How to evaluate a good job offer
Make sure you're getting a good job offer
A good job offer isn't just about the salary; it's about the workplace culture, expectations, and additional benefits too.
Moving from one organisation to another is about more than a basic salary. Compensation is important, but sometimes people are so excited that they’ve received a job offer they forget to factor in other conditions. But it can take more than a decent monthly pay check to make the role on offer the right one, or even the best one. It’s important to factor in all the elements of a good job offer.
Look at the total compensation package and other benefits. It could happen that you think you have a good job offer but there is some minor element which will impact the whole deal. Portia told us “I was excited to receive an offer from a medium-size but growing business. I wanted to be part of the strategic transformation of the company. I asked about career development prospects and the hiring manager made it clear that he didn’t think that they had the budget for the training that I felt I needed. He said I could learn on the job. That was a red flag for me. I wanted to join a company that was willing to invest in its employees. I turned the offer down.”
A good job offer is more than just a salary
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you are familiar with all the benefits that could possibly be included. Salary is only one of them. Make sure you ask about:
• Employee benefits
• Sick pay schemes
• Health insurance
• Pension and retirement plans
• Remote working
• Out of hours contact
• Office hours
• Parking - yes if you have to pay for parking it can take a chunk out of your pay packet
• Training and career development
• Access to a mentor or a coach
• Parenting leave
• Stock options - these can be very attractive in a start-up or growing company
• Onboarding arrangements
• Business travel
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Be thorough in your research before accepting
Many companies or recruiters will want you to commit very quickly. It makes sense because the hiring process will probably have taken many weeks and they want to make rapid progress. Don’t be afraid to let them know you would like a reasonable time period to consider the offer thoughtfully. If you need to, then ask to go back and meet the individuals involved to pose additional questions if you have them. Now is the time to do deeper due diligence and perhaps find people who might have some insider knowledge which isn’t available on line. You should have done your Google work before the interview.
If you have any concerns about any elements, make sure you raise them before you commit. The smallest thing may mean that your goals are not aligned with those of the hiring company. Discuss the options and be clear on what your fall-back position will be and what will be an eventual deal breaker. Most organisations will want a smooth start and will certainly listen to what you have to say.
Candice applied for a role as a Project Manager. The hiring manager made it clear that remote working was not possible. After an offer had been made Candice found that her nanny had a series of medical appointments which meant that she could only work 4 days per week in the office for 6 months. Candice shared her problem with her manager who agreed to one day a week remote working during the nanny's treatment process. Organisations will frequently be flexible for a candidate they want.
It is in everyone's best interests to find a good fit
Sometimes things don’t work out. It is frustrating for any one involved in the process to get “to the altar” only to find that the candidate declines. From the company perspective it is far better to have to relaunch a search than to continue with a job offer and the successful candidate leaves or underperforms because she is not happy.
From the candidate point of view you don't want to be trapped in a job that isn't aligned with your goals. The most important thing is to be polite and respectful and if you can, refer someone in your network. You never know, you maybe interested in another opening in the future.
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