If you’re a superstar candidate or a top candidate and you’re in the market for a new employment opportunity, then there’s a good chance that you’ll participate in the interview process of more than one organization.
And if you participate in the interview process of more than one organization, then it stands to reason that you might receive more than one offer of employment. Since that’s the case, it’s very important to know what it means to accept an offer.
Let’s examine a fictitious situation, although there is no doubt that such a situation has occurred before. In fact, there’s no doubt that it’s occurred many times.
A candidate interviews for an open position, and the interview goes well. It goes so well that the company extends an offer of employment to the candidate. The candidate accepts the offer.
Typically, there is a two-week period between when the candidate accepts an offer and when that candidate starts at the company as an employee. That’s because the candidate must give a two-week notice to their current employer. So that’s what this candidate does.
Right before the candidate is expected to start employment, the hiring manager of the company that extended the offer gives the candidate a call. They want to check in and touch base before the candidate’s first day of work. To their surprise, the candidate informs the manager that they’ve accepted an offer at another company.
So ultimately, the candidate did not start work at the organization after all. The hiring manager is perplexed, to say the least.
When an organization extends an offer to you, it does NOT mean that you can accept the offer for now until you receive a better offer or until you decide for some other reason that you really don’t want to take the job.
An offer of employment is also not a way for you to gain leverage with your current employer or with another employer with which you’re interviewing. An offer is a serious situation. As such, it should be treated with respect and approached in a professional manner.
It’s very simple. If you accept an offer of employment with an organization, that means you are giving your word that you will leave your current employer and start work with that organization.
It’s not a “maybe I’ll start work” situation or a “there’s a chance I’ll start work” situation. It’s a “I will start work” situation.
If you don’t approach the offer stage in this fashion, then it could come back to bite you. You’re essentially “burning a bridge” with an organization if you accept their offer of employment and then inform them that you’ve changed your mind.
So do NOT accept an offer of employment unless you are 100% sure that you are going to start work for that company.
A search consultant can help coach you through all stages of the interviewing and hiring process. Aligning yourself with an experienced recruiting firm in your field can help you to gain exposure to premium opportunities so you can grow your career.