Step 9: Job offer

job offer

Offer of employment

If you have been gathering feedback after each interview you will have a good idea of whether a job offer is on the cards and will be able to better equip yourself for the offer process.

Job offers will differ depending on how you found the role in the first place. If the offer is through an agent you will not have any direct contact with the employer until the offer is accepted, whereas if you have been dealing with the employer directly, you must handle the process yourself.


Agency job offer

agency job offer

An agency charges an organisation a fee depending on your first year’s salary. It is in their best interest to get you as much as possible. When going through an agency make sure that your agent is aware of the following;

Your salary expectations
The date you can start
Any prior commitments including holiday dates
Any notice period with your current company

The agency will get the call from the client with a formal job offer and will call you with all the details.

Once a decision has been made on your part, the agency will go back to their client and organise offer letters, start dates and inductions.

Once you have started with your new employer, the agency will have nothing to do with you so while they are working for you make sure you are happy with the entire offer!


Direct job offer

direct job offer

If you secured an interview yourself, a direct job offer will come from either the manager who interviewed you or the companies HR/Recruitment team. It is important to make notes and ensure that you have gathered all the information needed to fully consider the offer.

The new employer will push you for a decision so make sure you give yourself some time to reflect and look at the offer in more detail.

Package details & reflection– when considering an offer it is important to know what is included in you package. Your package will be made up of a selection of factors, some of which may add value to your salary and should be taken into consideration when accepting/declining an offer.

Your package may contain some or all of the following;

Bonus schemes – does the company give monthly, quarterly or yearly bonuses?
Commission schemes – mainly sales orientated

Probation period– how long do you have to employed for before you pass the probation period.
Holiday pay– How many days’ holiday do you get, does this go up each year?
Sick pay– do you get sick pay at all?
Study support – will the company support study if relevant to the role. Have they supported study in the past?
Healthcare– do they offer dental, private or any medical schemes?
Pension scheme – does the company have one? Do they contribute?

IMPORTANT. If the role is offering a slightly lower basic salary than what you would like, you may find that the benefits more than make up for this.


We suggest that you

job offer to do

Once a job offer has been made, either direct or through an agency, we suggest that you:

Thank the agency/company for the offer of employment.
Ask for full details on the package that the company is offering.
Ask for 24 hours to reflect on the offer so that you can make an informed decision.

When considering the offer, look at the following:
Pay scheme
Bonus scheme
Holiday entitlement
Company benefits
Parking provided
Hours of work
Lunch breaks
Pension schemes

During the 24-hour period consider the following:
Does this position offer me the development I need?
Does this role meet all my financial commitments?
Is there room for progression (if this is what motivates you)
Is the role in the right location with the right hours of work?
Can I give 100% commitment to this role?

Don’t panic! Most employers will appreciate you not making a hasty decision and know that you are considering all aspects of the role. You should however clearly communicate this!

An employer will appreciate you taking the time to consider all points before committing to their role.

Granted, if you have been out of work for any length of time you may want to bite the employer’s arm of at the offer. However, once you have accepted the offer there is no room for negotiation.

It is important to make sure that you are 100% happy with your decision to commit to a new role and that the offer suits both parties.

Do not make the mistake of accepting the first role that comes along if you are not happy with the details.


Negotiation and objection handling

negotiation and objection handling

If there is a part of the job offer that you are not happy with now is the time to negotiate. You will not have the power to negotiate once you have started the role so make sure all details of the role are out in the open beforehand.

Make sure that your check list complete-

Happy with the salary
Right location
Right prospects
Right hours
Room for progression
Suits my work/life balance
Right role

If your answer is yes to all the above, then you have no need to negotiate and you are ready to start this role.

However, if you are not happy with any of the above there is one golden role to maintain your professionalism:


It is true that honesty is the best policy and your employer will take your comments on board if you are honest from the outset.

For example- I was on more money than you are offering. The role was advertised for X but you have offered me Y, why can I not be on the X (higher) amount?

TIP: Speak to your employer or agency. Reassure them that while you are certain this role is for you; you want to clarify if there will be a pay review in your first year or when you pass your probationary period.


I’m in a ‘win-win situation’ how do I accept the job offer?

accepting a job offer

Make sure you have found yourself in a ‘win-win’ situation ensuring that both you and your employer are happy with all the details.

Once you are happy with the offer you then need to do the following-

Formally accept the offer in writing (this applies to both agencies and direct employers)  when you have received your offer of employment in the post.

If you are employed, tender your notice in writing and gain an end date.

Ensure that your agency/direct employer has everything needed to move things forward with HR.

Make sure that you are aware of start dates and contracts being sent out and when to expect them.


Declining a job offer

declining a job offer

Declining an offer is not a crime and you should not worry about doing this. You should however have valid reasons for doing so. Remember that by attending the interview you must have been originally interested in the post and your agency/the company will want to know what has made you change your mind.

When declining an offer through an agency, be sure to:

Be honest with the agency. If there is something wrong with the company/interviewer, the agency may be able to approach this.

Write all your reasons down so that you can refer back to them when talking to the agency.

Get back to them as soon as you have decided so that they can deal with this immediately.

Thank the agent for taking the time to put you forward for this role and ask them to continue to seek employment for you (if this is applicable).

If declining the role through a company directly, be sure to:

Speak to the person that arranged the interview and is dealing with the vacancy.

Give prompt feedback including reasons for declining the role.

Thank the company/interviewer for considering you for this role.


I have accepted a job offer but I have made a mistake: what should I do?

job offer mistake

Many candidates accept roles without fully considering whether this is the right move for them. This happens for a number of reasons including lack of options, financial pressure, pressure from an agency and not taking time to reflect on the offer in the first place.

If through an agency:-

Make sure that you are equipped with the reasons for why you have changed your mind and let the agent know as soon as possible.

An agent will not appreciate;

You emailing the night before you are due to start the job
You leaving a message with a colleague
You ignoring their phone calls and emails

If through a company:-

When dealing with an employer directly always put the information in writing and follow up with a phone call with your reasons for why.

As with an agency do not leave this to last minute, have valid reasons ready and speak to the person in charge of managing the vacancy.

Make sure that this feedback is passed on quickly giving the recruiter time to look for a replacement and pass on your apologies for letting them down.


What happens next?

what happens next

Once all the acceptance and negotiation parts of the process are out of the way you will now move onto inductions and start dates.

Once you have accepted a role the next stage will depend on how you found the role-

If through an agency:-

The agency will correspond with the employer on your behalf to ensure that an offer of employment is put in writing for you.

The employer may then contact you directly to ask for reference details prior to your start date.

You will receive written confirmation in the post from the company and you may also receive confirmation from the agency with details of the company you are joining, start date, salary and package details.

If through a company:-

An offer of employment/contract will be sent to you in the post confirming that they have offered you a role.

Your employer will provide you with a start date and what to expect on your first day.

Your employer may also ask you to provide work and personal references prior to your start date if you have not done so already.


Paperwork and procedures

paperwork and procedures

You will need to make sure that you have dealt with the following prior to your start date:

P45 – you have a copy to give to your employer for payment details.

References – both personal and work references.

A signed contract – returned to your employer.

Paperwork – you have received all paperwork from your employer/agency confirming the job offer and all dates and times for your first day including who to ask for when you arrive.

Bank details – make sure you have these on hand so that your employer can set you up on the payroll.

ID – some employers may ask you to bring a copy of your passport for security reasons.

Dress code – it is advisable to confirm the dress code prior to your start date.

Certificates – make sure you have copies of any certificates needed for the role.

Overview of the 10 Steps
You can find out more information about each step here.