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How to Ask for More Time Before Accepting a Job Offer

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by Sally Horwood

9 months ago

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Sometimes a recruitment process goes quickly and easily, where from go to woe it’s two weeks. Other times, the process can drag on, with several interviews, psych testing and background checks. It’s been six weeks, but you’re still interested and you finally are offered the position. Suddenly, HR or the hiring manager asks for an acceptance of the offer of employment within 24 hours; way sooner than what you’d like, to be able to consider all your options. So how do you ask for more time to decide?

When working with a recruiter, be open and honest. If they’ve been with you the entire process (and it’s been going for a while) they will be motivated to close off the position so they certainly won’t want you to decline because you feel pressured or unsure. Keeping in constant contact and updating them if your situation or expectations change ( during the process),  will enable them to manage the recruitment process effectively and ensure your interests are prioritised. Part of a recruiter’s job is giving you time to decide whether the job is for you, whilst ensuring the hiring manager doesn’t think you’re not interested. Generally speaking, an employer will ask for a fast response but you are entitled to two to three days, to review the contract and discuss the opportunity with your family. When speaking with your recruiter demonstrate your excitement and ask for a specified amount of time to think it all over. Discuss the opportunity with your recruiter and how it fits in with your objectives. Hopefully, you’ve had this conversation before you’ve received a contract but if you need reminding about your original motivators and expectations, ask your recruiter and that’s why they should take notes at your interview!

The recruitment process and receiving an offer of employment can be highly emotional, but it is a business transaction. Being candid with your recruiter will ensure you’re able to negotiate, ensure you receive the offer you’re looking for and maintain working relationships which might be useful in the future.

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