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I'm currently interviewing with two companies. Somehow I've been able to manage them in parallel pretty well and am at final stages in both of them. Company A has made it sound like they're going to make me an offer this week. I had my final talk with Company B last week and may also get an offer soon but am not sure.

Company A's recruiters (3rd party) have seemed a bit pushy throughout. By "pushy" I mean (what feels to me) very nosy about my other interviewing, determined to know my current salary, and most recently making it seem like I may not be given much time to decide once the offer is made (thus making it difficult for me to see what happens with company B). Two different recruiters have even said that the company views it like "asking someone out on a date," and not wanting you to seem half-hearted about them.

Is this normal? I've tried to explain that there are things I find attractive about both companies but that I really can't make a final decision until the time when/if I get both offers. Honestly I feel pretty uncomfortable about the amount of discussion it seems the recuiters expected me to be okay with having about my thought process and what I'm doing outside of interviewing with them. I expect their salary offer to be pretty good, but based on conversation I'm pretty sure they're expecting me to go for something lower than the range they told me at the beginning of the process after hearing my current salary. I'm sure they won't expect me to give them an answer the moment the offer is made, but I wouldn't be surprised based on what they've said if they expect an answer within a day or two.

What do people here think?

EDIT

To add a bit of concreteness, I would expect 3-5 to be reasonable amount of time to deliberate an offer. So when I ask for opinions one thing I'm specifically wondering is whether that seems reasonable - or, on the other hand, whether it is unreasonable for a company to only give 1-2 days.

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    Independent recruiters don't get paid unless you take the job. Of course they want you to commit and nail down that commission for them. That's their problem, not yours. On the other hand, while you dither someone else may get the job, so don't waste time either. – keshlam Jan 30 '17 at 21:03
  • What ballpark is "much time" here: 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month? I could imagine taking a day as usual whereas if you ask for a month that may be a bit ridiculous if the opening is to be filled ASAP. – JB King Jan 30 '17 at 21:31
  • @JBKing I intend to ask for 3 - 5 days. I've updated the end of the post to improve the concreteness of my question. – sixty4bit Jan 30 '17 at 21:34
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    If it takes someone more than one night to decide on a job offer after having applied and interviewed (barring considerations of moving to a different city), then it probably isn't the right job/offer for them – HorusKol Jan 30 '17 at 21:55
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    Don't associate a 3rd party recruiters behavior with the company. – paparazzo Jan 30 '17 at 22:51
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Pushy recruiters are normal, just ignore it.

A pushy company either means they are in real need of finding an employee urgently, or it means they want to hire you before you realise that there are better offers around. So that's either good or bad for you. But the way you describe it, I see no indication that the company is pushy.

I'd contact the recruiters for A and tell them that when you gave a salary range you meant it, and to get a quick decision you'd want an offer at the higher end of the range. Which is the obvious thing. You don't want offers below that range, and it's obviously the company's choice to make a higher offer and get you, or a lower offer for a chance to get you. You wouldn't take a low offer immediately, that's obvious. You'd wait for something better.

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Company A's recruiters (3rd party) have seemed a bit pushy throughout. By "pushy" I mean (what feels to me) very nosy about my other interviewing, determined to know my current salary, and most recently making it seem like I may not be given much time to decide once the offer is made.

Is this normal?

It is not abnormal - as has been said, outsourced recruiters only get paid if they fill the position: they don't want to lose their commission by having the company move onto another candidate.

Even an in-house recruiter would likely ask those questions - although with less persistence. It is useful to know, particular if you have two or more suitable candidates to offer the job to.

I've tried to explain that there are things I find attractive about both companies but that I really can't make a final decision until the time when/if I get both offers.

Unfortunately, no-one is going to wait that long to consider their options. If they wait a week for you, and then offer it to someone else, then wait another week - that's two weeks they have not filled the position.

Honestly I feel pretty uncomfortable about the amount of discussion it seems the recuiters expected me to be okay with having about my thought process and what I'm doing outside of interviewing with them. I expect their salary offer to be pretty good, but based on conversation I'm pretty sure they're expecting me to go for something lower than the range they told me at the beginning of the process after hearing my current salary.

