January 30, 2023

Recruiting 101: Evaluating An Offer


Episode Highlights

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On this week’s episode of Recruiting 101, Camille and Kierra discuss how to evaluate an offer. A job offer is more than just a salary, so they share some best practices about how to be prepared before you even receive an offer, how to assess the compensation and benefits package, and how to review the whole package that the company is offering you.

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody. Welcome back to Recruiting 101 with Camille and Kierra. Recruiting 101 is dedicated to helping candidates understand the process from a recruiter’s perspective. In this segment, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks as we experience them. So this week’s topic is all about evaluating an offer.

We really wanted to give some tips and tricks about what you should look at for an offer and how to be prepared beforehand so it can be a smoother process. Yeah, so there’s a lot that goes into getting an offer and what to evaluate. So I think my first question is where do you start when you get an offer?

How can a candidate start looking over that offer and what should they start? Yeah, so I think we’ve talked about this before, but really making lists at any part of the interview process and being prepared before you even start your job search. So I think the most important thing is just to write down what’s most important to you, what is the minimum salary you can take to have the same lifestyle that you have now. Maybe you’re looking to improve your lifestyle or wanting to buy a home or rent like a bigger apartment. You need to make sure that you find out what salary is the lowest that you can take, what you’re looking for, just so six months down the road you realize it’s not working.

So just making sure, compensation wise, that you’re all set. Know what you’re looking for as well as benefits. So if you need medical coverage, maybe you’re on your partners or your parents, anything like that, just making sure that those benefits are going to be affordable for you. because sometimes they’re not.

Depending on the size of company, they can be a lot. So making sure that those benefits are good, having in mind what kind of benefits you’ll need. So just making a list of all of this as well as 401k, is there a specific match that you’re looking for? Some companies don’t offer 401k enrollment or even match and up until a year that you had started at the company.

So some things can take some time for that. So figuring out what you want benefit wise. How many days of PTO, do you take a lot of vacations? All that good stuff. As well as what you’re looking for: to be in the office, if you’re looking to be hybrid, work remotely. Just kind of everything that you need, just writing it down so that when it comes time to review the offer, it’ll be a pretty quick and smooth process.

Yeah, there is just so much to consider. One thing I would start off by doing is look to see if the offer is comparable to what the market is paying. Obviously don’t want to get paid less than what other companies are offering for that same position. So I think doing your research to know that you’re getting paid the amount that you should is a good start. Base salary is something that always people tend to look at first, but there’s a lot of things that could also factor into your salary as well. As far as like on target earnings, if that’s included, is there a commission portion that definitely plays a big factor into what the base salary should or could be and just your overall compensation.

So I think that’s a great start. And let’s say like your health benefits aren’t great, but your base salary’s a little higher, that could even out. So if you have really great benefits, I know some companies, give their employees fully paid medical and dental and that makes a huge difference in your paycheck as well.

Both are really great to consider. But I also think that you want to consider like PTO and sick days. What is important to people as far as that goes? What have you seen from your screenings that you’ve done that candidates look for when they’re talking about those aspects?

I think the norm a couple years ago used to be like two weeks or three weeks, but ever since the unlimited PTO has come around, it’s really all about four weeks or unlimited PTO. So I think that’s what people are really looking for, is that flexibility of PTO and to go on vacations or to stay home and just take that time off with their family.

So I think whenever you’re working with a client, if it’s anything less than three weeks, you know that it’s going to be hard to find candidates just because people love their time off. Like it’s as simple as that. There are some people out there who don’t take a lot of time off, which is totally fine.

And those are few and far between, so I think making sure that you can offer your employees, a lot of PTO and sick days, and also like volunteer days I think are important as well. Just showing that you give back to the community and because it is a free day, so obviously volunteering takes maybe like three or four hours, so then you would still have the rest of the day. So maybe even if the salary isn’t where you want it or something with the benefits, you can compromise. Like it’s all about give and take. You’re not going to have an offer with the amount of money you want, perfect benefits, like a merit increase, bonus structure, all of that. It’s just not really possible. So making sure that you’re compromising and being understanding of what they can offer you because you’ll be able to make it work. It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, but just considering other things, like maybe the salary isn’t perfect, but they do like an expense reimbursement, so maybe they’ll reimburse you for your mileage if you have to drive into the office or maybe you take the train.

Sometimes they do like virtual lunches. Maybe they’ll pay for your lunch or a coffee or anything like that. Or sometimes I know they have health benefits that pay for your gym membership. So there’s a lot of other things that can make up if one area of the offer is lacking. Yeah, I would agree with that.

I think that’s a great point that you make that not every part of the overall offer can be flexed and it really just depends on how the company runs. They can’t give someone unlimited PTO if the other individuals in the company don’t get that. I just don’t think that would be fair. And I think I’ve seen it pretty consistently across the board, that the PTO is something that is hard to flex. Definitely can be flexed, but that unlimited to having a certain amount of days is definitely hard to get past. But there’s definitely certain things that you can consider and maybe ask for in your counter offer.

