I am completing my honours degree in IT this year and have been for a number of interviews. I turned down Company A's offer to accept a different offer with better growth prospects and salary.

Company A is significantly smaller, and the managing director that interviewed me has e-mailed me to asked which position and salary I accepted instead. I understand that I am under no obligation to respond, but are there any benefits to revealing this information?

  • 2
    I make a habit of asking the same question when a company tells me they went with someone else.
    – robert
    Nov 11 '16 at 10:24
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    I'd be as vague as possible. Something like: "It wasn't really a money thing, the company seemed better suited to my needs. Please know that you were a very close second and it was a tough deliberation." I'd say that even if they were a distant 4th.
    – Pete B.
    Nov 11 '16 at 14:53
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    @PeteB. Do you really want to live in a place where everyone lies to you? If not - why not to tell the truth. Or if you do not want to tell it just ignore the letter or tell sorry am not comfortable sharing this information. Nov 12 '16 at 1:05
  • Can you first check to be sure you didn't sign an NDA that prohibits you sharing that? I'd hate for you to start your new job by betraying your employer's trust.
    – Thomas Cox
    Nov 13 '16 at 20:13

I would not give complete details, but if you liked them you could give them an idea of the current market.

I was strongly recruited by a company I really liked but I had two offers and in the end I turned them down. They were keen to know why, so I gave them a half-hour debrief of their recruiting process, what went well, what could be improved, and told them them the competing offer was about 25% higher. This cost me very little but will help out a good company and also their future recruits, and builds good will with people that I may meet again.

  • Very interesting perspective. I've browsed through similar questions and the general response is always that "it's not the company's business". Perhaps it is because I am new to the job market, but I don't quite understand what the risks are in revealing some information.
    – oddoneout
    Nov 11 '16 at 8:09
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    @oddoneout: this is in opposition to the situation when a company is about to make an offer and wants to know your current compensation or what offers they are competing against, hoping to lowball you. Nov 11 '16 at 8:28

There may be benefits such as

  • Keeping the career opportunity available in future by being compliant in the request,
  • The employer may make a counter-offer

As you stated (correctly), you are under no obligation whatsoever to furnish the employer with the information that he's requested. Doing so would be completely up to you and you'd need to weigh up whether or not it would make sense to you.

An example declination email could be:

I'm still in discussion with the other party and as such would prefer not to mention any details at this point. I do appreciate the opportunity you provided me and wish you and your business all the best.

  • Good answer it leaves it open with the ball in his field to counter offer
    – Kilisi
    Nov 11 '16 at 7:17

I've experienced that there do exist companies that are completely out of date with current market salary, especially for small companies that hire various kind of specialists. I've had to turn down an offer because of this.

It can very well be that company A is aware of the fact that they might need to begin offering higher salary and they might very well simply be curious of what companies are offering someone like you so they can step up their game.

They might simply wish to counter offer, like some have pointed out. Either way I don't see any harm in telling them the difference in terms of % or simply the number that made the gap between the offers, but only if you're comfortable with it.

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