Getting a job offer is an exciting time, after all, you have worked hard to get through the hiring process, but it’s also important that you assess the job offer carefully before jumping in. If you are happy in your current position, you may be able to use your job offer as a negotiation strategy to adjust your current contract.

Understanding how to assess and reply to a job offer may help you make your mind up about your decision before you fully commit. In this post, we share what you should look for in a job offer, discuss some tips for evaluating a job offer and give you some tips on how you can negotiate your current contract with your employer.

What should a job offer include?

If you have been successful in the recruitment process, it is likely you will receive a call from the hiring manager to let you know that you have been successful and that they would like to offer you a position at the company.

Following on from your call, you should receive your offer in written form, either through the post or via email. The contents of our job offer will depend on the position type and employer, however, they will likely include:

  • Job details – things such as your job title, responsibilities and work location
  • Start date – the date agreed with the employer that you will start your new job
  • Reporting manager – details of who you report to and if you manage anyone yourself
  • Compensation package – your salary, benefits package, bonus structure (if applicable) and other perks
  • Acceptance of offer – this is where you sign to say you are happy with the offer and wish to take up employment

Tips for evaluating a job offer

Being offered a new position is incredibly exciting, but it’s important to take the time to understand if it really is the right job for you.

It’s vital you think about more than just your future salary. When evaluating a job offer, you want to consider everything that your future employer is offering including; salary, flexibility, benefits, company culture, pension plan, maternity plans and the work environment. You want to make sure that your new employer is living up to your expectations so take into account your personal considerations.

Most companies are willing to negotiate your contract if you’re unhappy with some of the terms, so it’s really worth taking a day or two to review what they are offering you. Below are some tips to help you evaluate a job offer:

Does it meet your salary expectations?

It can be tempting to accept the first job role you’re offered, especially if you’ve been job hunting for some time but it’s important to ensure that you are on a decent salary for your experience, role and for your location. Put some time into researching average salaries of similar job titles and geographic locations and this will allow you to understand if what you’re being offered is worth accepting.

List any hidden costs

Before accepting a job offer, it’s worth writing down if you will incur any ‘hidden’ costs with the role such as your commute. While you might be earning more money, you could also be spending more on your commute or other things such as rent. What may seem like a salary increase can slowly cause your take-home pay to decrease if you have additional expenses that you didn’t think about.

Do a Company Health Check

It’s incredibly important to do a health check on your prospective employer, especially during an economic downturn. Take some time to read through company reports, and if you know someone working at the company considers asking them how business has been. If you do notice some financial red flags, it might be a wise idea to reject their job offer.

Consider the benefits and perks

While a higher salary may play a key part in your decision-making, consider the additional benefits and perks the role is offering. Things such as annual leave, health insurance, life insurance, pension plans, gym membership etc. could save you more in the long run so it’s worth understanding the compensation package fully before signing on the dotted line.

Think about your career prospects

While securing a job might be your number 1 priority, think about how this opportunity ties in to your future career goals. Will the new position give you an opportunity to learn the new skills required for your chosen career path or are you just accepting because you feel you have to? Consider what the company offers and what it may say about you if you go for a new role with a different employer in the future.

If you are unsure, it’s always worth seeking career advice from a recruitment specialist or mentor in your field to understand if a job is truly for you or whether you would be better off staying in your current position.

Development opportunities

Every job will come with its own set of responsibilities and requirements. Before saying yes to the HR department it’s worth looking over the job description again to make sure that it meets your requirements. Does it sound like something you would enjoy doing? Will you learn new skills? Or does it only match some of what you’re looking for? Think about this carefully when assessing your job offer.

If the new role sounds amazing and something that you would love to do every day, then it sounds like it’s the job for you.

Whatever your new job role, make sure that you do thorough research and that it’s a step forward towards career advancement. The last thing you want to do is accept a job offer without having done proper research and find yourself in the same position in 6 months’ time.

Successfully assess your job offer

Assessing a job offer isn’t an easy task. Don’t feel rushed into saying yes straight away. If you still have questions, communicate with the HR team and ask as many questions as you need to in order to help you make your final decision.