08 Mar 2024

Managing Multiple Executive Job Offers

Managing Multiple Executive Job Offers

C-level executives may receive offers in a few ways. 

  • Other companies try to poach you. 
  • Recruiters present an attractive opportunity. 
  • You want to advance your career, but your current company has no room. 
  • Multiple positions present themselves. 

Every offer has advantages and disadvantages. So, how do you manage multiple executive job offers?

Below, we look at how to manage multiple C-level job offers to get the best results for you. 

  • Evaluating multiple offers 
  • Managing the process and expectations 
  • What contract terms to look for 
  • How to negotiate for the best terms and position yourself for growth 
  • Navigating the process without harming your current position to exit on good terms

How to Evaluate Multiple Job Offers

While it’s flattering to receive multiple offers, how do you determine which offers meet your goals? Look beyond the salary and consider the following criteria. 

  • Do your capabilities align with the requirements? Will the company provide the resources you need for success? 
  • Does the total compensation meet your needs? Consider salary, bonus, benefits, and equity together. Does it stand up to your experience and benchmarks within your industry?
  • Does the job align with your career goals? Do you see bigger teams, deals, and projects on the horizon? 
  • How does the company culture align with your personal beliefs and values? How do you feel about the company and work environment? 
  • Do you have any work-life balance requirements? Consider remote work, travel, flextime, etc. 

Each job offer will meet different criteria. Ask yourself which requirements are the priorities. What is more important to you: growth opportunity or immediate compensation? 

Executive compensation packages are complex because they blend cash, benefits, terms, and equity. Consider how each package meets your priorities and values. Additionally, compare the reputation and prospects of each company. 

multiple c level job offers

Managing the Process & Expectations

When you have multiple C-suite job offers, there is room to negotiate. Knowing that you have alternatives gives you leverage. Then, the question becomes how to manage multiple executive job offers. 

The goal is to get the best deal for employment, compensation, and your career. A good strategy for this is to match your personal needs with the expectations of each employer. Typically, recruiters send lowball offers by asking about your current salary. You can counter this tactic with a few statements.

  • “That number is irrelevant because it won’t make me leave.” 
  • “I am seeking a number in this range, and other companies seem willing to pay that.”

Another way to manage expectations is to expand your focus to include compensation and performance. Entice prospective employers by sharing what you plan to accomplish in the position. Get them to buy into how your compensation package is market value and a good deal for them because you can do more for them. 

During negotiations, approach each company separately with this strategy. The goal is to draw out credible offers that justify your move. After you have multiple offers, you can play your cards. 

“I like your offer but am hesitant to accept it. Another company offered more, but perhaps you can meet that offer.”

Terms to Include in Negotiations

There are some key terms to seek as you manage multiple executive job offers. 

  • Signing bonus: This makes up for what you leave behind and compensates you for the risk you take in the move. 
  • Equity stake: The percentage of your interest in the company varies with age, but it needs to reflect the value you bring. 
  • Position: Clearly define your authority, duty, reporting, locating, support, and other relevant elements of the position. 
  • Compensation: Base salary as well as any cash bonus opportunities tied to performance and goals. 
  • Tax-favored equity: Stock options, RSUs, profit interests, etc, all vary with the age of the company as well as the cap table. Ensure the structure enables you to reach a significant tax benefit. 
  • Severance: Commit to the company but ensure it honors its obligations. Termination or breach can trigger options for a buy-out of your contract. 
negotiate c suite job offers

Negotiating & Positioning for Growth

During negotiations, you may have to give certain things up to position yourself for better growth. Consider an example. 

A company in a nearby city makes an offer. The new company requires a 3-hour commute round trip. They refuse to budge on the salary, say $300,000. Meanwhile, another company in a different state offers $400,000 as a base salary. You want to take this offer but fear how a move may impact your personal life and family. 

So, how do you turn these two offers into an ideal position? 

The first company won’t budge on the base salary but is flexible on time in the office. Instead of a daily commute, they offer 3 days in the office per week and 2 remote days. As part of the terms, the company paid for a satellite office rental closer to you. Additionally, you work in terms that allow you to offer executive consulting that is not a conflict. 

Then, you resume negotiations with the other company. The pitch is that you aren’t ready to relocate to another state. However, you see key areas with room for improvement that you bring value to. You offer remote consulting at $100,000 per year. 

This deal gets the best of both companies, increasing the base compensation to $400,000 and positioning you for future growth. 

Leaving on Good Terms

As you manage multiple executive job offers, remember to focus on your current job. Don’t tip them off about your potential move. Even when you have an enticing offer, keep it secret and require that of the other companies. 

You are at your most appealing when you have a job. Moreover, you can use your current position as leverage when terms are not sufficient. This also leaves open the possibility of a new offer in the future. 

Once you make your decision and negotiate terms, do not give notice until you have a binding offer. If there is a background check or something else in the process, the offer is revocable. 

When you choose to give notice, be reasonable. Make it clear that you have no ill feelings. 

Managing multiple executive job offers is difficult. It’s a good idea to work with an attorney versed in executive representation. They can help you utilize your leverage to attain the best offer possible.

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