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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
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Choosing and Accepting theRight 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