culture like, and are you a good fit?
Potential employers will be carefully evaluating whether you’ll fit well into their respective workforces, but more important in comparing job offers is how you feel about each setting. Do some homework and know what you’re getting into before making a decision. Consider your own personality. For example, if you crave order and structure, you might not like working for a freewheeling startup.
Which position has the potential for future growth?
Opportunities such as mentoring and training programs are just as important as salary and benefits, in terms of building a future. For instance, through mentoring you might learn about a wider range of disciplines outside of your primary area of expertise. You could become a business manager in another department, thus using your expertise in a different setting. Learning new skills can also open up new opportunities.
To complicate things more...
What if your current employer decides to make a counteroffer? You weren't prepared to engage in salary negotiation with them, so what might you do?
The evidence suggests you should reject any counteroffer for a variety of reasons. For starters, if you stay in your current workplace, there will likely always be an undercurrent of grumbling that your job search was nothing but a salary negotiation ploy. In addition, it’s unlikely the issues that led you to want to make a move in the first place will change if you accept the counteroffer.
There’s a fine art to both accepting and declining a job offer. Be gracious: One of those hiring managers may approach you in the future about a completely different job. The more doors you keep open, the better your chances of advancing in your career.
This article originally appeared as Good, Better, Best: How to Weigh Multiple Job Offers on the Robert Half Finance & Accounting blog.