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Choosing and Accepting the Right Offer for You Engineering Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Presentation on theme: "Choosing and Accepting the Right Offer for You Engineering Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison."— Presentation transcript:

1 Choosing and Accepting the Right Offer for You Engineering Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison

2 Accepting an Offer  Step 1: Evaluate the market and your place in it  Step 2: Evaluate your offer(s) and your priorities  Step 3: Negotiate? Best Offer for You  Step 4: Accept/Reject Extended Offers

3 Evaluate Your Market  Your “Market Value”  Where are you in your job search?  Just beginning? Exhausted your contacts?  Waiting to hear back from a number of employers?  How many offers do you have?  Difficult to negotiate or ask for flexibility with only one offer, especially in this job market, unless it is outside of typical range

4 Evaluate Your Market  Follow-up with all employers with whom you interviewed to secure all possible job offers  Let them know you have an offer and your timeline  Can you schedule or push up any on-site interviews?  Can they let you know where they are in the decision-making process?  Don’t decline potential offers until you have officially accepted your offer

5 Evaluate Your Market  Current Economy  UW-Madison College of Engineering – steadily improving market  Fall 2011: much better than 2009-2011  Fall Career Fair: largest in several years  Fall 2012: holding steady or better than 2011-12  Double offers, time pressure from employers  Fall 2013: holding steady or better than 2012-13  Multiple offers, time pressure from employers  NACE Job Outlook (Sept. 2013)  Employers planning to hire more graduates

6 NACE’s 2011 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey  Recruiting is expensive:  The average cost per hire is $5,054.  And takes time:  The average time from interview to offer is 22.5 days.

7 Job Offers: What to Expect  Basics  Salary  Health benefits  Retirement plan of some sort  Training  Vacation/leave time  Extras  Relocation package  Signing bonus  Tuition reimbursement  Spousal assistance  On-site health club  On-site childcare  Housing assistance  Car (sales positions)  Corporate kitchen  Dry cleaning service

8 Easy Choices: Financial Needs  Your preferences:  Base salary vs. commission/bonuses  Financial security  Insurance  What benefits are important to you?  Health insurance coverage (dental/optical/mental?)  Coverage for spouse/partner & dependents  Your offer (s):  Base salary  Compare to national and UW-Madison averages  Cost-of-living for location  Relocation/Signing bonus  Actual costs or lump sum  Company stock options, investment plans, profit sharing  Annual raises and performance bonuses  How are they determined?  Insurance  How flexible? Choose providers?  Employee contributions, co-pay

9 Easy Choices: Location Preferences  Your preferences:  Regional - climate, terrain  Urban vs. rural  Activities, entertainment available  Schools, crime-rate, housing  Your offer (s):  Flexibility in location?  When?  Optional or required?

10 Easy Choices: Work Environment or Culture  Your preferences:  Desired style of supervision  Routine overtime & weekend/holiday hours  Flexible hours vs. set schedule  Ties vs. Birkenstocks  Education, professional memberships  Travel  Child care  Your offer(s):  Know your potential supervisor?  Background, experience, managerial style?  Other mentors available?  Typical hours worked?  Ask what a typical day is like  Observations on site visit  Typical dress  General atmosphere  Relationship between engineering and other departments/unions  Educational opportunities  Initial training, professional conferences/seminars available to you?  Vacation/sick leave/family leave  How calculated and when does it start?

11 Tougher Choices: Career Plan  Your preferences:  Engineering vs. management track  Rotational program vs. fixed position  Career mobility vs. focused career path  Industries of interest  Advanced education  Proximity to universities / colleges, on-line programs  Your offer(s):  Fit with your overall career plan?  Does the position interest you? Utilize your existing skills?  What skills will it help you develop?  Desired or related industry?  Opportunities for advancement? Who determines? How evaluated?  Educational opportunities?  Supported? Paid for? When available to you? Requires commitment to employer?

12 Tougher Choices: The Employer  Your preferences:  Overall corporate values  Size of employer and department  Flat or hierarchical  Teams vs. individual efforts  Deadline, quota or quality driven  Your offer(s):  Place you’re excited to work for?  How many layers of management?  Current trends in the industry?  Is the company growing?  Have they recently merged or been acquired, or laid off?  Is the division growing?  Overall market share?  Growing or decreasing?  Key competitors?  Turn-over rate?

