- Sometimes, an offer is so good that the choice is obvious, but there can also be some red flags to look out for.
- Every position has its benefits and drawbacks, but there are some common questions you should ask yourself and factors you should contemplate before accepting a job offer.
- If you apply to a job and receive a job offer, you need to ensure that the offer matches what you and the interviewer talked about or matches the job description.
You’ve landed a job offer. Congratulations! Now, you have to decide if you’ll accept it.
Sometimes, an offer is so good that the choice is obvious, but there can also be some red flags to look out for.
Every position has its benefits and drawbacks, but there are some common questions you should ask yourself and factors you should contemplate before accepting a job offer.
Here are seven red flags when considering a job offer:
1. The salary isn’t clear
It’s best if a job description includes the salary, but many do not.
People have argued that not including a salary in job postings wastes both employers’ and applicants’ time. Not including a salary perpetuates wage gaps as well as minimizes the important financial aspect of work.
If you apply to a job not knowing the salary, that information should be found out as soon as possible in the interview process. If the hiring manager cannot give you a definite salary range, this is a red flag.
If you think that the salary might not be enough to cover your basic expenses, and you’ve tried to negotiate a higher salary without any luck, it’s probably a good idea to walk away.
2. The job duties are mysterious
If the employer is unable to communicate a clear sense of what your job would entail, that’s a red flag.
If more information would help you make a decision, it’s fine to ask for more details.
A job title should explain most aspects of the job. If you’ve gone through the entire interview process and still don’t know what the job entails, you should either find out more information or pass on the job.
If you take on a job that doesn’t have clear duties, there’s a chance that what you thought you would do and what you actually do are very different and are out of your skill set.
3. It takes a while before you can receive benefits
If a prospective employer offers a great 401(k) plan, a generous amount of vacation days, and full health insurance coverage, that’s a good perk.
The problem is that you won’t be eligible to contribute to the 401(k) until after 12 months, and it’ll take another six years until you’re fully vested.
Make sure you know when you’ll get access to all the benefits before accepting a job offer.
4. The company’s turnover rate is bad
Turnover happens in every job and every industry. The average turnover rate is 3.5%, but some industries have a higher rate – like the arts, with a turnover rate of 6.1%.
While you can ask about the turnover rate during the interview, they probably don’t know specifics. Instead, ask the interviewer why the position is open in order to find out if the previous worker left the company.
It may be worth it to research your prospective employer on review sites and social media to see if you can get more information on the company’s turnover, longevity, and why people are leaving the company.
If it seems that there’s a high rate of turnover (or many current employees are actively searching for new jobs), take this into consideration before you accept the job.
5. The company doesn’t allow flexible working options
This mostly applies to office jobs, which have the ability to be far more flexible than many other types of jobs.
The pandemic taught us that it’s not necessary to work from an office that we need to commute to everyday. We are now able to work from our computers anywhere; from home, from a coworking space, or from a hotel room in another country.
Flexibility is one of the most sought-after benefits that workers look for. The option to allow employees to work remotely or choose a hybrid work style is critical to employee satisfaction.
If a company offers you a job but doesn’t allow the flexible working options that you desire, it’s best to search for another job that will.
6. The offer doesn’t match the job description
If you apply to a job and receive a job offer, you need to ensure that the offer matches what you and the interviewer talked about or matches the job description.
No matter how much the offer varies from what you expected, ask about the differences and get written confirmation that what you discussed in the interview is what your job will be.
Once you sign the offer, you’ll be expected to abide by that job description, salary, and whatever other details are in it.
Job descriptions should be transparent and non-deceptive, and prospective job seekers should see it as a red flag if a job description is far different from the offer.
7. Former employees have bad things to say about the company
It would serve you well to go through review websites like Glassdoor and social media, as well as talk to former employees of the company.
Before accepting a job offer, network with past employees to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into.
If past employees have negative things to say about the company or job, it might be wise to reconsider working there.
Declining the offer
If you do decide to turn down an offer, it’s important to do so in the right way and at the right time.
Typically, it is best to take some time to consider an offer even if you are leaning towards turning it down.
When you’re ready to decline, the best practice is to write a polite letter expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to explore the job.