As recruitment consultants, there’s no better feeling than telling a candidate they’ve been successful at interview. As a candidate, you’ve probably spent a lot of time looking for suitable jobs and writing the perfect CV. When you’re offered the role, all of the hard work was worth it.
However, now’s not the time to rest on your laurels – there’s a lot to think about. The team here at Headway are always on hand to help you on your journey from job seeker to employee, so if you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
For now though, here’s a few things we’d recommend that you think about.
Accepting a Job Offer
When it comes to accepting a job offer, there’s a process to follow. Here at Headway, we’re here to make that process as simple as possible.
It’s never a bad idea to formally accept a job offer in writing. A good acceptance letter shows that you’re serious about the role. It’s also the perfect opportunity to check the terms and details of the offer (for example any benefits included, sick pay entitlement and the start date). Remember that business owners are busy people, so keep your letter brief and concise.
You don’t need to go overboard, but a simple thank you for the opportunity in your letter is a great example of those all-important soft skills.
Finally, make sure that you’ve proof-read the contents of your letter. There’s nothing worse than going through the recruitment process only to get your employers name wrong before you start the job. Read it, then read it again. Then read it again for good measure.
The likelihood is that you’ll be nervous about handing in your resignation – most good candidates are. The fact that you’re ready for a change, or have been offered a better opportunity, doesn’t make the process any easier.
Don’t worry though. When you’re a candidate with Headway Recruitment, we can help you navigate the resignation process with as little stress as possible.
You’ll need to write a letter of resignation. This doesn’t need to be long. Simply tell your current employer that you’re leaving their company, and state the appropriate notice period.
You’re not obliged to give your reasons for leaving in the letter, but it’s a nice gesture to thank them for the time you’ve spent with their company and the benefits you gained. Let us be clear; your resignation letter is not the time to start listing all the things you’ve been unhappy with. If you must do that, save it for the exit interview.
Always resign in person. It’s probably best to arrange a meeting with your manager so that they’ve got the time to fully digest your resignation. Resigning by email isn’t a good idea. The chances are that your employer will be sad to see you go, don’t let your fear of the process lead to a lack of respect.
Most importantly, try not to feel guilty. There’s no law stating that you must stay in the same job forever. If you’ve gone to the lengths of interviewing for another role, the likelihood is that you’re ready for a change. All that’s left to do is leave your current place of work on good terms and start your new employment adventure.
If you’re about to resign, here’s the Headway checklist of things you need to ensure are covered:
- Agree your notice period with your current employer. Don’t agree a new job start date until this is done.
- Be aware of your rights. Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally blackmailed or threatened with bad references.
- Leave things in good order for the next person. Your current employer will thank you for ensuring that their new recruit can hit the ground running.
- Discuss when your last salary will be paid and establish whether you’re in advance or arrears.
You’ve been offered, and accepted, a new job. And then your current employer, the one you’ve taken the decision to leave, offers you more money to stay. This is known as a counteroffer.
A counteroffer is quite the curveball at an already stressful time. Here’s our advice on how to handle it.
Think about what you want: be tactical.
Do you want your current employer to start a bidding war for you? If you don’t then it’s time to move on. But if you do, perhaps hand in your resignation at the start of the week as opposed to Friday afternoon. That way, you’re giving your current employer ample opportunity to fight for you.
Be careful at interview.
When asked why you want to leave your current employer, it’s OK to play your cards close to your chest. Answer in a way that makes it clear you’re open to new opportunities, but have nothing but respect for your current employer.
Is the counteroffer worth it?
If the counteroffer is a good one, you’ll need to really think about what it is you want. It may be that your new employer can’t match the counteroffer, not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. It’s a case of weighing up whether the new opportunity is worth more than the counteroffer, and only you can decide.
The most important thing is to ensure that any counteroffers don’t affect the relationship you have with your past and future employers. A bit of time to think and a level of negotiation is totally acceptable, but if matters become protracted, it’s time to make a decision.
When you’ve been offered a job, you’ll need to think about whether you intend to negotiate your salary. This can feel awkward. But rest assured that salary negotiation is part and parcel of recruitment. Most employers expect some level of discussion here, so you may as well get involved and use the experience to boost your confidence (and potentially your pay packet).
Salary negotiation shows a sense of initiative and drive – what employer wouldn’t want those qualities in their new team member? The initial salary proposed is the first offer. There’s a good chance that there’s room for manoeuvre.
Here’s our top tips for a successful salary negotiation.
Let your employer go first.
Don’t give your new employer a number. At most, tell them that you’re open to a discussion around the range of the salary on offer. The worst thing you could do is go in with a number lower that the one they were going to offer in the first place. Make them do the talking and make their initial offer – negotiations start from there.
Take a chance.
The offer might be lower than you expected, it might be higher. Whatever the offer, now’s not the time to hold back. Stay calm and enter into negotiations – you’ve got nothing to lose.
Know your numbers.
Don’t launch headlong into a salary negotiation without first knowing your bottom line. What’s the lowest you’d accept? And what number would it take for you to swerve negotiations altogether? Keep in mind your current salary, the average pay for the role on offer, and what your skills and experience deserve.
Always be professional and approachable.
Stick to points which demonstrate why you’re WORTH more, not the reasons why you need more. The amount of your mortgage and how many mouths you’ve got to feed have no place in a salary negotiation.
There’s nothing personal about a salary negotiation. Sometimes there’s room for manoeuvre, sometimes there isn’t. But it’s always about work, and never about you as an individual. Don’t let emotions take over and ruin your chances of a successful salary negotiation.
Money isn’t everything.
The final figure is not the only thing up for a discussion when negotiating your salary. What else could you look to increase? Holiday entitlement for example, or a company car. At this point, it’s time to think outside the salary box.
Things to remember when negotiating your salary:
- You got the job. Your new employer liked what they saw and made an offer. Keep that in mind when entering into salary negotiation.
- Your starting salary matters. It sets the benchmark for all your future career moves. Don’t set the bar too low.
- Consider the whole package. There may be a lot more to the offer than the salary. For example, would you be happy with a higher salary but a tiny holiday allowance? Probably not. A salary negotiation is just that, it’s not about making compromises to secure a higher figure.
- Take your time. We’re not suggesting that you take a couple of weeks off to mull over any offer made, we’re saying that thinking about it for a day or two is more than acceptable. This is an important decision and one which must be well thought through.