Tags: job offers, negotiation, job seekers...

Most people go through the process of applying for a job, attending the various rounds of interviews and assessment centres, and jumping through the numerous hoops required because they are fairly committed to securing that job. But it’s important to remember that a job offer is just that – an offer of employment – and offers can be declined as well as accepted!

Any candidate who goes through all that has been required of them clearly shows a certain level of commitment to the hiring process – but it’s not a done deal by any means. It’s not just the employer with a choice to make – they’ve been holding all the cards so far, but at offer stage these are passed straight on to the future employee that they’ve decided fits the bill.

So, when you’ve ticked all the boxes and received the offer, here are a few things you might want to consider before accepting…

How efficient has the hiring process been?

Of course the length of time it takes from initial interview stage to job offer is entirely dependent on the role you’ve applied for. There’s little benefit in trying to determine a positive or negative from this – however common sense dictates that a company that offers after a cursory 15 minute telephone call possibly hasn’t invested the time and energy required to make sure they are securing the right person for the job. On the flip side, a company that draws the process out for endless months may be demonstrating disorganisation and/or indecision – will you be reporting to the individuals involved in the decision, and if so, is this the type of behaviour you might need to get used to?

Does the offer letter match what was discussed?

Many an offer has been rejected on the grounds of the interviewer painting a rosier picture of the terms & conditions of employment at interview stage. If the offer letter doesn’t live up to your expectations then it is advisable to seek clarification from the HR department sooner rather than later. No point in accepting and then attempting to renegotiate once you’re in the door. It may just be a simple error – and if so it will be one that can easily be rectified before you’ve accepted.

Does what you have seen of the culture ‘fit’ with your expectations?

You can have done all the background research in the world, but now that you’ve actually been on their premises, what did your gut tell you about the working environment of the company? Was the working space up to scratch? Will you sit within a team or have your own office space? Did it have the right ‘vibe’? Did your potential future colleagues seem happy in their work? Did they seem welcoming to the idea of a new recruit? Your interview gave you a great opportunity to get a feeling for the company that no amount of googling or Glassdoor research can tell you.

Is there room to grow?

Now that you have an idea of the structure within your team, is there potential to progress your career? What is your co-worker to management ratio? If the department you’ve been offered a job in seems top-heavy at the moment then there is a good chance that any promotional prospects could be a long time coming. Whether that is a good or bad thing all depends on the speed and trajectory you want to see your career moving in.

Location, Location, Location

Whether this new job involves a complete relocation – uprooting your home and family and moving away from friends – or just a move to a different part of town, this still needs careful consideration. It might not be a deal breaker but your proximity to the High Street will have an impact on popping out for lunch or getting in a quick mid-week shop. Also, how easy will it be to schedule in doctors and dentist appointments? And what implications are there for your childcare arrangements?

So, congratulations for meeting the requirements of your prospective future employer! You’ve had the offer so you’ve clearly ticked all the boxes as far as they are concerned. Now it’s up to you to judge whether they can tick all of your boxes!

For advice on the next step on your career path, speak to Search. We have experience in placing people in over 30 industry sectors and our Consultants can expertly guide you through the hiring process.

For more hints and tips on job searching why not check out the other articles on the Search blog.

Or, click here to see our current vacancies, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.