I know some places also offer tuition reimbursement, so if you’re thinking about how much tuition costs in general, that’s already thousands of dollars, so you can consider that also when you are looking at your offers. I know some people do their master’s degrees that get paid for and whatnot, so those types of things are always important to consider.

I also think growth is important to a lot of people. Yeah. They don’t want to be stuck in a position if they are looking for that growth opportunity where there isn’t an opportunity within the company to grow because then it wouldn’t be a long-term opportunity. So I think that is, something to consider if you are looking to get into a leadership or managerial position.

Talk to them about growth and the opportunities they offer within. Also bonuses, if that’s a thing within the company or if it will be a part of the company’s yearly compensation as well. I know a big discussion that people have is whether it’s remote, hybrid, or in person. Have you seen a lot of conversation around those topics as well?

Yeah, I feel like the past year and a half everything has been remote. I would say the majority of positions are hybrid or remote, but a lot of them are in office as well. Obviously just being in the different industries, more like operations based roles. But I have seen people negotiate days in the office if it is a hybrid role.

So it seems like the main things that you can negotiate on an offer are, if it’s a hybrid role, like days in the office days, working from home, your salary and negotiate PTO and maybe expenses. So maybe if you do have to go in the office, you take a train, drive a car, anything like that, maybe ask about reimbursement for that, if the percentage or if the salary isn’t where you need it to be.

So I think definitely I’ve seen people negotiating for the days in the office, days at home as well. That’s a very, very hot one right now, I would say. Yeah. And I will say I’ve seen a lot more people going back in person. Some people do prefer to be in person, but those that don’t, I don’t think everyone realizes that’s something that you can negotiate.

I was working on a role recently where it was all in person, all on site, and they were willing to turn it into a hybrid role once the person was onboarded and felt comfortable in the role. So I think those are always pieces that people don’t always realize as well. Definitely. As far as ours though as well, I think that plays a role into your overall offer that you should consider.

Are you going to be traveling for this role? Are you going to be compensated for that travel? Is it nights or weekends? I know some individuals work very long days and also have to work weekends as well. So I think those pieces play a big factor into your overall comp as well. Yeah, and I think the topic of working from home or in the office is interesting for offers because I remember a conversation, I want to say it was like two years ago or a year and a half ago, about people going back to the office. And they were going to pay people working fully remote less than the people going into the office because of all the expenses. And I was thinking about it. If you work from home, you don’t have to buy like new business clothes every season. Maybe you change size, you don’t have to buy those. You usually make your lunch from home, which is a lot cheaper.

And just everything else you would do for the day, like getting coffee, taking the train, driving, stopping to get lunch, maybe dinner on the way home, depending on how long your commute is, like you’re saving so much money from working from home. So maybe consider if you are, have an offer for a remote role, and the salary isn’t where you want it to be.

Just remember how much money you’re saving from working from home. Yeah, that’s a great point. I saved so much money on gas. Mm-hmm. And I would say meals as well. Cause anytime I would forget a meal I would have to like DoorDash or UberEats it to my work. And those definitely, those $10 charges add up for sure.

Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely save a lot more money than you even realize working remotely. Also, a great thing to keep in mind is that if you have any of these questions or concerns prior to interviewing and you’re working with a recruiter, we are happy to get any of those questions answered for you ahead of time.

Then you don’t have to ask these questions during the interviews or to the hiring managers, and we can give you an idea of what that will look like ahead of time. So definitely keep that in mind when working with a recruiter that we can discuss these topics with you. Yeah, and definitely make sure that you don’t accept an offer if you’re unsure about anything.

Like I’ve heard some people, I’ve had friends say “Oh, I don’t even know what time I’ll start the job or anything, but I’m going to accept the offer.” So just make sure every single detail is sure. Make sure you know you’ll be working from like, nine to four, make sure you know what days you’ll have to be in the office.

Make sure you kno w how often they pay out their bonuses. Is there a clear line of growth for you where you could get a promotion in a year? Just make sure all your questions are answered and that everything is very clear. Even just like what holidays you get off, you know? Right. Making sure you have all those questions answered, because you certainly don’t want to be like two weeks in and realizing like, “Oh crap, they don’t even have Christmas Eve off, or they don’t have Thanksgiving off and I always do something with my family.” Like some companies don’t have those holidays off. So making sure that throughout the interview process you are asking those questions and not just assuming that they’ll tell you because, just because you think that you want to know, doesn’t mean that they think that it matters to you.

You have to ask those questions, make that clarity, and just have that in your mind when the offer comes. Yeah, and offers look different to everyone. Someone might get the exact same offer and think it’s great compared to an individual that doesn’t think it’s great based on what’s important to them.

So definitely keep those things in mind when interviewing and looking at your different offers. So thank you so much for joining us today. Remember to check out all of our content on talentinsights.hirewell.com and follow us on LinkedIn for more content. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

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