That Time I Was Offered a Higher Salary because I Got an Offer from a Competing Company

Jul 27, 2020Career Advancement0 comments

In the Fall of 2019, I received two job offers on the same day. I was ecstatic. My heart was pounding, I couldn’t stop smiling, and my ego was about to burst because I thought I was the greatest person in the world. 

It was 10 a.m in the morning when I received a call from Lila, a recruiter I had been working with, to inform me that I got a job offer as a Customer Support Specialist from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). 

At first, she was congratulating me and telling me how happy she was for me, but then she started pushing me to accept the offer. Here’s a post I wrote about how to deal with pushy recruiters. And not just recruiters. The tips I talk about also apply to hiring managers. 

Now, at this time I was also working with another recruiter (let’s call her Mia) from Aerotek. I was currently in the process of applying for a position as a Document Control Specialist at Baxter. I left Mia a voicemail because she wasn’t available and told her about the offer from RBC and that I’d like to retract my application from Baxter. 

Lo and behold, Mia called me back within five minutes and asked about the job offer and the pay. Then all of sudden, she asked me, “If Baxter were to offer you, say, $25/hr, would you still be interested?”

At this point, I paused.

Now, I liked Mia, don’t get me wrong. She’s been super helpful, understanding, and accommodating the whole time I was working with her. 

All of a sudden, she’s offering a higher salary for me.

At this point, I was stumped. “Um yeah…duh!” I thought. But being the stupid person that I was, I told her, “Um…no I don’t think so.”

Then Mia asked, “Well, I understand if you want to take the other offer. But I just think it will be beneficial to take a look at all the options before making a decision, don’t you think?”

The interesting part was, a few weeks ago I had emailed Mia to see if Baxter would offer more than $18/hour for the Document Control Specialist role, but she told me that the hiring manager would not budge. Now that I have this job offer as leverage, all of a sudden it sounded like Mia was willing to advocate for me.

This was not surprising, to say the least. After all, recruiters receive a commission for successfully placing people into a job. In this blog post, I touch on that point.   

Helpful Tip: When you are applying to multiple jobs, use the first job offer you get as leverage to negotiate a higher salary at the other jobs. This is not new advice, but people still do not do this. 

As someone who is just starting out in her career, I’ve tried negotiating and failed (look forward to this article; it’s coming soon).

As a fledgling, and as many of you still are, we don’t have a strong foundation of networks or connections to utilize in the job search process. But even so, there is still something we can do to negotiate our salaries: using one offer as leverage to negotiate a higher salary from another company. 

In the end, I ended up going to the interview with Baxter, rejecting the offer from RBC, and accepted the offer from my current company, which comes with a full-time employee package + benefits. 

The moral of this story is to use one offer to negotiate for a higher salary at another job.

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