How To Accept A Job Offer
Congratulations! You've impressed your future employer in the interview and have been identified as the final candidate. The candidate they want to hire! Assuming you've decided this is a great opportunity, you should be very excited by the forthcoming offer.
Typically, offers are made to candidates verbally. You should expect to receive a call from either the direct hiring manager or the company's HR representative. They'll inform you they'd like to extend the offer and discuss the starting salary terms.
While you might be eager to accept immediately, make sure you've given the offer full consideration before saying “yes!” and know how to properly accept the offer.
Receiving the Offer
When you receive the initial offer from the company, make sure you indicate your enthusiasm and appreciation to them. This lets the company know how interested you are in their offer even if you begin to engage them in additional discussions.
The offer should outline the starting salary, hours, benefits information, and expected duties. If you don't have all the information you need to determine if the offer is fair, don't accept it out of fear of losing the position. Remember that you are the company's final candidate for a reason and a level of negotiating may be expected.
Don't hesitate to ask the hiring manager or HR representative to send you additional information, which may be related to training or benefits. If you've had to request more information about the offer, you can end an initial call by saying “I'm extremely interested in the offer and am looking forward to viewing the additional information. If you're able to provide that today, can we schedule a time to discuss the offer further tomorrow?”
Negotiating the Job Offer
Assuming you've received all the information you feel you need to make an informed decision, consider if negotiating the offer is needed.
The company has provided you with a starting salary and, hopefully, their benefits information. If you're happy with the salary, there's no need to give this additional consideration. If you feel that the salary is lower than you were expecting, take the opportunity to discuss whether there's flexibility with the company. You might cite travel, transportation or parking as unexpected costs. Or, after you've reviewed the company's benefits information, you might find that you'll be paying more for medical coverage.
All of these are appropriate reasons to discuss whether the starting salary may be increased. If you feel the need to negotiate the starting salary, have the discussion over the phone with the hiring manager as opposed to making the request via email. It may be that there is no room to negotiate a salary increase based on the company's budget. If that's the case, consider if there's something you would ask for in place of an increased salary. Perhaps a flexible schedule would be ideal or a regularly scheduled work-from-home day if the position allows.
While you certainly don't have to negotiate any part of a job offer, don't find yourself in a situation where you wished you had at a later date. Most HR representatives will tell you it's easier to negotiate before the offer is final rather than after.
Once you're at a place where you're happy with the offer, ask for the details in writing. Many companies will follow verbal offers with formal written offer letters. Before you hand in your resignation to your current employer, make sure your written offer outlines a start date, the accurate salary discussed, scheduled hours and any other items you might have negotiated during phone conversations.
Be respectful of any time limitations offers have. If the company has indicated they would like acceptance of the offer within 3 business days, don't wait until the final day to call and ask a series of questions or attempt to negotiate. Begin the negotiations as soon as the offer is received, if you feel that some are necessary.
Accept the Offer
You've verbally indicated your interest, you (may or may not) have negotiated parts of the offer, and now you have an accurate and detailed offer letter waiting for your signature. Sign away!
Once you've signed your offer letter, return it to your new employer as instructed with a short note or letter reiterating how excited you are about the opportunity and how much you appreciate their assistance through the process.
The final question to ask once you've accepted the offer is “what can I expect next”? Some companies might have background procedures or onboarding procedures they'll need you to take part in before the official hire can occur. If that's the case, make sure you know who to contact or who will be contacting you.
Stay in touch with your new employer during any onboarding or clearance process so you begin to develop a relationship. You may have additional questions that come up before your start date. Make sure you have the right contact at the company to reach out to so you're able to walk in on your first day feeling like you're ready to get to work!
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