We’re starting this article with good news! As you can see by the title, we’re discussing a situation in which an organization has made an offer of employment to you.
As we’ve discussed on many occasions, an offer of employment is the #1 objective of being in the interview and hiring process. However, receiving a job offer is NOT the end of the process. That’s because now you must make a decision regarding that offer. That decision: do you accept it or not?
Before we go further, I’d like to say a quick word about accepting a job offer. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating because it’s extremely important. In short, saying the following is what accepting an offer of employment is NOT:
“Yes, I accept your offer of employment, unless my current employer or some other company I’m interviewing with offers me something better, in which case I will take their job offer instead.”
This is not what you’re saying when you accept an offer of employment. At least, you should not be thinking this while you verbally accept the offer. If you accept an offer, you are making a commitment to the organization that extended the offer.
WHY make a quick decision?
Now that you know what accepting an offer of employment really is and what it really is NOT, we can move on to why you should make a quick decision. First, though, what is a quick decision? Typically, making a decision within 24 hours is considered to be quick. You might even be able to stretch it to 36 or 48 hours, depending upon the circumstances involved.
There are two main reasons why you should make a quick decision regarding your job offer.
First, when you take too long to make a decision, the hiring manager may start to think that you’re really not that interested in the position. They might even start to consider that perhaps you’re negotiating with other organizations at the same time you’re considering their offer. The rule is simple: the longer you take to make a decision, the less enamored the hiring manager and the employer will be with your candidacy.
Second, when you take too long, the hiring manager will start to think that perhaps you’re an indecisive person. As a result, the hiring manager may think you have a problem with making important decisions quickly. Then they start to think, “Well, if they can’t make important decisions in a timely fashion, then do we really want them to be part of our team?” Once again, the longer you take to make a decision, the worse the situation becomes. I’ve seen this time and time again. The longer a candidate takes to make a decision, the more concerned the employer becomes about whether they have made the correct decision to extend an offer of employment to that individual.
You want the hiring manager to believe that you’re both very interested in the opportunity and that you are capable of making important decisions quickly.
HOW to make a quick decision
Now for the second part of our discussion: HOW to make a decision quickly in regards to your offer of employment. Right off the bat, there’s one reason why you would make a decision quickly when it comes to a job offer.
If you are not 100% sure that you can make a commitment to the employer, then do NOT accept the offer.
- If you’re not sure you want to accept the offer because you’re waiting on an offer from another company, then do NOT accept the offer.
- If you’re in the hiring process of other organizations and you want to see how those “shake out,” then do NOT accept the offer.
- If you’re hoping to receive a counteroffer from your current employer, then do NOT accept the offer. By the way, it is unprofessional to use another employer to try to get a better offer from your current employer. It is not an appropriate thing to use another organization in that way. It wastes everyone’s time and reflects poorly on you.
These are situations in which it is easy to make a decision quickly. That’s because you know that you can’t make a 100% commitment to the employer. But what about outside of those situations? What do you do then?
The key is planning, and this planning process is made easier if you’re working with a search consultant or recruiter. Specifically, there is a set of criteria that must be addressed prior to the job offer being made. The closer that you get to the end of the interview and hiring process and the closer you get to the offer stage, the more that these criteria must be addressed. Below are some of the things that should be included:
- Your interest level in the position
- Your interest level in the organization
- Your commitment level in terms of your willingness to leave your current position and employer
- Your commitment level to relocating if relocation would be necessary in order to accept the job offer
- What exactly would convince you to accept an offer of employment within 24 hours (salary, compensation, perks, etc.)
If you know all of this information before the job offer is even made, then it is much easier for you to make a decision quickly in regards to the offer.
How a search consultant or recruiter can help
Achieving success in this area is made easier with the help of a search consultant or recruiter. That’s because recruiters have extensive experience in all aspects of the interview and hiring process, including the job offer stage and everything that it entails.
One of the important keys, though, is that you must be 100% honest, both with yourself and with the search consultant. You can’t hold back information or be selective when discussing the details of the criteria listed above. If your spouse really doesn’t want to move, then that must be addressed. If you think that your current employer might make a counteroffer, then that must also be addressed and discussed. (By the way, Google “counteroffer” and see what you find there.)
A search consultant can help because they’ve been trained to ask the right questions leading up to and during this critical and delicate stage of the hiring process. Not only that, but they also have experience with salary negotiations. That means if you want to negotiate the job offer, they can help you do that, as well.
However, in order to successfully negotiate the job offer, you must make the decision to negotiate quickly, so that negotiations can begin in earnest. Remember, the longer it takes for you to make a decision, the less enamored the hiring manager will be of your candidacy.
Don’t be caught “looking like a deer in the headlights.” Prepare to make a quick decision, and you’ll be able to make that decision. Ultimately, it’s the best strategy for your job search, your candidacy for the position, and also your career.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals, to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.