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How To Compare Job Offers - Five Key Factors

Ever asked yourself the question which job offer should I accept? It is common for so much time and attention to be dedicated to creating a CV, finding job vacancies and excelling at interview that when the inevitable job offers arrive it can be difficult to decide which one to take. As an ex recruitment specialist I aim to help you solve this dilemma by providing some useful hints and tips that will help you objectively compare two job offers or more by examining a range of factors linked to it.

1. Write Down Your Thoughts

It is impossible to make a comparison unless you have a range of factors to compare. Use a separate piece of paper for each job offer and draw a line vertically down the centre putting the strengths of that job offer on the left and the weaknesses on the right. At the end of the exercise you will have two pieces of paper each with strengths and weaknesses and it will be easier to make a comparison. Taking the time to write down your thoughts on paper can be an effective and visual way of comparing two job offers.

2. Location

Think carefully about the location of each of the two job offers and the transport links to each. Do they have good motorway or road links and what is the traffic like during peak travel times? It may even be worth trying a dummy run to each to get an overall view. Alternatively are there good rail or bus links or is the job offer within easy walking or cycling distance. If you are cycling, does either of the companies that made you an offer have appropriate facilities like bike storage areas or showers, to cool off after arriving at work. Whilst one job offer may be more financially lucrative in terms of basic salary, travel costs may significantly reduce your net pay or there may be more to pay out on vehicle maintenance costs from all the commuting. It is crucial that you decide prior to accepting any job offer whether you are willing to travel or even relocate for the right job and what effect this will have on you and/or your family.

3. Job Responsibilities

When comparing two job offers it is important to think carefully about the jobs themselves, Are both job offers comparable in terms of the role being offered or is one more appealing because of new skills you may acquire? Once again you need to think clearly about the objectives you set yourself when you first started your job search. It is not always beneficial simply to accept a job offer due to a higher basic salary if it is identical to your current position, as you may quickly become bored. When comparing two job offers think about the training or career development opportunities that are available as well as the financial remuneration. The opportunity to develop new skills or get promoted more quickly may be far more beneficial in the long term.

4. Organisation Reputation

The reputation of an organisation is essential when comparing two job offers because it is important that your new employer can offer you long term stability. It is important to ask friends, family or colleagues about what they have heard about the organisations in question to ascertain whether they can offer you any further insight into the organisation. An organisation offering a higher basic salary may simply be trying to cover over inherent weaknesses in its structure and how it deals with its staff, so do not just rely on salary as a guide. The internet can also be an excellent source of information and typing in the name of the organisation along with the word “reviews” can sometimes bring up comments from current or ex employees. For example “HSBC Reviews” or “IBM Reviews” or “Currys Reviews.” These comments need to be treated in context as the internet is a disinhibitive environment, which means that people often say things that they would not normally say in person, and these views may not be representative, however if there are many comments from different individuals then it may provide some insight into the organisation's reputation.

Tip: Consider contacting both organisations and ask if you could visit the sites again. This will give you an invaluable opportunity to chat with staff and get another feel for the environment rather than simply relying on your experiences in interview. If one of the organisations refuses your request then this may tell you something about the way in which they work.

5. Benefits

Whilst basic salary is important when comparing two job offers, it is also important to consider other organisational benefits that form part of the package offered to you. Whilst the basic salary may be higher on one offer the associated benefits of another may outweigh this. You should take time to work out the what benefits are associated with the job offer and their relative value to you as a prospective employee. Here are a number of benefits to consider;

  • Company Discounts
  • Commission or bonus structures
  • Company Car
  • Car Allowance
  • Mileage Allowance
  • Pension Arrangements such as a final salary pension
  • Medical Insurance
  • Number of days holiday a year
  • Flexible working hours
  • Work from home opportunities
  • Gym membership
  • Share Options

    The aim of this article has been to offer a structured approach regarding how to compare two job offers. There are a range of important factors that contribute to the final decision and you should never feel under pressure to accept a job offer on the spot. Instead express your pleasure at being made the offer and politely inform the organisation that you need a few hours to think about it. This will give you ample opportunity to think through your decision and compare the two job offers more thoroughly.

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