Focus Management Consultants Limited

Recruitment Specialists for the food and drink industry

Accepting a job offer

After a successful job interview and a letter or call offering you the job it is time for phase two.

Don't rush to accept the offer, think it through. They have settled on you for the job and they have convinced themselves you are the one.

As a veteran of countless recruitment projects from Trainees to Main Board Directors, I know how much hope (not always realistic) is invested in the job offer. Just as in buying a new car, the employer wants his/her choice validated and won't easily be put off.

If you need more information ensure you discuss it with your consultant and ask them to gain the details you need from the employer.

All of the following are usually negotiable in some way or other.

  • The starting salary
  • How soon it will be reviewed
  • Your start date
  • Outstanding leave booked through your old employer
  • Other benefits such as private health insurance, pension contribution, season ticket loan, or company car

These can be difficult in large organisations where benefits like company cars are very visible and the 'if we give it to you we will have to give it to the others' argument is hardest to refute. Also don't forget that the value of some of these benefits will be treated as income by the Inland Revenue and taxed.

Finally, and most importantly, your reporting line and freedom to reorganise staff reporting to you. This can be of crucial importance if you are going after any job where you are more than one rung up the ladder. If you have a free hand in reorganising and getting rid of dead wood, it could make all the difference between landing in heaven or in hell - and I speak from bitter experience here.

Before committing yourself, ask if you can visit and talk to people in the office. Many good employers will have already done this as part of the recruitment process. If you know anyone in the company, there's nothing to stop you doing your own unofficial research.

Don't fall into the 'leafy lane' trap, where you fall in love with one job or one employer without considering other options. If you have genuine doubts, not the usual nervousness about change, just say no. Remember, these days it's your choice.

What should you negotiate?

  • Starting salary
  • Review date
  • Your start date
  • Outstanding leave
  • Health care
  • Pension
  • Season Ticket loan
  • Company car
  • Your reporting line