So today I thought I’d share a story of something that happened at work last week that really pissed off one of our hiring managers.
We offered a candidate a position 2 years ago.
He declined it. He said while it was a respectable offer he couldn’t accept it given his current salary, our offer was too low.
It was, what it was, we couldn’t’ offer anymore, we literally couldn’t (I know this because I know my boss wasn’t budging) + he had already negotiated several thousand on top of the original offer.
So we don’t hear from this guy for a while..
2 years later, the company he ends up working for is shutting down and he’s out of a job.
And whaddya know… he immediately comes crawling back to us, willing and ready to take a lower pay, because in a month he’ll be out of work completely.
(We pay pretty well so I’m not trying to make it sound like he was getting jipped, we have good salaries, but there will always be better ones out there for skilled positions).
Since we already knew him, the team had interviewed him, we were hiring again for Java developers it seemed to work out well, so we made him the same offer we did 2 years ago + an extra week of paid vacation.
He said ok great and he verbally accepted! We were like cool, we’re gonna get this guy after all.
Then AFTER agreeing. He starts to change his mind again.
Oh but can I actually have 5 weeks vacation?
We said no.
Oh but actually I have some other people who want to make me offers so I need to take some time to think about this….
Ok dude, at this point the hiring manager is just getting ‘annoyed’ as he put it. But really I think he was just plain mad. He felt he’d wasted his time again.
So the lessons here:
It’s great to negotiate, but HOW you go about it is so critical!
I totally understand this guy’s position. If he was going to be getting a better offer somewhere else then I get that he might want to weigh his options first before accepting our offer. I would too, I’d encourage you to do the same.
His mistake was saying yes too soon, because then he started going back on his word.
We put an expiry of a week on the offer, but truthfully the feelings around hiring him definitely changed.
So remember when you get an offer, you don’t have to accept it or say yes to anything right there on the spot!
Always sound excited about it! “It looks great! I’m going to take 24 hours to look it over if that’s ok with you?”
That’s completely fine and as long as you sound positive and upbeat you’re entitled to take a reasonable amount of time to think about it!
It’s a big life decision after all…
So that’s the big take away here.
Never feel obligated to commit too soon!
Unless you’re absolutely sure you’re not going to go back on it (or feel like you might want to later)!
Because going back and forth (like this guy did) looks bad and feels bad for all parties involved.
No one blames him for negotiating, but the way he handled it has put a bad taste in people’s mouths.
I hope this acts as a helpful heads-up if you ever find yourself in
a similar situation or know anyone who is.
In Work & Life