I'm set to join a large company in a couple of weeks. It has been a protracted process - almost 3 months between signing the offer letter and joining the company.

When I accepted the offer I was matched with a team and (as far as I know) they expect me to join them once I'm on-board. Three weeks before I start, a manager from another team at the same company found out, through a mutual acquaintance, that I'd be joining and wants to see if I'd be interested in joining his team instead.

I don't mind speaking to this manager and learning more but I have no intention of joining his team. It doesn't seem right, at the last minute, to ditch a team that has waited nearly 3 months for me, and may have missed out on other good new hires in the meanwhile. What is the most polite way for me to state upfront to this manager that I won't join his team, for the reasons I stated above?

EDIT (in response to comments): The first manager doesn't know about the second manager reaching out to me. The second manager hasn't offered me a role on his team yet - he merely wants to speak with me about the possibility. The second team's role doesn't constitute a separate job offer AFAIK - it'll still be the same title, salary etc. The role I applied and interviewed for was generic - I was matched with a team after completing the interviews.

EDIT2: The second manager texted me - this is outside of the regular process. HR is not aware of this second manager contacting me. HR is managing me through the logistics of finalizing a start date. Team matching was done just prior to finalizing the offer.

EDIT3: The company's standard selection process is a generic skills interview. If that goes well they match you with a team and prepare an offer.

Anyone want to clarify (with a comment perhaps) why this question is "opinion-based"? I'm asking for guidance on how to politely phrase an answer, not what answer I should give.

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    Through what channels are these managers speaking with you? How did the team selection happen? Are you still being "managed" through HR (or a recruiter) or do you have direct contact with these individuals out in the business process? I'm asking because some of these processes sound like things I would normally expect to have happen AFTER your start date, not before. I'm wondering if you can incorporate that in to your response, and/or direct the second manager to whatever official channel you're being managed through (ask him to speak with his own HR people vs you about the change) – dwizum Mar 26 '18 at 16:41
  • @dwizum updated – user85329 Mar 27 '18 at 5:43
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    Could one of the flaggers please clarify how I could make this question not "opinion-based"? – user85329 Mar 27 '18 at 5:44
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    As @dwizum pointed out, the second manager did not even go through the proper channel to ask you to change the team, the best thing you can do is to do/say nothing until you officially join the company. Of course, this is my own opinion. Other people may have very different opinions. Thus, it's opinion-based question. – scaaahu Mar 27 '18 at 7:51
  • Opinion based and/or specific to this company's policy. I still don't know if I understand the whole process this team is using to select a candidate vs place them on a team, maybe it's just me that's confused. – dwizum Mar 27 '18 at 13:03

As the new offer has nothing more to offer to you than what you already took, in addition to the fact that it is extremely infeasible to join the second team at this stage, it would not be rude at all to send a polite email to the second manager notifying him that you are not able to take the job. Send an email thanking him for the offer, but tell him that you already have an obligation to this team that you cannot pass on. It is okay to say no to a job offer, after all, they're not guaranteed that you'll join and they most likely have several other candidates who would love to join that team.

Since you are in no position to leave the team you're about to join, it is okay to pass over the second job offer, but if you were to be in a position where you could join the second job, and your only concern is avoiding coming off as rude to the first team to offer you a position, you should strongly consider the new offer. If you were to join the second team instead and tell your first team that you joined a different one, they will have a list of other candidates that they can hire instead. No big deal. Check out the new offer and strongly consider it, as if you were getting competing offers at the same time. It is in your best interest to take a job with a team that offers more to you, rather than joining a team that expects you but is not offering as much.

  • I agree with the overall sentiment but the time to make decisions about which team to join is just before or after the offer letter is signed. In this case I signed my offer two months ago and this discussion is only coming up now, 2-3 weeks before I'm starting. – user85329 Mar 26 '18 at 16:32
  • @user85329 Awesome, that helps a lot. I'll edit my answer to reflect that. Thanks for editing your question as well; I'm sure if someone needs clarification then your question can be edited to reflect that better. – Kino Mar 26 '18 at 17:22

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