Salary Negotiation: Tug-O-War
What happens when you have to choose between two companies? Can you use them as salary leverage against each other?
Don’t Let it Go to Your Head It is always nice to be desired, and even better to be receiving attention from more than one company. You are affirmed in your interview skills as well as your personal value. Don’t let it go to your head.
If you want to use the multiple offers as a leverage tool, do it in a respectable way. You shouldn’t banter back and forth between the companies, suggesting that money is most important on your list of priorities. The reason they offered you the position is because you showed interest in the goals and structure of their company, don’t offend them by putting them in a bidding war for you.
Weigh the Options I’ve been fortunate to be in the situation of having multiple offers on the table, being able to choose the one that fits me best (notice I didn’t say choose which paid the most). I had to list the pros and cons of each company and the position they were offering. This included the monetary offer, but it wasn’t the deciding factor.
I had been asked to come back to a previous company I had worked for in a different, and higher, position. I LOVED the people I worked with and loved the company’s purpose, but didn’t know if I really wanted to get back into that line of work. The work for the company, while serving a great purpose, was draining and exhausting. At the end of the day, I would be absolutely flat, but inspired in knowing what I was working towards.
The other offer on the table was from a whole new line of work. The company was eager to have me start and was excited about offering me the position. The new work environment was smaller and seemed “less corporate,” meaning the office was a bit more lax in the way it ran. The manager was extremely hands-off and exuded trust that I would be able to find my way quickly in the position. His idea of running an office was “welcome, here’s your desk – get to it.” It excited me that he believed in my quick learning capabilities and I was interested in the challenge.
Playing by the Rules In all fairness, both companies knew I was weighing both options, and I had given each a date when I planned to give them my final answer. The companies contacted me and asked what the other company was offering pay-wise, and upped their offer. Again, I was extremely flattered, but I needed to accept the offer that best fit me.
(I ended up going with the new opportunity…who can resist a challenge?)