When evaluating a job offer, there are many important factors to be considered above and beyond salary. Here are five key factors to consider before accepting a new position.
Compensation & Benefits Package
Review the entire compensation and benefits package offered, including:
- Salary and salary increases;
- Annual bonuses or commissions;
- Paid holiday, vacation, and sick days;
- Medical, dental, vision insurance, and disability insurance;
- Deferred compensation (e.g. 401(k) or other retirement savings plan); and,
- Other perks and incentives (e.g. stock options, company cell phone, daycare, gym membership, car allowance, parking allowance, etc.).
Find out how the compensation and benefits package for similar positions compare. This might include online searches, discussions with your recruiter, or even speaking with individuals who have similar positions.
Taking a new position may require relocating across town, to another state or even another country. Make sure you take the cost to relocate into consideration. If you will have a longer commute to the new job, consider the extra travel expenses and the personal time required daily for your commute.
- Relocation expenses, including adequate transition time to relocate and get settled;
- Commuting expenses, including the personal time required for your daily commute.
Make sure there is sufficient paid time off or flexibility in the work schedule required to regroup and revitalize.
- Paid Time Off (e.g. Is the vacation time offered equal to or better than your existing job?)
- Flexibility in Work Schedule (e.g. If the position requires travel, will the company be flexible with your work hours?)
Company Mission, Core Values, Leadership & Culture
A company’s mission defines why the company exists and its core values define what the company stands for. Together, they become the company’s foundation to help guide who they hire, fire, promote, and reward. Ask and find the answer to these questions:
- What message is the company communicating to its clients and employees through its core values?
- Are the company’s core values making a difference in the way people work, think, and behave?
- Does the company’s culture feel like a good fit for you?
Don’t take a position unless you feel its right for you. If you are concerned about the company culture, ask if you can shadow someone at the company for a day.
A thorough evaluation of the above key factors will help you prioritize what’s important and formulate your negotiating plan. One way to accomplish this is to write down everything you want in priority order. Identify the things that you want to change based on the existing offer and be selective. Throughout the negotiations, stay positive and don’t be critical when questioning elements of the job offer during negotiations because it might make the new employer suspicious that you are just buying time waiting for another offer. Make sure you are communicating you are interested in the job offer and keep an open mind.