Construction and building services
What to do if you have multiple construction job offers

What to do if you have multiple construction job offers

So you’ve got more than one job offer from different construction, quantity surveying or structural or civil engineering employers. Congratulations! Find out how to choose between offers and communicate professionally with recruiters, as well as how to decline jobs.
One golden rule is to never accept the job if you believe you will decline the offer later.

Despite the construction industry being highly competitive, recruiters tell TARGETjobs that it isn’t uncommon for the most impressive candidates to receive more than one job offer. Many candidates may worry about how to handle multiple job offers – can you ask for more time? Do you tell recruiters about your situation? Can you negotiate your salary? Take a look at our advice.

Do I tell graduate recruiters that I have multiple job offers?

Companies know that the most desirable applicants are likely to receive multiple job offers, so don’t be afraid to let the recruiters know about your situation. Melissa Hopper, a graduate recruitment manager at Mott MacDonald, says: ‘We ask graduates to be open and honest with us. We want you to make the right decision rather than feeling rushed and potentially making the wrong one.’

Update your potential employers regularly with where you are in your decision-making process. Katy Chadder, an associate emerging talent manager at Skanska UK, says: ‘It’s an important decision you have to make and most employers will understand and respect that. Keep communicating with the employer and let them know a realistic timescale for when you can make you decision by.’ Agree a timeframe and stick to it to avoid losing the job offer.

Can I delay accepting an offer if I’m waiting to hear back from other employers?

If you are waiting to hear if you’ve got a job with another employer, be honest and open with the construction, quantity surveying or civil or structural engineering recruiters. Never accept the job if you believe you will decline the offer later. Adam Phillips, a graduate recruitment lead from AECOM, says: ‘Don’t burn bridges with companies or recruiters. Remember that you may want to work for the company at a later stage, or may end up working with the organisation on a project. Graduate recruiters also often move around companies, so you may come into contact with the person again. You don’t want to damage your professional reputation.’

How do I decide which construction job to accept?

Reflect on what you know about the company; you should be aware of the projects it is working on from the application process. If you have specific questions that you can’t find the answer to, such as the number of people that pass the professional qualifications first time, then ask the recruiter. Speak to family, friends and university alumni who work in the industry. Some construction employers have Inside Buzz surveys on their TARGETjobs employer hubs, where you can find out what graduates think of the company.

Weigh up the pros and cons for each job offer. You should consider a range of factors including:

  • training – how will the employer support you through your professional qualifications? What training do they give on the latest technological developments? Will the company offer ‘soft skills’ training, such presentation and communication, so you can advance your career?
  • location and travel – to what extent will you be required to travel, eg across the UK or abroad?
  • career progression – how did managers get to their current position? Do you want a long-term career with the company?

Although money can be a key influencer, Katy says: ‘It may be tempting for a graduate to focus on salary, multiple discounts and flashy cars they may be entitled to when making a decision between multiple job offers, but our advice is to look beyond monetary rewards. Think about the company’s values and ethics – do they align with your own? And what about work/life balance?’

If you are still finding the decision hard, think about where you felt most comfortable during the application process; fitting in with the team is important to the success of your graduate job.

Can I use multiple job offers to negotiate my salary?

The simple answer is no; you can’t use multiple offers to get a higher salary, at least at large employers with formal graduate schemes. Most graduate employers have a set salary scale, which it will not go outside of, to make sure it is being fair and consistent to all graduates who join its programme.

How do I decline a job offer?

You should email the recruiter to decline the position, unless they have stated previously how they would like to be contacted.

Follow these three rules in your email:

  1. be prompt – the recruiter will need to offer another applicant the position, so let them know as soon as you have made your decision.
  2. be professional – you may be declining a job offer with a particular company now, but you may want to be considered for future opportunities. Thank all the people that were involved in the application process. Make sure you end on good terms.
  3. be brief – keep your letter to the point; don’t list numerous reasons why you are declining the offer. Thank the company for the offer and state you are accepting the job that suits your career objectives, for example.