By Jez Styles, AdMore Recruitment– Specialists in Retail and Hospitality Recruitment, Search & Selection, Talent Management and Career Development
15 questions you need to ask before accepting an offer.
This year we have seen a significant increase in the number of candidates returning to the job market, albeit relatively passively in a lot of cases. Surprisingly, while the reasons can be poles apart such as redundancy or a lack of career progression, it can often drive similar behaviours amongst candidates. I have commented previously that a significant number of candidates have made the wrong decision about a career move and joined the wrong business because they have not completed their due diligence. While this list is not exhaustive, considering the following points before accepting an offer may help you in your decision.
Why is there a vacancy?
Ask this question when you are briefed by an agency, ask this question in your first interview and ask this question in your final interview.
How often is this position recruited?
This is a very difficult question to ask in an interview but you need to know the answer. Linkedin provides a good opportunity to do some research and it is worth making contact with a couple of past employees to informally ask them about how often the role has been / is recruited.
Why do people leave the business?
How many people have been promoted internally at my proposed level in the last 2-3 years? Who was the last person to be promoted and what did they do to achieve this?
How is the business performing financially?
Check out the last set of company accounts. This is particularly important if the business is small and relatively unknown.
What is my prospective Line Manager like to work for?
It is crucial you work hard to informally reference your new boss. Speak to people you trust to seek their opinion. Check out their Social Media (Linkedin/ Twitter) profiles.
What does your Sponsor(s) think?
It often takes someone without prejudice to give you some simple and much needed honest advice.
What was the average bonus payment in the last financial year and what was the average pay rise?
Do I fit the company culturally?
Look at the company’s values and working culture. Do you like what you see? Does the reality match up with what is described in their marketing material? Again, talk to employees past and present.
Why do they want me?
This is a difficult question to ask as you will want to believe it is because you are the best candidate. However, are there other reasons, for instance your inside knowledge of one of their competitors?
Does my consultant sound convinced that he/she is recruiting for a great business?
It is worth working hard to build a good personal relationship with your consultant as they will provide the odd snippet of information that could help you to make your decision.
Does the offer of employment and/or contract match what I have been told verbally?
Don’t be afraid to dig deeply in to the Terms &Conditions of the contract however be careful how you position your resulting queries.
When did the company last restructure and are there any plans to do so in the future?
Look for a pattern, you will be amazed by how often retailers restructure from one working model to another.
What impact will this move have on my personal brand or future career opportunities?
Am I taking this job because I want it or because I think I have to take it?
Think about the longer term implications of taking a job for the wrong reasons.
This is of course not an exhaustive list, and would welcome any thoughts and additions to the above.