Before You Sign That Job Offer

That one mail you wait for constantly, subject line: “Offer Letter”.
You keep on refreshing your inbox 10 times a day just to see if things have moved further. You constantly stay in touch with the Recruiter, taking updates and asking for a timeline by which you will receive an offer. That constant tension that keeps building upon your shoulders since the day you stepped in for your first round. And why not, it’s a job that you have been waiting for months.

But when you receive and sign that offer letter, you suddenly realize that things start moving quickly. There is a constant pressure of joining early, hand over to the current company, sometimes even relocation. And in the entire ruckus, the candidate forgets to look into a few important things before signing that offer.

So, before you sign that offer of your dream job, here are few things that you should take clarity on:

  1. Reporting structure
    The HR community strongly believes that an employee doesn’t leave a company; he/she leave their manager. To avoid the situation, make sure you know the company well and also the reporting structure. You don’t want to get stuck with a “Hari Sadu”. If the Recruiter is acting confidential in sharing names of structures, there is always LinkedIn, Google for stalking and Glass door for company reviews. It’s better to have clarity before you sign that offer.

  2. Salary Components
    Salary structure has a few basic components in it. Like Basic, HRA, DA, Provident Fund, Employer’s contribution etc. Now make sure that you understand each and every component thoroughly before you sign that offer. And if you still have any kind of doubts, simply speak to the Recruiter or the company’s HR. A lot of things can be changed in a structure. For Example; if someone has a less take-home amount that person can get his PF removed if he has never opened a PF account. A lot of candidates, especially freshers who have low packages get duped over this small little thing. To increase the take home, you can simply get your PF removed.

  3. Bonus and variable payout
    For candidates who join at a Manager level or above, bonus and variable payout information are very important. A bonus is a sum of money added to person’s salary as a reward for good performance. So every bonus has a set quantitative parameter of performance. In case your salary has a bonus component, make sure it is justified with the set parameters as well and mentioned clearly in the letter.
    Variable pay can be of different types. Some variables are Performance or KRA (Key Result Areas) linked. And some are linked to the company or divisional profits. So before you accept the offer, make sure the recruiter has clarified you on these two aspects.

  4. Benefits:
    Benefits are another important component that you need you check properly before you sign that offer. Benefits generally include your medical needs and insurance needs. Now every company has a few benefits that they have to provide no matter what (Group Life Term Insurance, Gratuity etc). But then there are some companies that miss out on these essential ones as well. So make sure you ask the HR for the “Benefits Package”. Benefits are also distributed as per the Grade you have in the company. For example, Maternity leave. One of the most important benefit any married female asks before joining a company.

  5. Reimbursements:
    A salary component can also include a lot of reimbursements which can help you in saving tax. So if you are a candidate joining at a pretty high package, you poke the Recruiter to send you the list of reimbursements available as well. These may generally include Petrol charges, Sodexo coupons, Conveyance charges, reading material expense etc. Also, make sure you know how and when the reimbursements are paid.

  6. Leaves
    Though many recruiters share the details of leaves before joining, some companies prefer to share the details only when the candidate is on board. They may inform that the company is 5 or 6 days working, but they will act reluctant in sharing the types of leaves and numbers. So make sure you take the information before you sign that offer so that you don’t get any surprises later on.

  7. Relocation:
    Relocation is another aspect of your offer which you need to pay attention to if you are living away from the location of the new employer. Though many recruiters prefer to hire from the same location, but sometimes candidates from different locations suit their requirement more. So, make sure to ask about “relocation expenses”. It clarifies that whether your new employer will pay for your relocation? Or will he be willing to reimburse you for the same? Also, pay attention to the clause of relocation policy. It might state a specific time period that you have to stay in the company in order to receive the reimbursement, like a year or a quarter.

  8. Notice Period:
    Negotiating on the notice period is a difficult task for any candidate. Under enormous pressure of signing the offer and informing about the joining date, a candidate sometimes lose their cool and end up breaking good bonds with the current place of work.
    In such a tricky situation, you don’t want to lose the goodwill you have nurtured with the past employer and also don’t want to irritate the new employer. So, tread carefully. If the notice period is non-negotiable, clearly state this from the beginning so that recruiter doesn’t keep on bugging you to speak to the HR and boss. If it is negotiable, speak to your current HR about how to proceed. Also, keep on informing the new employer so that even they don’t get finicky as to why it is taking so long to sign that offer.
    Also, make sure to check on the “offer extension”. For few candidates that recruiter doesn’t want to lose out on due to long notice period, they also can issue an “extension of offer” letter, which gives you a revised time to join the organization.

  9. Work timings:
    Another important aspect to look into is the work timings. We do understand that when work demands, we stay back to finish it off. Sometimes it is really important, sometimes the managers do it for morbid fun. To avoid such a problem, make sure you take clarification over work timings, flexible work timings, and overtime pay out before you sign that offer.

  10. Everything on email:
    An unspoken rule, make sure you take everything on email from your recruiter, even smallest of detail. Many times a recruiter might ignore your requests to put a conversation on email, but be persistent and make sure you do take it.

Transparency is best whenever you want to join a new workplace, from both the ends, recruiter and the candidate. So make sure to have this checklist before you sign that offer to your dream job.