My question is about staffing firms. If one receives an additional offer besides the one the recruiter was able to get, during the "think about it phase", is it a good idea to tell the recruiter about the other offer? What would be a good tactic to increase the initial offer from the recruiter, in this situation? Would the recruiter dig into the company name and the offer details or probably take the candidates word for it and try to meet them in the middle?

2 Answers 2


Is it a good idea to tell the recruiter about the other offer?

Yes, it is a good idea, but only if you keep it to general terms and don't tell the recruiter the name of their competitor (or give them enough detail to find out).

Why a good idea? It is a great bargaining chip - they are no longer exclusive to you and have more leverage for negotiation (with both offers / companies). You are in a position to compare the offers and ask either company to match certain of the terms of the contract of the other.

Being in demand is a good thing and reflects well on you - for the hiring manager.

Why not give identifying information?

Because not all recruiters have scruples. I have heard of cases where the recruiter actively sabotaged the other offer (that wasn't by them) - it was in their interest to reduce the options to those that will end up giving them a commission.

It doesn't really matter if the recruiter believes you have another offer or not - as far as they are concerned, you are negotiating. That should be enough.

  • Toda for the advice Oded. Can you please explain, what would be a good tactic to negotiate, in this instance? I thought about your offer and and it is very generous but... Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 16:17
  • @AnchovyLegend - Just say that you have another offer for more money/vacation/pingpong table in the office/whatever... Or simply say that you have another offer and ask what the company can do to make you choose them over the other...
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 16:18
  • 2
    @AnchovyLegend - it is not in a recruiter's interests to persuade you to settle for less that you are worth. Their commission is going to be based on your salary or contract rate. Sure, they'd rather you took a job for $50k than have you passed over entirely, but if you're worth $60k, they would definitely rather you got $60k than $50k. It means 20% more commission for them! Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 1:47
  • 1
    Thanks for the reply @Carson6300. Contract to hire positions offer recruiter's one sum of money, that they negotiate directly with the employer for the position, then they negotiate another sum of money with the candidate and basically keep the difference, so they hype you up to the employer and try to get make you feel like your a dime-a-donzen so you'll agree to an average/below average rate, in order to maximize their profits. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 2:20
  • 2
    @AnchovyLegend - interesting. I can only assume that is location-specific, I have never heard of such a thing in this part of the world. For that reason, it's probably good to at least mention a country in questions. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 4:49

The only time I would share this information is to force a company to make an offer when they have been dragging their feet. When doing this I would simply say something to the effect of, "I have an offer I need to either accept or decline by X. I would prefer to work with your client but with out an offer from them I am going to accept the other offer."

Recruiters will generally not get into a bidding war against each other. First it is not good business because in the end most of the time they would be bargaining against a ghost, second it cuts into their bottom line. You can sometimes leverage a single bump from an employer with a I will come to you for X. But I would not share that you have another offer. If they are willing to come up they will. If not then it will not really matter.

If you do share that there is an offer if you are working with a less scrupulous company they could potentially undermine that offer. Until you have accepted and the contract is signed you are not employed. If you have not accepted then they can rescind the offer. You could end up with no offers and two companies that no longer want to do business with you. You are far better served by keeping the existence of offers to yourself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .