How to avoid surprises when it comes to your verbal offer?
You made it! You worked hard to get this job by attending endless interviews, preparing presentations and answering technical questions but you finally got what you wanted- a Verbal Offer! Well done!
Now let’s talk numbers.
Getting an offer is very exciting but as soon as you hear the offered salary your heart will either jump with joy or sink in despair.
These are the three typical scenarios candidates find themselves when they are told the offered salary;
1. You had a conversation with the recruiter about the salary package during the interview process and your proposed salary is in line with your expectations. You know what is coming and you are happy to accept your offer without any hesitations.
Make sure you understand the full package breakdown including all the non-cash benefits before you accept but otherwise you are good to go.
2. You find yourself in a situation where the salary package was not mentioned or written on the job description and you did not ask, probably thinking it is impolite.
Now you are hoping for the best. On this occasion the offered package might be either a pleasant surprise or a dreaded nightmare.
If your salary expectations are higher than the offer presented, make sure you explain this to the recruiter as soon as possible. Remember it is the recruiter’s job to get all the information from you before they make the offer, so don’t feel too bad questioning the proposed package.
Find out what is the top end they can offer and hopefully you can come to a compromise. If the proposed salary is still too low and you can’t accept the offer, learn from this experience, so you don’t waste yours and the company’s time in the future.
3. You did discuss your salary expectations prior to the offer but you are not happy with the proposed salary.
You can go back to the recruiter and politely ask if there is anything they can do to increase the salary. The recruiter might be able to increase the offer if there is some wiggle room in the budget.
If your proposed salary is at the top end of the salary bracket and there is no additional budget, this might be their final offer. You will have to decide if to take it or keep looking for a different job.
Of course there are exceptions. The recruiter might be able to get extra approvals and get you an increase if this is possible. They want to make sure you accept the role and have a good candidate experience. They want you to be excited to join the company and stay. It isn’t in anyone’s interest if you leave after two months because you got offered a better package elsewhere.
My Tip– I would advise you to always ask the recruiter for the salary and benefits package before you start the interview process if they don’t offer the information openly.
Sometimes recruiters have a set salary bracket for a role they are recruiting for and will have to get the salary package approved before they can make the offer, therefore they might not know the exact number.
The offered salary normally depends on how well you perform during the interview process and how your skills and experience align to the role requirements in question.
Do not assume the salary package purely based on the job title. If the recruiter doesn’t know the exact package, tell them your current package and salary expectations to avoid any confusion down the line.
It might be a complete waste of time for you and the business to carry on with the interview process if for example, the top end offer for the role is £50,000 but your salary expectations are £65,000. You won’t accept the offer. The business will be very disappointed and the recruiter won’t look very professional for not finding out your salary expectations during the interview process.
What to check before you sign your contract?
Once you verbally agree to the salary and the benefit package, the recruiter will send you a written contract or an offer letter, confirming everything you discussed.
A contract gives both you and the employer rights and obligations. Read it carefully, make sure you understand everything and are happy with the terms before you sign it.
Make sure the information in your contract/ offer letter is correct. Below are the things to double check before you sign;
- Date of contract being created
- Your address
- Start date
- The job tile
- Type of contract (permanent, fixed term, etc)
- Work location
- Working hours
- Holiday entitlement
- Notice Period
- Probation Period
- Absence and sickness policy
- Restrictive covenants
- Any additional terms you agreed i.e. shift pattern, travel requirements, etc.
For more tips on job search ideas please read here.