I have interviewed with Honeywell, a Fortune 100 company, for a mid to senior level individual contributor position.  They have apparently decided they want to make an offer, but I do not yet have an offer.  From the HR contact, this will string out for several weeks through a "soft" offer stage, before a "conditional" offer is made, and then finally the real thing.  This sounds shady to me.  What do you think?  Any veterans of the Honeywell hiring system?

The soft offer hit the high points: title, location, salary.  Then they asked "what do you think about that?" 

Now the HR generalist is going to hand me off to a few other HR specialists to "discuss" (read, negotiate?) relocation, time off, and other benefits.

Once we get that all tied up in a bow (i.e. my "soft" acceptance) the generalist said they will cut a formal offer letter.  Once I accept the written offer, the real fun begins.

Now the company gets to run a background check on me (references, employment history, education verification, criminal, drug screen).  If they decide they still like me, they will let me know that my acceptance has been accepted (sic!).  The HR generalist told me NOT to give notice before I get my acceptance accepted, so at least the company is honest about that.

But I am interviewing with another company.  At what point am I committed to this company?  My soft acceptance?  Conditional acceptance?  Only when my acceptance has been accepted?

Smacquarrie's picture

I work for the company in question.
Typically what happens is as you laid it out.
They will approach with a soft offer to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Once the fine points are agreed upon, they will make a conditional offer.
This is when they conduct a background check, reference checks, and send you for a UA.
As soon as everything comes back ok, the offer is finalized.
This process can take 1-3 weeks.

The company is a great company to work for. We have a global workforce that is very dynamic and diverse.

I wish you the best with this process and look forward to welcoming you as a coworker.


mattpalmer's picture

I'd say you don't really even have an offer until your acceptance has been accepted, because the final decision power hasn't been handed to you yet.  If they don't want to lose you, they'll want to pull their finger out and get moving to go through the process.  In the meantime, keep interviewing, and if you get another offer, you weigh that against your soft-and-conditional-offer (including the relative certainty of the two offers) and make a decision on that offer.

SemperUbiSubUbi's picture

Thank you for the quick replies!

derosier's picture
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 Mark is fairly clear about what constitutes an offer in the podcasts. The HR people at Honeywell can call it whatever they want, but what you have now is a negotiation process and a fairly bureaucratic one at that. When you have it all done and you have a piece of paper (virtual or hard-copy) in your hand that says how much, where what and when then you have an offer. And you don't owe them anything until you accept what is on that piece of paper.

Continue to interview and if you get an offer from somewhere else first, and you still want to work at Honeywell and the process is still dragging out, be upfront. Tell the HR people you've got an actual offer in hand, and you'd rather work at Honeywell but you have to accept the other offer if you can't get one from them in time. And give them a little time, but make sure they know how much time they have. This assumes you'd actually accept the other offer. You have to do what's right for you. BUT, don't try to play the offers off each other. No: "they offered me $5k more than you, what are you gonna do about it?" crap.


ProcReg's picture


I had a similar situation in 2011: The company gave me a salary number and a piece of paper to sign, but no start date; conditional of course on a drug screen and background check...which took two weeks. (It should've taken much less time).

I started three and a half weeks after the soft offer was made.

This workplace was an unmitigated disaster for me. This was indicative of how I would be treated, and cast aside after six months (along with two others hired at the same time). 

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant to that of private thought." HD Thoreau Walden

mercuryblue's picture
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Tell them you're continuing to interview for another role. Not "negotiating", not "threatening", not looking for something better, just pure matter of fact, so they know your time frames are not unlimited. While I agree with Derosier about tone, from the company side it may be better that they know betore you have an offer, so they know NOW that they need to keep things moving - don't create a panic that they may not be able to accommodate.