Singapore’s active jobs market has led to an increase in the number of skilled candidates who are receiving multiple job offers, but while it is every jobseeker’s dream to have options, it can present a difficult decision-making process.

With a little advance planning and thoughtful consideration, you can effectively deal with multiple job offers and end up with the job that will benefit your long-term career.

Candidates with skills that are in demand are receiving multiple job offers across a number of industries, including IT and insurance. Candidates who find themselves in this position are very fortunate but many don’t know how to best handle the offers without risking damage to their relationship with the organisations whose offers they decide to turn down.

The main thing you should avoid doing is to accept an offer, then retract it after you change your mind. Retracting your acceptance will ultimately damage your reputation with the company and affect everyone involved in the recruitment process.

When you accept an offer, it sets in motion a chain of events — the other applicants are notified and the job posting is removed. When you retract at this stage, it is likely that the company has already notified unsuccessful candidates and lost them to other positions elsewhere.

Instead, you should be honest and upfront. Most employers and recruitment agencies will ask you if you are interviewing with other companies.  Feel comfortable in  explaining that you are taking your search very seriously — it is not often that you look for a new role and you want to make sure you explore all options.

When you have more than one offer on the table, you can almost always ask for two working days to consider them. Most companies will accept this and it allows you time to make a fully informed decision. But this is also why many companies are now speeding up their interview processes to secure their preferred candidate before a competitor makes an offer too.

Work with your recruiter to help you choose the right job for your long–term career. As a specialist recruiter, it is Hays’ experience that many employees are no longer moving just for higher salaries alone and are considering roles that offer long-term career paths, more flexibility and new challenges.

So, make sure you accept the job offer that covers most, if not all, of your career criteria.

To help candidates deal with multiple job offers, reach a decision with the following steps:

1. Ask for time to consider your offers. Most employers will allow you time to decide whether the offer is right or not for you.

2. Look at your long-term objectives. Is this a company you want to be working for in five years’ time? Does it provide you with opportunities to advance your career, mobility or benefits compared to those that another company can offer you? Draw up a list of pros and cons for each organisation.

3. Who pays more? A higher salary is always an attractive incentive but it should not be your main motive for choosing one job over the other. The lower-paying role may offer greater challenges or career-advancement potential.

4. Process of elimination. Is there a job you can easily eliminate that doesn’t meet your career objectives?

5. Communicate your intentions. Advise the company that you have chosen that you will be accepting its offer. Let the others know, in a professional manner, that you have chosen to go with another offer but that you were grateful for the opportunity that they offered you.