First, thank you Manger Tools for the great interview podcasts, especially ones about Skype interviewing.  Very helpful.  Today, after two phone interviews and two group Skype interviews I received an offer for a manager position with a large international sport/TV event.

When HR presented the offer over the phone, it was $10k lower than my stated salary expectations.  I said I would need time to review the whole package and would contact them prior to their deadline.  Later the hiring manager sent out an internal email (forwarded to me) stating I had verbally accepted the offer.

Any suggestions how to handle this?  Do I correct the hiring manager or contact HR?  I want the job, but would like to counter to make it economically viable.


duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

I've seen this before - there's a certain type of manager who believes that if they make the announcement, then most people won't have the guts to publicly rebuke the manager, therefore they will go along with what was announced.

I'm not saying this is the case here, it could be a simple miscommunication between HR and the hiring manager.  Either way, don't feel like you should be pressured into accepting something you haven't accepted.   The actual decision is still under your control.

But let's back up a second.  What you really seem to be asking is: Does this announcement cause me any grief when I go back and ask for more (money) than the offer?

My suggestion: Deal with your response to the offer separate from the email issue.  In fact, the email only becomes an issue if you say no to the offer.

If you insist on more, go ask for it.  What was said publicly does not have any impact on your discussions around the offer.   If you've been dealing with HR on the terms of the offer, continue to.   If HR and the hiring manager had a miscommunication, that's not your problem to sort out.   Whatever might come of that chat, you then make a decision on the offer in front of you.

If you accept the offer, ignore the fact that the manager was a bit overzealous or misinformed.  It isn't worth fighting over.

If you decline the offer, in that instance I WOULD call the manager and tell your side of the story.   First, it makes good sense to contact the manager and explain that you're declining the offer and why you are doing so.  Off the back of that, talk about the email and express surprise that the manager believed you had already accepted when you never gave that indication to HR.

If s/he has been mislead by HR, it is better that he knows about it rather than run around saying you pulled out at the 11th hour.      If the manager knew you hadn't accepted but knowingly sent out a false email, then take comfort in the fact that you're not working for someone who bends the truth like that. 

BariTony's picture

I assume that this is too late to make any difference in your case, but just thought I'd add my 2 cents in case someone was interested for future reference.

I saw a similar situation at the first company I worked for after graduate school. The manager made a verbal offer to a candidate for a position in our group, and the person accepted. There wasn't an email sent out announcing the fact, but the manager to his directs, peers, and supervisor. Then HR made the wrtten offer, reducing the compensation relative to what had been promised verbally. The candidate ended up rejecting the offer. My boss was pretty upset, but the candidate had the decency to call him directly and inform him of why he had made that decision. This company's SOP was that the hiring manager does not see the offer letters that go out from HR. (I think there's a podcast about how to deal with that.) My boss went directly to the HR manager and got a copy of the offer letter in writing. It was definitely not what he had been authorized to offer the candidate over the phone, and HR used the SOP to their advantage. It turns out that an inexperienced HR manager had taken it upon herself to reduce the offer because she didn't think that this candidates compensation was "fair".

My boss eventually thanked the candidate, who had accepted another offer by then, and informed him that had he known about the letter, he would have been able to do something. He also vowed to see each and every offer letter before HR sent them out to candidates in the future.