The world of recruiting never stands still, and each year we see something unique that we maybe haven’t seen for a while. One new thing we are seeing is that candidates who are interviewing are receiving multiple offers, if not many offers, at the same time. This is a good thing because it reflects a job market with lots of opportunities for technologists. But it can be a bit confusing or overwhelming when it comes to determining which offer is best for you. Stout Systems has been helping candidates sort through offers for over 25 years and we definitely have some pointers to help you out.
- How Recession Proof is Your Offer? For each of your offers, do some research to see how financially stable and recession proof that particular industry and company are. Although it’s a strong hiring market at the moment, let’s face it, we’re likely to be in a recession in 2023. And there’s the old saying that says “last hired, first fired” (not in every case, obviously, but I see it often enough).
- Look for Hidden Perks and Hidden Costs - Do your best to do an “apples to apples” comparison for all of your offers by considering the entire compensation package. One offer’s salary might be a bit higher, but when you factor in the 4% 401K match in the other offer, it might even things out. When it comes to looking at the medical insurance, consider that one company might have exceptional coverage with little out-of-pocket for you while another company might only offer high deductible insurance resulting in more costs to you. Also consider the insurance premium cost to the employee. We just talked with a company that offers insurance for the employee but not for the spouse or children. The employee has the option to insure their spouse and children but fully at their own expense. Family insurance might not be an issue for you at the moment, but is there a possibility that your family situation is going to change in the next year or two? You’ll need to really drill down into your offers to get that “apples to apples” experience, and now might be a good time to dust off your spreadsheet skills to really sort it all out.
- Is There Career Trajectory? A very important question you should be asking during the interview process is “Where do you, prospective employer, see me in one year? Three years? Five years? Ten years?” A prospective employer should be thinking about growing you within the organization and should have a thought process as to how that might be accomplished. No matter how good the offer looks short term, if you don’t like the trajectory, then it may not be the job for you. A job that pays a bit less but invests heavily in you will likely be worth much more in the end.
- Will That Career Trajectory Land You Your Next Job? A clearly delineated career trajectory within a company is meaningless if it ultimately leads you to a technological dead-end. Dig deep into the technology that your prospective company is utilizing and what their technology roadmap looks like. Are they keeping up with the latest innovations, or will you one day down the road feel like you’re scratching numbers on a stone tablet? Ultimately, you want to consider whether or not your new role will help you to become a more attractive prospect for future opportunities.
- How Much do You Value Work/Life Balance? Lots of companies say they’ve got it, but fewer actually walk the talk. Vacation time, number of paid holidays, and paid sick days are a great place to start, but you’ll probably have to be a bit more investigative to identify the real work culture of an organization.
- Are You Going to Like Your Second Family? Let’s face it - you are potentially going to spend more time with your co-workers than you do your own family, so it would behoove you to try to get a sense of who the people are that you will be working with. Collect names from your interviews and do a bit of research afterward. You’ll be able to find many of them on LinkedIn and learn something about them. You can also certainly check out their social media. But do try to get a sense of who you will be working with, because when you’re spending 8+ hours a day with them, it should definitely weigh heavily in your decision making process.
I know that’s a lot to consider, but there are definite costs associated with leaving a job early because it turned out to not be a great fit. Keep the above points in mind while evaluating your offers, and you will maximize your chances of picking the job that’s best for you.
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