Presentation on theme: "Choosing and Accepting the Right Offer for You Engineering Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison."— Presentation transcript:
Choosing and Accepting the Right Offer for You Engineering Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
Tougher Choices: Prioritize Which of these items are most important to you and your career?
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?
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
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
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…
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!
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
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
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