13 Tougher Choices: Prioritize Which of these items are most important to you and your career?

14 Sample Matrix

15 Negotiate? Best Offer for You  Negotiation is not always necessary and reasonable  If you feel it is, ask for flexibility on one or two carefully chosen items  Salary, start date, employment assistance for a spouse, moving expenses, time off for a planned vacation  Decide what you are willing to compromise to achieve your goal  EX: Is it a great position, but you’d really like more vacation?  Are you willing to “buy back” extra vacation?  EX: Is it a low starting salary but everything else is perfect?  Are you willing to give up a $5000 signing bonus for $2000 increase?

16 Negotiate? Best Offer for You  Be prepared – do your homework  Asking for flexibility (negotiating) in the starting salary?  UW-Madison (myECS account) and national (handout at ECS front desk)  Salaries finally expected to increase this year (relatively flat over last three years)  Never compensated 100% for cost of living differences  Understand your market value  Previous co-op/intern experience  Understand the needs of the employer  A start-up company may not be able to offer a high base salary, but could possibly compensate with stock options, profit sharing, etc.  Salary compression issues  Especially coming off of several bad economic/hiring years  The actual position you are being considered for

17 Negotiate? Best Offer for You  You’re negotiating with your future employer  Do not alienate your future boss!  Tread carefully and professionally  Listening is extremely important in the negotiating process  Never negotiate by email  NEVER lie (I have another offer for $XX,XXX…)  Even if you don’t lose the offer, your future credibility and standing will be permanently damaged  You are not trying to win a debate; you are having a discussion regarding possible compromises  DO NOT: “I need a higher base salary”  DO: “Can we discuss any possible flexibility in the salary offer?”  Focus on obtaining a “fair” offer

18 Negotiate? Best Offer for You  Rules for negotiating  Don’t negotiate until a firm offer (in writing) has been extended  Send an email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and asking when would be a good time to discuss the offer  Start with the person who actually sent the offer; may be redirected  All negotiating takes place over the phone or in person; never by email  You need to be able to hear and feel the person’s mood, tone, reaction to your discussion points  Have your notes and materials with you, with source information  Use the “sandwich approach”  I’m extremely interested in this position, but I have some concerns about the start date…

19 Negotiate? Best Offer for You  Know when to stop!!!  Focus on your goals, not on “winning”  No employer wants to hire someone who appears greedy!  Negotiation may not be possible  Negotiation should not be the expectation in this market  Realize that some employers may simply not have the flexibility to negotiate an entry-level offer package  Don’t take this personally!

20 Re-evaluate Offers  This is a huge decision! Try not to become overwhelmed…  Ask for more time if necessary, especially if you have had other 2nd’s  2-3 weeks is perfectly reasonable to ask for, but be aware they may not be able to give you that much time  Review all offers and compare them  Point by point  As an overall fit with your goals and career preferences  General feeling about each offer  Give yourself a little bit of time to sit with your decision  Generally make our best big decisions if we do our research, and then stop actively thinking about it!  Everyone’s ideal offer will be different  Ask for advice from trusted resources, but in the end it is your decision

21 Accept/Reject Extended Offers  Accepting an Offer  Clarify questions and concerns  Accept verbally  Accept in writing  Confirm salary, start date, and any other details of importance  Especially any items that have changed since the original offer  Notify other employers still considering you  Declining an Offer  Reply as soon as decision is made  In writing, professionally  Sample in the ECS Handbook  A phone call is a nice courtesy

22 Accept/Reject Extended Offers  ACCEPT ONLY ONE OFFER (even if something better comes along later!)  Don’t burn bridges you may need in the future, and risk being “bad-mouthed” to other organizations  Report all offers to ECS  Information is confidential  Used for salary and placement stats  Removes you from the active pool of candidates but does not delete your myECS account  Report through myECS (main menu)  Co-op/Intern: submit copy of offer letter to ECS if term is for credit

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