You should have gone with your instincts - you should not have disclosed anything about the other company, and you certainly should not have disclosed your current salary. The best way to deal with this is to keep repeating:

  • Of course, I am looking at other opportunities, but I am interested in what Company A has to offer.
  • My current salary is only relevant to my current position - I am applying for Position X at Company A and my expectation is $ N,000 which is within the range they advertised.

I'm sure they won't expect me to give them an answer the moment the offer is made, but I wouldn't be surprised based on what they've said if they expect an answer within a day or two.

As mentioned in my comment and above - of course they expect an answer within a day or two. They need to fill the position - there are many reasons for them to fill it sooner rather than later, aside from the obvious recruiter pressure:

  • If it's a new position, then there's work not being done each day they wait for a response
  • If it's a replacement, then the window for handover is shrinking each day they wait for a response

There's also courtesy: if you were to counteroffer, would you expect a response within a day or two?

Anyway - as soon as you get the offer from Company A and the salary matches your expectations (you should have already considered everything about the job by now), contact Company B to say "I have received an offer from somewhere else (no names, and no salary), I would still like to consider Company B, please could you let me know if you will be extending an offer". If Company B doesn't respond within a couple of days, then go with Company A.

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They are pushy because often they're trained that way. Especially the newbies.

Some are trained to work by a script, in which they ask you how your other interviews are going EVERY time you have a conversation. In this scenario, they're actually looking for new leads. It's not you. Newbie recruiters work hard, get paid little, and have extremely high turnover; they may get a little financial reward for being the person who finds new opportunities. Another version of this is them asking for references way early in the process. They're going to use those contacts for "mining".

As for making a decision on your offer - don't fall for the total BS line that you won't have much time. It's no different than watching infomercials and having the announcer say, "Act now!" Of course, the recruiters want you to make a decision in their favor, and the sooner you do, the sooner they can get paid!!!

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Here's how I deal with pushiness from anyone asking me to do things:

I am trying to decide between A and B. (Typically A is giving the asker what they want, in this case that would be accepting the job offer, and B is declining their request, in this case accepting another offer or just staying on the market and seeing what else there is.) I need some time. If you simply must have a decision right now (or by tomorrow or whatever) the only answer you can get that quickly is a no. I will need at least until [whenever] to give you a yes.

Generally the person wants a yes and agrees to wait. If they can't wait, they get a no. This is of course risky for you. But it is generally the truth. If it's now-or-never on accepting their offer, will you go with now? Or never? Me, I would go with never.

  • It depends. If I'm highly confident that I can get $x, but much less confident that I can get $x + 10,000 then the answer to a $x + 10,000 offer would be "yes" for me (unless there's something wrong with that company). $x would be "no". $x + 6000 = hard decision to make. – gnasher729 Jan 30 '17 at 23:37
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I was once in the same position and realized that the pushy company doesn't need to know everything that's happening with the not-so-pushy company. And the other thing I realized is that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

The reality is that companies that are in a position to make hiring decisions in a timely manner are usually better organized and more functional, and companies that are taking their time are either not as organized, or they are considering you as a second (or third) choice.

And here's the dirty truth about job offers - you don't have one until you have one. Technically, you don't have it until you have a starting date, you've passed your background checks, and all your references have been called. So if you can see yourself working for Company A, go all in. If the offer is too small, Do the whole "This is so great and I'm really excited" dance, but say "but I really see myself in $X,000 range, and that's the amount that would make it worth it for me to move" and see what the recruiter says. They might be able to come back to you with a higher offer, and by that time you might have heard back from company B.

It's not unreasonably to ask for two days to think about an offer - it's a huge decision in any case. If they are serious about you, they can give you that much. Five days might be pushing it.

In a worse case scenario, you can turn down an offer after you'd signed an acceptance letter - but you have to be absolutely sure of your decision, because that company and that recruiting will probably never consider you as a candidate after that.

Now for the next pushy recruiter you meet:

You can tell recruiters that you've submitted information to companies B,C, and D, - they only want to know this so that they don't accidentally submit your resume to those same companies. You don't have to tell them how far along you are in the process - just say you've already applied.

You don't have to tell them your current salary but say you're in the range of $X,000-$x,5000 . . . but you think you're worth more than that. A good recruiter will agree with you. They want to make the job switch worth it for you, too, so they'll want you in a position where you'll get a 15% to 20% bump - or more if you're worth that.

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