You Have an Offer: Now What?

I’m  continually amazed – especially in a soft market – how some candidates respond to getting an offer and the back and forth that leads to either an acceptance or…well you know about the alternative :-). We try to coach candidates when an offer is made and prefer to outline the offer verbally before it gets memorialized in writing to gauge their response. Too many candidates become emotional at the peak of the search process and forget all of the reasons they pursued the job to begin with.

HELLO…-  we have an offer on the table that WE (really) need to discuss!

Let’s review the reasons you were interested in the first place and do a “gut check” on your motivation and interest in “Getting to YES”:

PASSION: Does this role get you excited and are you passionate about the company and what they do? Why? Do you believe you will wake up every day and look forward to going to work? Do you understand what role this company/organization plays in the industry or in the community where you live. You need to feel very passionate about the company and its products and services. Are you excited about what you will be doing?

CULTURE: What is it like to work for the new organization/ have you talked with current employees to get a sense for how they and others feel about working there? Does the company look like it would be a fun place to work or is it run by a dictator who employees despise? Finding out about the company culture requires digging in a bit more – but it’s usually worth it! Do you like the person you will be reporting to? This really matters!

CAREER PROGRESSION: Does this role move you in the right direction career-wise? Is this a step in the right direction or a just big fat lateral with new business card and phone number? Make sure you are making a move that help you learn a new skill, grow your knowledge-base or scale to the next rung on the career ladder that will help you long term. Leaving to take a new job just to be leaving does not always make sense. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

COMPENSATION: Is the offer fair and offer the right salary and bonus opportunity compared to what you have today? How about benefits like 401K, PTO/vacation, or other employee benefits compared to your current deal? Is there a signing bonus? That always helps! Make sure you are not just evaluating this opportunity based on the money alone. If so, you may have more money in your pocket each month but be miserable on every other front. It’s not always about the Benjamins.

STOP AND PAUSE: Give yourself a day or so to think about the offer and make sure you are leaving for the right reasons, feel great about the company/organization, their culture and the role you will be playing. If the the answer is positive on all fronts and the compensation is fair and balanced -then I think you have your answer.

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.