How to accept, reject or negotiate a better offer

6th August 2019

Throughout the process of looking for a new position, it's easy to go through waves of uncertainty, even when you've been successful. Here are a few tips on what to do when accepting, rejecting or negotiating a better offer.

What to do when you get a job offer

Firstly, celebrate! Your hard work of looking for a new position has paid off, now take some time to think about it and do not rush your decision unless you’re 100%.

Evaluate the offer

Now take time to think about the offer to decide if it is right for you, keeping in mind that you do not want to take too long. Remember to express your gratitude for being offered the position and to keep in touch with the Recruiter / Hiring Manager so that they can manage the client’s expectations.

Negotiating a job offer

Know your worth – If the offer is not what you were after, you may want to think about negotiating. Do your research on similar jobs and the average salary so you have a sense of what you are worth. Think about what combination of salary and benefits would work for you as this will be what you ask for.

Tip: Keep in mind your bottom line, you have to know when to stop negotiating and accept the job or to walk away – pushing too hard could mean that the employer withdraws their offer.

If an employer is keen to hire you, you are already in a strong position; so you may want to negotiate on benefits, which could include:

  • Paid holidays / annual leave
  • Education reimbursement
  • Life or health insurance
  • Pension
  • Flexible working or home working
  • Company car and or petrol
  • Subsidised travel or season ticket loans
  • Commission / bonus scheme
  • Childcare
  • Gym membership
  • Profit-sharing scheme or share options

Declining a job offer

Primarily, thank the Recruiter / Hiring Manager for the offer and for their time on either a telephone call or an email giving a brief reason as to why you will be declining the offer. Remember to stay in touch! Offering small, simple pleasantries such as adding them on LinkedIn or a recommendation will go a long way should you be looking again in the near future.

Accepting a job offer

Congratulations! Now’s the time to send a “thank you” letter or an email of acceptance. This should convey your enthusiasm and an outline of the key terms of employment. It is also the time to state your proposed start date and thanks for any special conditions agreed.

Once this has been sent, it is worthwhile calling the Recruiter / Hiring Manager just to let them know that you have done this.

Questions to ask the employer

Do not be afraid to ask questions to the Recruiter / Hiring Manager, only you can make this decision and ensure that it is the right one for you.

Good questions to ask when offered the role:

  • Can I meet the team or the person I will be replacing?
  • Can I see the offices?
  • What is the on-boarding process like?

Top tips to remember throughout the process

  1. Know your bottom line
  2. Be honest, but tactful
  3. Think it through
  4. Read your contract
  5. Be concise
  6. Learn from the experience