My other half and I have been down the house buying path together a couple of times.
The first time was in 2006-07, right in the eye of the real estate chaos. After losing a few houses we gave up and decided to rent. (One of the best choices we’ve made, in retrospect.)
We decided to re-enter the home buying market in early 2010. We figured with banks ratcheting up approval criteria for home loans about 1000%, it would be a buyer’s market. Wrong. We lost out on two houses before we came upon another, a nicely kept Tudor in our target area.
I found it about an hour after it first hit the MLS, around 9pm. I sent the listing to our realtor. He called before 8:30am the next morning. “That house is a peach. If you’re interested you need to see it today because it’s going to sell.”
By the time we walked in the door at 8pm that night, 24 realtors had toured the house (in 1 day!) and there was already one offer. After a 20 minute walkthrough, we decided to make an offer.
Two hours later, he called. “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is there are four offers on the table–and one of them is substantially higher than yours.” My heart sank.
He continued: “The good news: The seller likes the terms of your offer better.” I was confused. How can our offer, which wasn’t the highest, be better?
The answer is: The offer is a better fit for the individual. And this also holds true in your job search. Money isn’t the only thing.
You need to carefully prioritize what is most important to you:
You need to look at all of these factors in considering a job offer. It’s imperative that you know how the above factors are prioritized for you in order to make that decision.
As a recruiter, I’ve occasionally extended an offer to a candidate when the company I represent doesn’t have the highest dollar offer they are considering. But occasionally, after the candidate walks through all of the decision factors, they realize that the best offer isn’t the highest.
Oh, and the house? Our counter-counter offer was accepted at about 11:45 that night. We went to bed in a bit of a daze, not quite believing that in the short time since dinner we’d bought a house.
In a prior post, I discussed some ways of obtaining information that can help negotiate a job offer. When you receive a job offer, it’s easy to only focus on the hard numbers:
These are the data points most easily benchmarked against your current position (or against the market). But if you focus only on those numbers, you are not evaluating the entire offer effectively.
Benefits are extremely important to you (and, potentially, your family). They are also a significant part of your compensation.
A great benefit package:
But how much do these cost–and how to weigh them as part of your offer? The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated that, on average, benefits cost an employer 30.9% of the overall cost of employment. A 2011 SHRM report states that, on average, employers spent 19% on mandatory benefits (such as unemployment compensation, workers compensation, and Social Security); 19% on voluntary benefits (such as health insurance, flexible spending accounts, vision plans, insurance); and 11% on time not worked benefits (paid holidays, sick leave, vacation, personal/bereavement leave).That’s 49% of the total $ spent on employing you.
Now you have a sense of how much you should value that benefits package as part of your offer. What should you be looking at specifically?
Altogether, the differences between benefits packages can mean large overall differences in your compensation–or how much $ will be coming out of your paycheck (or pocket) that isn’t with your current plan today–with a new employer vs. current. It’s well worth taking the time to crunch the numbers and discuss the differences you find with the recruiter. It’s worth noting that most recruiters will not be able to make changes to benefits–with very few exceptions (seniority-based vacation accrual for one) they are usually the same for all employees. But they may be able to make a case for increasing your base compensation a bit if your out of pocket expenses will increase under the new plan.
Hello everyone. Sorry I’ve been radio silent this week. Busy week at work + crazy long weekend painting the house = not much time to write blog posts.
Hypothetical scenario: You’re interviewing for a job with Company A and make it to the final round. You don’t have any other offers on the table at the moment–and aren’t currently expecting any. You tell the recruiter so.
The day before your final round of interviews, you receive a request to interview at from Company B that next afternoon. As your final interview with Company A is in the morning, you agree. Both rounds of interviews go well, and you inform Company B that you had a final interview with Company A that morning and are expecting to hear back from them within the week.
You leave the interview with Company B not expecting anything more than possibly being asked back for a second round of interviews. Instead, that night they email you an offer. You’re taken by surprise, of course, but as you think about the company, what the position would offer to you, who you would be working with and for, and the package you realize that it seems like a very strong fit.
Company A extends an offer to you the next afternoon. Obviously the recruiter is taken by surprise when he hears you have an offer. You ask for some time to really consider both offers, as both positions are appealing in different ways. In the end, you decide to go with Company B’s offer.
But how do you tell Company A that you’re not taking their offer?
This is a great problem to have, admittedly, but a tough one. I recently had a candidate in a similar situation who handled it beautifully. Here’s what they did:
Do this with integrity and transparency, and you’ll reinforce their belief that you were the right candidate.