Assessing A Job Offer
Congratulations, you just received a job offer and now you have to plan. Often in the excitement and nervousness of interviewing, you can forget that you should be interviewing the company too. Evaluating whether a company is a good fit for you is just as important as getting the offer. So how do you evaluate a job offer to make sure there’s mutual fit or to compare it to another offer? Here are four criteria to help you evaluate a job offer:
The first thing you should evaluate is the job duties and responsibilities. You likely saw a pretty descriptive list of the responsibilities of the role in the job posting when you applied. After interviewing and talking with key members of the company, has the list expanded? Are you comfortable with what’s expected of you? With any job there are likely to be “other duties as assigned” but overall, you should have a good understanding of what’s expected of you and whether or not that’s aligned with what you want for your career.
The key when evaluating job duties and responsibilities is to determine whether they are clear and reasonable. If there is some confusion about what exactly you’re responsible for or different parties seem to have different expectations for the role, then that’s probably something for you to consider. In addition, if their expectations for the role aren’t reasonable or isn’t congruent with the salary offered then it might not be the best fit.
Another criterion you should use to evaluate your job offer is company culture. Company culture can be a loaded term but what it boils down to is what is the environment like at this company and does that align with your wants and needs.
Do they dress formally or are jeans and t-shirts acceptable work wear? Are employees expected to come in early and stay late or do they prioritize work-life balance? Those are just a couple of examples of what a workplace culture can look like. Employee satisfaction and turnover, how they communicate with each other, and how they celebrate wins and recover from losses all contribute to culture as well.
Understanding a company’s culture from the outside can be difficult, but asking specific culture related questions during the interview, visiting the office, and talking to future colleagues and previous employees can give you more insight into what it's like on the inside. If you’re deciding between two offers, you’ll likely want to choose the company that most aligns with your values, work style, and personality, which is why culture shouldn’t be overlooked.
Likely the first thing you’ll consider when you get a job offer is the pay, understandably so. When evaluating the pay it’s important to make sure that you’re looking at it holistically, especially if you’re comparing one offer against another. In order to do that, you want to make sure you’re considering total compensation and not just base salary. Here are some other factors to consider when evaluating compensation:
- Health insurance
- Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Fringe Benefits
Consider this example: Company A is offering a 95k base salary with 10 days of PTO and no 401k match and company B is offering a 90k base salary with a 5% 401k match and unlimited PTO. In this example, you can see how difficult it can be to compare apples to apples when evaluating two offers. While company A has a higher base salary, company B is offering additional benefits that some candidates may find more valuable.
Fringe benefits are benefits outside of the normal benefits an employee would expect to receive such as pay, health insurance, retirement plan contributions, and paid time off. Here are some examples of fringe benefits that companies might offer:
- Professional development stipend
- Gym membership
- Transportation benefits
- Educational assistance
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Fringe benefits can add up and increase your total compensation so it’s important to consider them when evaluating an offer. For example, if a company is willing to pay for you to pursue an advanced degree or help you obtain expensive professional certifications, that’s not something to be discounted especially when comparing to another offer.
Evaluating a job offer for the first time can be intimidating. There’s a lot to consider and you’re usually under a bit of pressure to give a response in a timely manner. If you begin evaluating the company from the beginning, you’ll be able to collect some of these data points throughout the interview process and hopefully know most of what you need to make an informed decision when you get an offer.
DigitalCrafts cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. REQ1872108 10/2022