Punk Rock HR Question 17: Turning Down An Offer

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Dear Laurie,

Team Building is For Suckers is my new favorite daily read. My escape from the corporate world led me to your second least favorite industry: staffing (“I don’t support staffing agencies…” from your 12/6/07 entry).

It’s gone remarkably well. I work for a reputable company that focuses on Direct Hires and contract-to-hire placement of professionals. You couldn’t pay me enough to do the temp crap!

I was recently recruited by another staffing company for an operations management position. Upside: The job is really tailored to my abilities, it would get me off the recruiting desk, and it would be a challenge. Downside: I don’t know much about their industry, their office does in sales in one month what my office does in one week, and while the pay is a little bit more than my current income, I’m not so sure it’s enough to compensate for the added responsibility.

I’ve met with them three times, all along telling them I was seriously interested in their position – which I truly was. After lengthy conversations with my husband this weekend, I came to the conclusion that I should stay where I am. I work with a great team, I’m treated incredibly well, I can tell my boss to f*ck off and not get fired, and I’ve worked really hard on some key accounts that are really starting to pay off (one which will earn me an additional $18K in commissions in the first half of 2008). I just met with my boss and told him that he needs to promote me to operations manager and he agreed. We’re working out a plan to make this happen.

I received an official offer letter from the other company this morning. As I mentioned, all along I was truly interested in their position. Now that I look back on the whole situation, I was somewhat blindsided by the opportunity. I was not actively looking for a job, but what this offer did was bring to light some of the underlying disatisfaction I have in my current position.

It is a great organization with wonderful management. They have a solid plan for growth in place and I was to be the catalyst to help them realize this goal. How would you turn down the offer?

Thanks for your help.
– Just Another Staffing Schmuck

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Dear Schmuck,

Happy 2008! The answer is easy. You can turn down that offer with a smile and be thankful that you have such an awesome job in such a crappy industry! (Just kidding. I think pharmaceutical reps are more annoying than contingent staffing recruiters!)

You can simply say, “This is a very thoughtful offer, and I appreciate the time. Unfortunately, I have decided to remain with my current employer. I want to thank you for your time and your consideration. If you’re interested, I would be more than happy to recommend very qualified candidates for this role.”

I used this line when I turned down a job at a multi-level marketing company when I did my research (a little late) and learned exactly what a multi-level marketing company is all about. [What a scam, by the way. I highly recommend you buy your laundry detergent from a store, not a right-wing Christian fundamentalist organization.]

Now go get a promotion & a raise.

Love,
Laurie

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