If you’re considering more than one job offer, you’ve already gotten past the hardest part of finding a new role—but that doesn’t mean your job hunt is over yet. Choosing the right company and position can be challenging, particularly given the many factors that should play a part in your final decision. Read on for some key questions to help those lucky workers with more than one offer on their plate.
Perhaps your most obvious consideration should be the salary offers you’ve received from each company. With that said, by the time you’ve reached the offer stage, the salary they offer should not be a complete shock to you if the company has done their due diligence of asking for compensation expectations upfront. But, regardless of whether conversations have taken place, chances are the offers will vary slightly depending on how each company is calibrating the role and responsibilities for the position they have offered you.
Another advantage of having multiple offers is your ability to leverage them against each other. This can be especially valuable if you’re leaning towards the lower-paying position. This won’t always work depending on the company’s circumstances, but it’s worth a shot if the role is preferable. Ultimately, it’s important to set your expectations but be realistic.
In addition to the base salary offers you’ve received, don’t forget to account for stock options as well as bonuses or other incentives.
Stock options can be difficult to value for private companies since they’re not actually worth anything until an exit event occurs—and unfortunately most startups won’t experience one of these events. That said, many startup employees have made off well after their employer goes public or gets acquired, so stock options can be a valuable perk if you believe in what the company is doing. Offer packages will typically indicate a number of shares, so ask the hiring manager for the total number of shares outstanding to calculate the percent ownership of the company you’ve been offered; This is a better indicator of value than the absolute number of shares.
Those in sales roles will typically also receive bonuses or other performance incentives, so don’t forget to account for these when considering various offer packages.
Health insurance, commuting costs, and retirement plans are common added perks used to attract talent, so it’s worth comparing these benefits between companies. If you really want to get granular, research the market value of each of these perks and add that to your cash offers to get a holistic sense of how each package will affect your finances.
For those thinking about starting or growing a family, research the maternity and/or paternity leave policies for the companies you’re comparing. Given the significant cost of adding a new member to the family, a great parental leave policy could be the make or break of whether a salary package makes sense for you.
In addition, research vacation allowances for each company you’re considering. Many established tech companies as well as startups have begun implementing flexible, or even unlimited, vacation policies. If you’re a big traveler or need frequent weekends away, vacation policies could play a significant role in your decision.
This can be a tough question to answer before starting at a new role, but do your best to have frank discussions with the hiring manager for each position you’re considering. While smaller startups can offer unparalleled opportunities to explore new job functions and learn quickly, the flip side is that career progression isn’t always as clear as it might be at a larger company—so think about what your near and longer-term career goals look like, and how the various companies do (or don’t) fit into those goals.
At the end of the day, you’ll be spending most of your days with the rest of the people on your new team, so how whether your personalities mesh is one of the most important factors to consider before accepting a position. Depending on the role and team dynamic, it may even make sense to ask to meet some of the team outside of the office—for example, ask your potential new manager for a coffee chat if you’re questioning whether you’ll enjoy working with him or her.
When it comes down to making a decision, there is no perfect formula for making a decision when you’re fortunate with multiple offers to choose from. It depends on a variety of factors that ultimately you have to prioritize for yourself and the career path you’re looking to be on. The questions above help organize, guide and hopefully lead you to the right decision.
So how do you make sure you’re positioned to land the salary you deserve? Our Salary Negotiation Guide has everything you need.