Unemployed individuals still reeling from corporate downsizings may be faced with a new dilemma now that many firms actively are hiring again--which job offer to accept. According to Max Messmer, CEO of Robert Half International, Menlo Park, Calif., and author of 50 Ways to Get Hired, this situation is not unusual for exceptional candidates, regardless of the over-all state of the job market.
He advises professionals to approach career decisions with caution. "The job market is not unlike the real estate market. Home sellers who have several people interested in their house can become overly confident, believing the competition will result in a higher selling price. But often the first people who show up are the most interested, and those sellers who hold out too long are faced with a declining market."
The job market is similar, Messmer maintains. "Companies who respond to a candidate's inquiries right away do so because they are typically the most impressed with the job-seeker's credentials and `fit' within their organization." He points out that those who continually hold out for more lucrative offers may be in for a long wait if the concerns they have applied to stop hiring. "A firm may be working on an `inventory' of positions that have been around for weeks and months. It could be a while before a pool of new positions becomes available again."