As Kreischer Miller’s Recruiting Manager, one of the best parts of my job is when I get to deliver an offer to a candidate. That is the crescendo of the recruiting process! Of course, receiving an offer after a long interview process can be a very emotional experience for the candidate as well. Here are my tips to navigate the evaluation process professionally, make a great impression on all parties involved, and determine whether this is the right opportunity for you.
Evaluating the Offer
Look at the big picture. Evaluate the offer based on the whole package. While base salary is important, it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. For example, healthcare costs have continued to escalate, so the amount a company contributes toward your coverage can be a significant factor. Also, don’t forget to factor in local wage taxes, commuting costs, 401k matches, and vesting periods. Finally, think about the position’s potential workload. If you’re comparing two job offers with the same salary, the number of hours you anticipate working annually at each position can make those salary numbers seem drastically different.
Consider the intangibles. Money aside, your personal and professional development should be a factor. Are there opportunities for growth? Does the company’s culture seem like a good fit and do they “walk their talk?” Are employees encouraged and rewarded for new ideas, or are all of the decisions only made at the top? Is there a formal training program? How often is continuing education offered and are you able to select areas of interest? A job should have continual growth opportunities so you can continue to challenge yourself. And, it should offer the chance for upward mobility to develop your leadership skills.
How does the company express their appreciation for your hard work and dedication? Do they offer the level of work-life balance you’re seeking? A lot of companies talk about their commitment to balance, but if you are expected to be accessible 24/7 on your company-issued cell phone, are working 10-12 hours a day year-round, or are afraid to leave before anyone else, that talk is empty.
Keep the lines of communication open. The best possible scenario as a candidate is to be comparing multiple job openings at once. In this case, I suggest keeping each company aware of where you are in the process with the others. They will appreciate your candor, and it could help later if you wind up needing to request more time while you’re waiting for another offer to come in.
Responding to the Offer
Do your homework ahead of time. The factors I described above will determine your overall job satisfaction and personal happiness, so they should all play into your decision. However, don’t wait until after you get the offer to start thinking about these things! You should be gathering the information you need to vet the company and the position during the interview process.
Keep the company’s point of view in mind when crafting your response. Regardless of whether you plan to accept or decline the offer, remember that the hiring manager and any others involved have invested a good deal of time to do their homework on you. They will be excited to wrap up their decision process and extend you an offer. So, respond accordingly. Express your appreciation for their time and consideration, and if you’re accepting the offer, let them know how excited you are to join the company.
Think long-term. If you decide to decline the offer, keep in mind that this is a company you may like to work for in the future. So, you’ll want to keep that door open for future opportunities. When declining an offer, don’t just leave a voicemail or send an email. Speak with the hiring manager personally, and be gracious and appreciative.
One candidate I recruited who declined our offer met me for lunch to tell me how much he appreciated the time and effort we took to get to know him. I ran into another potential candidate a few months after the interview process, and he struck up a conversation and expressed again how much he had enjoyed getting to know us. Both individuals impressed me with their professionalism and made me even more committed to staying in touch with them for future opportunities.
Navigating an interview and offer process can be stressful, especially when it’s your first time going through it. There are a lot of factors to consider and the decision can at times seem overwhelming. However, try to keep in mind that you can never go wrong by being thoughtful and professional. Aim to interact with the company in the same manner you want them to interact with you. Your career is long; play the long game.
Kristin Seeger is the Recruiting Manager for Kreischer Miller and is responsible for the entire recruiting function of the firm. She joined the firm in 2007 after beginning her career in audit at KPMG and then working as a recruiter for accounting professionals. She enjoys making people smile and being an inspiration to others. When she’s not out making connections, she enjoys exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Contact Kristin at Email.
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