You Have the Offer… It Still Doesn’t Mean You Have the Job
It is quite easy to get caught up in all the excitement of receiving an offer and that’s good – you should celebrate! However, this does not mean you’re a slam dunk into the seat of your new desk. Actions after an offer is made are just as important as those before the offer is made.
Anyone can put on their sales hat during an interview, but if you immediately take that hat off after you receive an offer and show a whole different side, you can very well cost yourself the job you thought you just accepted. The key is to maintain a professional, clean, and honest relationship with your future employer prior to an offer as well as after you’ve received it.
In order for your recruiter to act in your best interest, it is very important that you maintain open communication and have been up front with him/her from the beginning. Your recruiter is the main conduit between you and the hiring managers until you officially start, so he/she is critical in managing expectations with hiring authorities. For example, if you have any other potential offers or interviews in the mix, let your recruiter know. Or, if you suddenly need a different start date or have different salary expectations, be sure to thoroughly talk about this change with your recruiter so that there are never any surprises as you begin the hiring process. I have seen multiple offers rescinded when there is a slight disconnect between a candidate’s expectations and a hiring manager’s expectations.
After the offer is made, thank the caller graciously and follow up with your recruiter. Let her/him know how you are feeling and if the information in the offer (verbal or written) corresponds to your expectations, then accept immediately; if not, your recruiter is the best person to negotiate different terms for you. At this point, it is often time to start the next process- the background check. It’s smart to start thinking about this process from the get-go. I have had the experience where a candidate went through the interviewing process, received an offer, and then had major issues arise during the background check. When you begin interviewing, make sure your background is clear (including credit, criminal, drugs, etc.) and start gathering the necessary paperwork for a background check. Note that not every company does background investigations, but it is becoming more and more common.
Another important aspect to consider as well as a clear background is substantial references. It can definitely hold up the process if you have not notified your references that they may be contacted in the near future. Many times a hiring manager or a recruiter calls references that can never be reached. Again, the goal is to get you into the seat of that new job as soon as possible, and managing expectations with your references is also crucial.
Once a background check, reference checks, and signed offer letter are completed, put in your resignation and again, follow-up with your recruiter (seems to be an underlying theme here). Once a two-week notice is given to your current employer – be excited! Enthusiasm is always appreciated both with your recruiter as well as your future employer.
Taking a new job is very exciting, but it is also very strategic. Before you start interviewing for your next position, make sure you are prepared – not just for the initial interview process, but for the post-offer steps… and then the CELEBRATION!
— Heather WeeksBack to the Blog