How to Tell a Recruiter You Have Another Offer?

How to Tell a Recruiter You Have Another Offer?

How to Tell a Recruiter You Have Another Offer?

You’ve made it to the final rounds of interviews for a role you’re excited about. The recruiter checks in for an update and you have news – another company has extended an offer. You have options and decisions ahead. How should you approach this situation?

Notifying your recruiter promptly shows professionalism and allows them to act quickly if they want to expedite their client’s interview process. With transparency and effective communication, you can make the best choice while maintaining positive relationships. This article covers best practices when telling your recruiter about an offer.

Set Expectations Upfront

Ideally, you would tell the recruiter early in the interview process that you are exploring multiple opportunities. This allows them to adjust their timeline and act accordingly if you are a top candidate.

Phrases like “I want to be upfront that I am interviewing elsewhere, but I’m very interested in your role based on our discussions” open the conversation. The recruiter may ask where else you are interviewing and at what stages. This helps them understand their competition and where you’re at in the process.

Setting expectations also prevents surprises down the road. The recruiter knows you’re fielding different offers and can prompt hiring managers that a speedy decision or flexibility on compensation may be required.

Provide the Offer Details

When you receive the offer letter, notify your recruiter promptly, especially if there is an expiration date for accepting it. Provide details like:

  • Title, company, location
  • Salary and benefits package
  • Start date
  • Deadline for responding

Giving the specifics allows the recruiter to assess if they can match or beat the terms. They may need to get a sign-off from upper management for a counteroffer. The more time they have to make that case before your deadline, the better.

Provide the Offer Details

Tip: If the offer in hand is your second choice, avoid naming the company initially. Say “I received an offer from another firm” and allow your preferred company to make the first move before revealing who extended it.

Schedule Next Steps

Once the recruiter knows about your offer, discuss the next steps for their hiring process. Key questions:

  • What is the timeline for interviews and decisions?
  • Is there any way to accelerate the process?
  • When could I expect to receive an offer letter from your company?

This gives the recruiter insight into how long they have to influence the decision process on their end. Maybe additional hiring manager interviews can occur right away. Perhaps the recruiter can petition for an expedited approval cycle to get your offer out faster.

By projecting confidence that you are a strong candidate worth accelerating, you make their job easier for fast-tracking you.

Also Check: How to Start a Recruiting Agency

Weigh Your Options

Most companies will give you at least a few days (sometimes a week) to consider an offer letter. This is where your recruiter can serve as a guide while you assess and compare opportunities.

Key considerations include:

  • Total compensation: Review salary, equity offerings, bonuses, and benefits closely across offers. Compare the concrete numbers.
  • Growth potential: Assess if this role and company will allow you to learn valuable skills and advance your career over time.
  • Work culture: Determine which opportunity best aligns with what you value – from company mission, leadership philosophy, work environments, and team dynamics.
  • Commute/lifestyle: Don’t underestimate lifestyle factors – a shorter commute can impact happiness in a role over time.
  • Gut feeling: Go with the opportunity that genuinely excites you and allows you to envision yourself thriving and growing there.

Your recruiter can offer additional context to inform these areas. Don’t hesitate to discuss your thinking with them as you decide.

Decline and Accept Offers with Grace

Ideally, your recruiter will have helped progress their company’s offer quickly once notified of your timeline. If their process is completed too late or compensation can’t match another offer, politely decline while keeping the door open.

Recruiter You Have Another Offer

Phrases like “I sincerely appreciate all the time you invested into my candidacy. This was a very difficult decision – Company B offered me a role more closely tailored to my skills, but I was incredibly impressed by your team” go a long way.

If you accept their offer, notify the other company promptly as well. Thank them for their consideration and provide any context needed on why you ultimately could not accept. This maintains your professional reputation.

Throughout the process, frequent and transparent communication allows everyone to put their best foot forward. By informing your recruiter early about competing offers, you empower them to act in your best interest.


Navigating multiple offers while maintaining positive relationships with recruiters comes down to frequent, candid discussions. By establishing an open line of communication from the start, you empower the recruiter to advocate for you, while evaluating choices aligned with your career goals.