Job search: How to handle multiple offers

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“Around June last year, my younger sister, who was working as a sales representative in a bank, got three job offers. One was offering her a paid internship in procurement, a field she pursued at the university, while the other two were offering her a job as a customer service officer,” reveals Eugene Asero, a human resource manager at Boxleo Courier & Fulfilment Services Limited.

“As per my background check, I learned that the company, which was offering the internship would train her and later employ her permanently. But when she consulted my uncle, he told her, ‘In this current generation, we are looking for money, not growth. For me, I would advise you to go for a position where you would be paid, because even that position would give you double the stipend the internship was offering,’” he adds.

So, Mr Asero’s sister chose one of the customer service jobs that promised permanency and higher pay. “Until last December, she was declared redundant, only after working for six months.”

Like Mr Asero’s sister, many employees miss out on the multiple job offers they get because of a few missteps along the way. While salary remains a grey area when comparing job offers, Mr Asero says that a job seeker should check on the benefits that accompany the income.

“Are there any health covers? Do they give bonuses? I have met employees who receive a monthly remuneration of Sh70,000 but the benefits almost equal the salary,” he explains.

Also, consider the location of the job since you do not want almost half of your salary to be covered by transport expenses—fuel or fares.

Mr Asero notes that company culture is another factor to consider when given multiple job offers.

“Does the company have a high rate of employee turnover? If you want to pursue further studies or are wedding will the company support you? In case of promotion do they consider promoting their own or look elsewhere? What about work-life balance? Do you work from 8am to 8pm or is it a healthy shift?”

Additionally, Mr Asero offers that the job seeker should take into consideration individual career goals. “Which offer aligns with your skills advancements, and what role will help you grow your career? Is there training that can boost what you know?”

Clashing timelines

Vanice Olal, human resource manager at Bowip Agencies Limited, mentions that having multiple job offers poses a potential risk of all interviews falling on the same date, but candidates should request a reschedule to a suitable time.

“For instance, I received job offers in a manufacturing and service industry with both of them having the same interview date and reporting date. I would leave the first one at 10am and request the other timings to be shifted. When the job offers came, one came on Friday and Saturday and both wanted me to report on Monday,” she recalls.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Ms Olal requested the reporting date at the manufacturing industry be moved to next week Wednesday.

“I went to the other job and during my orientation, I was given employee files. Upon looking through, I realised employees there did not receive salary increments. I was sure I would not stay there for long on top of it being family-owned,” she says.

Armed with the information and the possible loss of a job after the HR she was stepping in for returns from maternity, Ms Olal rejected the offer.

“Not that they would chase me away when she returns but I would be under her. The other place, however, I was the only HR there so autonomy to make decisions and run the whole department.”

Declining offers

Given that you cannot work for multiple companies simultaneously, Mr Asero advises that after making your decision, it’s crucial to send a letter to the organisations you decide not to join.

“Express your gratitude for them considering you in their company then politely and professionally decline the offer stating your reasons,” he says.

Though some companies will take the rejection personally, Mr Asero offers that disrespect when declining the jobs can ruin one’s reputation in the industry.

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