Signals You Should Turn Down an Offer and Not Negotiate |

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Nick Corcodillos relays a story of someone who turned down an offer and then offers signals for what to look out for that apply both and particularly when you are recruited by a firm and even when an active job hunter.

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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and when should you turn down an offer, and not even negotiate? I'll give you some signals. But it started off . . . I picked up an article from a guy named Nick Corcodilos, who I subscribed to. His column is called, "Ask The Headhunter." And he starts off by relaying a story of some someone who turned down an offer and didn't want to negotiate. The man was recruited by a firm in in the Bay Area, and is "a quality employer." But, in being recruited, he had six rounds of interviews, was grilled with questions, but nobody took the time to explain what the job is like and did not even ask if he had any questions.
Lots of questions did not make sense like why I'm leaving my employer (After all, he was contacted by the firm), where he sees himself in five years (they couldn't even tell me where they could see the company in six months). The hiring process was too long and too disorganized. The offer took too long. The interviewers did not compare notes between because during the six rounds of interviews, they're asking the same questions. They couldn't even . . . they should not look like an interrogation. They also look tired and stressed. You know, that's part of it.
And, when you think about being recruited, you want to be in a situation where you feel like they're rolling out the red carpet for you, Nick writes. Theyhen he goes into six signals that really tell you. Number one is it shouldn't take six interviews to assess you. Two, maybe three. Andemployees needs to have more than no idea in order to screw it up that badly.
But, he writes, an employer that needs more than two or three really doesn't know how to assess people. I think that's a good benchmark.
A company should not interrogate you. It should be revealing, first, to prove that there's a wonderful desirable opportunity in there for you. I'll just simply say, as he does, if this idea seems foreign to you, you're either brainwashed or you work in HR. Seriously. What you should, as an employer, be doing is be open when you're recruiting someone. I'm not talking about agency. Agency will tend to do that. But you know, as an employer, if you're out there recruiting someone, you need to think in terms of what you can reveal to them to be interesting. After all, they're not out looking for a job. They were reached out to by you and they're willing to consider one.
The interviewer should not test your motivations. They should justify theirs' to you. Excellent point. An interview process should be a carefully tailored production, a compelling pitch, designed to impress you favorably. You know, seriously, this is absolutely true. If you're reaching out to someone, if you're if you're being wooed by an organization, do you want them to be standoffish or do you want them to be trying to woo you?
An employer should make an offer almost immediately after interviews are done because hesitation reveals, without a doubt, reveals questionable judgment. These interviewed meetings are the employer's show and they control everything in the way of information flow. As such, you need to put them in the position and you need to consider turning down an offer where they've tried to reverse it and put you through an inquisition.
I'm not saying they shouldn't evaluate and assess you; by all means, they should. But once they've done that, they should really be clear as be sure as to whether or not you're a suitable fit for the role and be prepared to act on that.
Again, the reality is that for a lot of firms, they are fake recruiting, they are fake contacting you, because they don't really know anything about you. They found you on LinkedIn. And, even so, even if they just found you on LinkedIn, even if they went through their old database of notes, and they're reaching out to you about a job, they need to be selling you. You can be "dated," as you will, and it does feel like a date,, right.
So, I hope you found this helpful. Consider not wasting your time in a lot of these situations. I'll also say, in contrast, that with someone else I'm working with now who I'm coaching, successful career in finance, was approached by a search firm about one job in his town, another one, not too far away. And, I'll use the one in his town where they initially made an offer better than a 1/4 million
Even then between base and bonus, he was in a situation and retirement benefits, it wasn't quite adequate. So what they did was give him a signing bonus to compensate for some of the money he left on the table. They were flexible and generous. They were open; they sold to him. They made themselves available quickly. They created a great impression. They made decisions quickly; they didn't drag out the process. This is what you should be looking for in situations where you're recruited by an organization that has a tight timeline.
This is what you should be experiencing when you're being recruited by an organization that really believes that you're the solution a need. You shouldn't be going through one of these grand inquisitions by people who don't communicate to one another, because it just demonstrates the chaotic nature of the organization.
Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. If you're interested in my coaching you, connect with me on LinkedIn at Once connected, message me that you're interested in coaching. We'll set up time for free discovery call. Also want to mention that I've got a ton of great information on my website, connect with me. Visit the website which is Go exploring in the blog. There's just a ton there.
Hope you have a great day and take care!


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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2 Responses
  1. Maurice Levie

    Disagree on the number of contacts (every interaction is an interview or a request thereof). You should be contacted by the agency, it should do an initial screening or an initial one mated with a SME on staff asking relevant questions. With the number of resume falsifications going up (a colleague of mine found his resume with the name switched, but with the original phone number) this is a must for the search firm not to lose credibility. The target company typically will have at least 3 interviews, one with the manager or management, one with several team members by phone, and then a longer interview on site. No company should toss due diligence overboard to ‘save time’, nor should a candidate assume that overlap between questions indicates some sort of poor coordination. Management and potential coworkers ask the same question at a completely different level- where you see yourself in 5 years from a +1 or +2 indicates room for promotion, whereas for a peer it indicates whether you’re serious about your trade. As to startup companies, assume they are inundated with candidates, have a heavy workload, and little time to train new hires. Alas, this leads to hiring being reduced to Talent show knockout rounds, and I would bow out unless you enjoy that lifestyle.

    1. Jeff Altman

      As a reminder, this is someone recruited by a firm, not an active applicant. The process can be streamlined under such circumstances.