6 key questions to research before taking that job
Congratulations! You've been offered the job that you had your eye on for weeks! The interview went swimmingly and your possible new boss thinks you're tops. You're excited about new challenges and working with new people. It's all looking rosy in your professional life right now. In fact, you can't wait to hand in your notice and move on!
But this is where we press 'pause'. Just for a moment.
Before you sign on the dotted line, there are some key questions you should be asking to make sure this job is indeed right for you.
A good job isn't just about the roles and responsibilities. There's much more to it than that. When you're on the job hunt, ask employers about the things that matter to you. When you put the same value on a new job as you would on other important parts of your life, like finding the right home, you can see why you need to be certain it works for you on many levels.
Not sure where to start? Check out our list of essential enquiries you should make before snapping up an offer:
1. Is the salary right for you?
To be doubly sure that your new employer is paying industry standards do your groundwork. Look at other job listings on Monster, read ads in your industry press and talk to friends working in the same profession as you. Keep an eye out for news on the job market from recruitment consultancy firms, or look around for up-to-the-minute data such as salaries, bonus and benefits on the Compare My Salary website.
2. What's included in the benefits package?
A monthly wage isn't the only way to get recognition for your hard work. You can also look for a benefits package that suits you. Employers sometimes provide enhanced benefits if they're not in a position to offer top salaries – start-ups, charities and small businesses, for example. Bear this in mind when you look at the packages offered by employers. Is there the option for gym membership or a bike-to-work scheme? Could you get a mobile phone allowance, private healthcare, good pension contributions, flexible working options or a car allowance?
3. Does your potential employer offer rewards and incentives?
A lot of employers realise that people work harder in return for something extra. Staff social events, international business trips, time off for community projects and free snacks are examples of how organisations are encouraging staff and attracting the best job applicants.
4. How can I develop my career?
What happens when you're up to speed on the skills required by your new job? Will you get bored without the chance to develop, and look for new work? Or do you want an employer who'll give you lots of learning and development opportunities, and, importantly, who lets you put that knowledge into practice? This is really important for your future, so don't be afraid to ask.
5. Is the business big on diversity?
More job seekers want to work for employers that make diversity a priority. A diverse workforce not only reflects the make-up of our society but it brings people together from different backgrounds, who can contribute a spectrum of ideas, opinions and experience. An employer that welcomes employees regardless of culture, religion, physical ability, race, sexuality, etc, means it is likely to be a positive place to work in other ways.
6. Is the business responsible?
Whether it's protecting the environment, forming charity partnerships, treating suppliers with respect or making ethical investments, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a big deal these days. Research your employers' activities in this area. Do they genuinely care? Is it more than just PR? See if you recognise any organisations on lists such as the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, awards such as the Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards, and don't forget about local business awards, such as the Best Employers Awards for the East of England. And ask about CSR policies in interviews.
Written by Lynn Walters, Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions, a leading and innovative recruitment consultancy firm in the East of England.