When you get the Job Offer

So, whats next when you get offered the Job?

Thump! The post has arrived. You open your letter and YES, you have been offered the job! However, it might be that you have decided that you don’t want this job after all and that you couldn’t stand the interviewer or the company. If that is the case then you should let the employer know politely and as soon as possible; after all there may be someone out there that really does want the job. 

Turn them down in a professional manner. It is always prudent to remember that you never know when, or if, you and your interviewer’s paths might cross again. The last thing you want is to find you’ve happily settled into your new job and six months down the line your new manager happens to be the interviewer who has now joined your company! A lot happens in industry. Takeovers, mergers, reverse takeovers, you name it, and most industries are very incestuous. So it’s not a good idea to tell them to shove their job “where the sun don’t shine” or anything else along these lines. If you have changed your mind and don’t fancy the job anymore just decline it professionally.

The problem you may have is if you have applied for several jobs and attended several interviews and then you get offered one, it may not be your preferred choice. It could be that you are still waiting for an answer from another company, which is the job you would really like, but have not yet had a reply from them. You don’t want to accept the first job and then find out a couple of days later that you’ve been offered the second one. It would be a disaster. Well, there’s a couple of ways you can play this. 

The first thing you need to do in this position would be to try and create yourself some breathing space; buy a bit of time. You could contact the employer and say to them that you’re really pleased that they have chosen to offer you the job but you’d just like a day to make your mind up for certain or discuss it with your partner. After all changing jobs is a big decision; one that you are not going to make lightly. This isn’t an unreasonable request and as long as you keep the time extension short they won’t think anything of it. However if you start asking for a week to think about it then your potential new employer is going to start getting suspicious and you could be risking the offer. Don’t forget they’ve been around the block a few times and know their job. No one wants to play second fiddle and if they think you’re looking for a better offer with another company, you could blow your chances once and for all.

Now you really are in the driving seat! 

You have a job offer on the table for a job that you really wouldn’t mind doing at all because you know you could do it well. You have little to lose providing you play your cards right. So what do you do next? A good idea would be to contact the company whose decision you are waiting on and explain the situation. Chances are they will be glad to hear that they are your first choice and it always looks good if other organisations want to employ you. However it’s fairly unlikely that they will give you an answer there and then. It may be that they will get back to you the following day with their decision. It really doesn’t matter if it’s no, because all of your doors are still open. It isn’t a good idea to play this game if you haven’t been offered another job, although it may seem tempting, because the end result could be disastrous. You don’t want to lose the chances of getting this job by being overzealous. 

Negotiating Your Salary & Benefits Package:

Now comes the really important part. It’s always wise to leave discussing salary and any benefits package until you’ve been offered the job. The reason being, once your future employer has decided that you’re the employee for them, you are in a better position to negotiate a mutually acceptable deal. This is not just about money and benefits. It’s about your whole contract which includes salary, benefits, holiday entitlement, and working hours plus any extras you might be expecting. By negotiating it will give the perception that you know what you are actually worth. This might not be exactly what your employer wants to offer, on the basis that you are asking for more than they really want to pay, but it will show that you have good negotiating qualities, a strong personality and good negotiation skills. This will have a good bearing should you be entering a sales orientated role. It’s a good quality to have. However, there is little point in trying to squeeze them like a lemon with unrealistic sums. At the end of the day they can only pay you what they can afford and you might end up losing the job at the last minute; something you won’t want to do due to greed. 

So the big question here is how are you going to determine how much they value you and what are they willing to pay you? Well in all honesty it’s no good just plucking a figure out of the air. When you applied for the position the chances are that there would have been an indication of the salary on offer, whether that was a “Salary In The Region Of X” or “Basic Salary In The Region Of X With On Target Earnings Of X” or “Salary Between X and X Subject To Experience”. Aim for the top end of the scale or if you are really cheeky you could try and squeeze them for 5% – 15% more than the quoted figure. They can only say no and the chances are you will end up getting more than they would have offered you in the first place. Remember that if you can prove to your future employer that you are better than the average “Brian” you will have a far better chance of negotiating your way to the higher level of the salary bracket. 

So how do you prove this? 

Well your qualifications are always a good start. If you have more qualifications than were originally advertised for the position then that’s a plus point. You will definitely need to prepare some justifications for asking for the top rate but you could say something like “I’m not only CIMA qualified but I also hold a fellowship” and you were originally looking for candidates who were working towards completing their CIMA exam” or “The advertisement for the job stated that the candidate must have two years sales experience for the position whereas I have five years including 12 months experience in new business lead generation”.

At the end of the day you have been offered the job based on your experience along with other attributes and because you were an overall better candidate than the other applicants. All you really need to do is point out these qualities and use them in your negotiation techniques.

Additional Employment Benefits:

There are other benefits that may apply that are not necessarily salary orientated. They are things such as holiday entitlement, company car, laptop or expenses, performance related bonuses, commission, overtime, profit sharing, private health insurance, share options, childcare contribution, sports / gym facilities, , mobile phone, rail or travel ticket and non contributory pension. This list is not exhaustive and it would be unrealistic to ask for all of these benefits. The best thing to do is choose maybe two or three and see how you get on. It may be that your employer doesn’t want to provide a company car but he may be prepared to finance your travel to and from work. 

Compromise is as always the golden rule.

Now let’s face it, some hard ball managers, whether they are HR Managers or Company Directors, are going to try and get you as cheaply as possible, so there could be some dirty tactics at play at negotiation stage. You can just bet that they will be holding a card up their sleeve to try and get you to agree to a smaller package or make you take on more responsibilities that the job role originally stated. This is a little ruthless and the chances are they will pull this one out of the hat just when you have almost struck your salary deal. 

It’s much harder to go back and negotiate after the event! 

All is not lost however. You can prevent this situation happening by you both laying down your cards at the start. All you might say is “We need to talk about my salary, benefits package and holiday entitlement. Are there any other areas or issues concerning the job role or workload that you feel we should discuss whilst we talk about this?” You have now made it extremely difficult for your employer not to mention the fact that his right hand man is off sick and you will be required to do his job as well as your own for the next six months. You can use this in your salary negotiation.

Confirmation Of Your Employer’s Job Offer:

When you have agreed everything with your employer, salary and benefits package, working hours, holiday entitlement etc, and both you and your employer have agreed on the final points of the deal then your employer should issue you with a letter of confirmation of the offer and or a Contract of Employment. Once you receive this and are satisfied that everything is correct you should formally respond to your new employer agreeing the terms and conditions outlined in the offer letter.

You are now ready to start you new job – Good Luck