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Effective Job Offer Management

Should I Accept this Job Offer?

When you’ve put everything into applying for a role it is great news when you hear that you’ve been successful and are to be offered. However accepting a new job is a big, potentially life changing, decision so it’s critical that you have prepared for this moment.

Regardless of whether you’re in the early part of your career looking for the next step or a senior executive who is out of work because of a recent restructure here are some pointers that I always urge my candidates to think about;

Make sure you’ve got a clear idea of the remuneration range before you get an offer

Money isn’t the most important factor, however it’s usually the last thing to be agreed. Having a clear idea of the potential salary prior to you applying for a job is critical. If you don’t, this presents a risk for both parties that there could be mis-matched expectations which at the very end of the recruitment process means all the time and effort (on both sides) goes to waste.

Your recruiter can be a great resource here and will be able to advise you at the start of the process. This also requires transparency and trust from your side too and my advice is to have shared a salary range that you’d be happy to negotiate between.

Salary shouldn’t be something you proactively raise during the interview process, however if you are asked then you need to be honest and give a sensible range.

Take your research to the next level

You should already have a strong base understanding of the Company and job you’re applying for prior to going into an interview, however once you’ve had each interview there should be clues and questions that come up for you to allow you to dig even further.

This might be something about the Company, market place they operate in, product or even about the people who work there.

One of the biggest mistakes people can make is not finding out enough about their potential employer. Put some thought into what’s really important and look for information about the company performance, the market place dynamics, culture and potential team mates (all of this is on the internet in some form, or failing that carefully ask some trusted peers what they think).

Objectively assess the offer

Once you’ve been given your offer, create some thinking space and make a list of all of the things you think are important in a job, write them down and ask yourself how this job offers does and does not fit the bill.

If all else fails listen to your gut feeling!

If after all of this research and consideration you’re still not sure which road to go down, then it’s probably best you go with your gut feeling. If it feels right and the people around you are in agreement with your assessment of the situation then you’re probably about to make a good decision.

Consult with your family and friends what the pros and cons are as you see (or feel) them. Ask their views, but at the end of the day you need to be the one who makes the final decision. You know yourself and the opportunities you have better than anyone, and you’re the one who has to live by the choices you make.

Consider the whole deal.

To many people, “negotiating a job offer” and “negotiating a salary” are synonymous. But much of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate—perhaps even more easily than salary. Don’t get fixated on money. Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, flexibility in work hours, opportunities for growth and promotion, perks, support for continued education, and so forth. Think not just about how you’re willing to be rewarded but also when. You may decide to chart a course that pays less handsomely now but will put you in a stronger position later.

If you decide to say no

Saying no to a job offer can be very challenging. You’ll have put everything into getting this offer and you must at some point have really wanted the job as any lack of passion (especially for a sales job) would have resulted in a red flag earlier in the recruitment process.

As a professional you’re also likely to have sense of guilt if you want to turn down the offer but you need to remove yourself from any such emotion and stay objective and true to yourself.

If you come to the realisation prior to being offered the job that you’re going to turn it down then it would be best for you to withdraw at that point and save everyone some time, however if you’re unsure then it is fine to keep going.

If you do say no, it’s important that you do so professionally. Everyone has the right to say no thank you, but you need to do this properly as you may want to work for that Company, or Manager, in the future! A really important point is do not sit on a decision for days. Make an informed decision quickly and don’t put off awkward conversations.

Good luck!

If you’d like to know more and arrange a confidential discussion to explore your career options, please email your CV over to or call us on 0131 553 6644.

Victoria Henderson
Recruitment Consultant; Scotland/North East England/Northern Ireland