Monday, July 28, 2014

How much time can I request to decide on a job offer?

This week we had a candidate receive an offer.  She wanted more time to consider her decision than what was stated in the offer.  Our candidate wanted to know if she could ask for more time.

Some of our clients want an answer 48 hours from extending the offer or the offer expires.   Often candidates don’t feel this is enough time.  

Sometimes candidates are considering multiple opportunities and want to wait for a second offer to compare.

Sometimes candidates are traveling or have family traveling that they need to discuss the decision with.

There is usually a great sense of urgency around an open position with our clients.  It is very typical for 2 to 3 days to be the expected time frame for a decision.

If relocation is not required this should be plenty of time to decide.

If relocation is involved we recommend entering the interview process anticipating an offer and doing much of the deliberation ahead of time.  The interview process usually takes at least a couple of weeks.  This gives you time to do some research:

·         Review the housing market, review the school systems if you are moving children. 

·         Make sure your family and the people the decision will impact are supportive. 

·         Allow an extra day to look at an area during your on-site interview trip. 

·         Do your homework on the company.  Research the health of the business, the culture and their reputation as an employer.

·         Review the cost of living and establish the salary range and title you are open to accepting.

This way when an offer is extended you have already evaluated most of the factors and you have a day or two to make sure you are comfortable now that it is a reality.

If you want more time to compare a competing pending offer, it can be a bit sensitive.  You do not want to offend the company that was first to extend.  I do believe honesty is best.  When our candidates are in this position we ask them to be candid about the fact they are exploring multiple options from the beginning.  Then if we ask for a time extension it is not a complete surprise.  We are honest that the candidate is anticipating an additional offer and wants to compare both opportunities in their entirety to select the one that is the best long term opportunity for them.

We have never had an employer withdraw an offer when a candidate asks for more time.  We have had them say no.  That the original date is firm.  Many of our clients have extended the timeline by a few days.  Depending on when the offer is extended we have seen our clients occasionally allow candidates to consider an offer over the weekend and request a decision Monday morning.

What do you think is adequate time do decide on a job offer?  Have you ever asked for more time?


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