Are you growing tired of your current employer? Has your working environment changed for the worse? Maybe it’s a lack of change that has you frustrated in your current position. Whatever your reason, you may be considering searching for a new place of employment.
Changing jobs is not something that most employees take lightly, nor should they. In most situations, there are costs associated with switching jobs. These costs must be evaluated and then weighed against the advantages of taking on the new position and joining a new employer.
It is strongly recommended that before you take that first step of applying for a new job, and subsequently going through the interview process, that you create a personal checklist of your expectations. Take the time to establish an inventory of what you expect from the position, and what you are willing to give to the employer in order to fill that position.
The employee-employer relationship is based on the employer providing the employee with compensation package (e.g. base compensation, benefits, etc.) in exchange for the employee’s talents, in order to achieve the business’s goals. The relationship is based on a set of expectations. If those expectations are met, the employment relationship continues. If expectations are not met, the employee either quits or the employer terminates the employment.
By creating a personal checklist, you will be better able to evaluate the employment offers that you receive against your expectations for that position. In most situations, there is not a 100% match between the employee’s and employer’s expectations. But, by evaluating the employment offer against your expectations, you can better determine if the offer is something that you can work with, or if you need to continue looking.
Top 5 Factors in an Offer of Employment
Now that you have established your expectations and created your checklist, you can begin to go through the process of researching prospective employers, filling out applications and going through the interview process. Once you receive a job offer, the next step is to consider the entire employment package and the factors that comprise the offer.
All too often, employees limit their evaluation of a job offer to just the base compensation without taking into account the other factors that comprise the employment offer. By basing the decision to accept an offer solely on base compensation, you may be missing the overall benefit of a competing offer.
There are 5 key factors to consider when evaluating a job offer from a prospective employer. By looking at the overall package, you may able to make a better decision regarding the employer’s ability to meet your expectations.
The 5 key factors are:
1. The Work – when you accept a position from an employer, you are accepting a position in the industry that the employer participates in. That industry may be one you are familiar and comfortable with, or it may be one you are entering with little or no experience. When evaluating the Work factor, some questions that you may want to consider are:
• What is the job description or the scope of work that I am being hired to perform?
• Am I proficient in the position that I am being hired for?
• Am I experienced in the industry and are those experiences good?
• Do I enjoy the industry that I am being hired for, or is there something specific that attracts me to the industry?
2. The Culture – culture is a critical factor in any employment arrangement. It is a factor that is not easily evaluated, but can have a deep impact on your contentment in your position within the company. Company culture can be evaluated by how the company treats its clients, how it treats its employees and its relationship with its vendors. Some questions to ask are:
• What is the mission and vision of the company?
• What are the core values of the company? And do the core values match mine?
• How do they value family within the business model?
• How engaged are the leaders of the business in the day-to-day operations of the business?
3. The Compensation Package – compensation is a key element of any employment arrangement, but it is not the only factor that should be considered. Many studies point to the fact that compensation alone does not improve morale. Compensation is made up of various components including base pay, job performance bonuses, travel reimbursement and other factors unique to each company. When considering a compensation package:
• Research your position’s pay scale based on your geographic area. Resources such as www.payscale.com can assist you in determining the average base pay for your position.
• Ask your prospective employer how often they provide performance evaluations and pay adjustments. Regular evaluations can help move you forward in your position so you’re not left feeling stagnated.
• Inquire about other forms of pay including travel reimbursements, signing bonuses and other compensation. Depending upon how their business is managed and structured, you may find that these forms of compensation can be substantial.
4. The Benefits – there are many benefits that employers can offer employees. The portion of the cost of these covered by the employer is a critical component when evaluating an offer. However, when you evaluate these benefits, you should consider the risks that they help alleviate. For example, the cost of health insurance is the cost to employer but the savings for you as the employee may also include the reduced risk of a large medical bill that would go uncovered if you were not given this benefit. When considering the benefits portion of an employment offer:
• Ask about health insurance and other medical coverage. Ask about the employer’s contribution to the overall costs. Factor these savings into your evaluation as well as the reduced risk for you and your family.
• Determine vacation and holiday pay. Vacations and holidays are discretionary policies in most situations unless mandated by local ordinance or statute. These factors have intangible benefits that should be considered when evaluating the value of this benefit.
• Inquire about other benefits that may be offered including flex time schedules, day care and other discretionary benefits.
5. Other Value Added Features – there are other intangible benefits that cannot be measured in dollars and cents. These benefits are unique to the employee-employer relationship that you are being offered. They are valuable to you, but may mean very little to another employee. These job features may include:
• Shortened commute – the commute may be reduced as compared to your current employer.
• Work from home/remote – the job may allow for working remotely or from home on a full or part-time basis.
• Office environment – the environment within the office and around the building where the business is located may be appealing to you. You may look for an opportunity in the city or in the country.
• Job Training – employers may offer job training and growth opportunities. Resources such as Construct-Ed (www.construct-ed.com) allow employees the opportunity to grow in their knowledge and skills in order to build themselves and the business.
Considering a job change is a significant decision. As you approach the decision, there are a lot of factors that must be considered and evaluated. These factors must be measured against your expectations, as well as against each competing offer from other employers.
The most important aspect of this decision is to take the time necessary to evaluate the offer to insure that it is going to meet your expectations both in the short-term and the long-term. Consider these factors in your next employment decision in order to enhance the decision making process.