The application process doesn’t end with getting a job offer. In fact, it’s the make-or-break point where prospective employees decide whether to accept a role based on the compensation and benefits that a company is willing to give them in exchange for their services.
As the cost of living continues to rise due to inflation and the return to normal, applicants should be more discerning when accepting a job being offered to them, taking into consideration not only its financial aspect but also the perks that will allow them to have work-life balance.
“The job offer can come in many forms. It could be a separate document, it could also come as a part of the email itself,” human resources consultant Rhonadale Florentino told reportr.
“It doesn't matter kung ano ang itsura niya as long as it's an offer, it contains kung ano yung willing na ibigay si company in return doon sa services na hopefully you would provide, that can be considered as a job offer,” she added.
In order to come up with a wise decision, applicants must know the basic elements of a job offer to help them understand how much they will earn from their work as well as the other benefits they will get as part of their employment.
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What can you find in a job offer?
While a job offer doesn’t have a standard format, it typically contains the position or title being offered to the prospective employee, the starting date, the probationary period, and the basic salary that a company is willing to give.
It also enumerates the benefits that the applicant will receive, such as the leave credits and when they can be availed, allowances, incentives, performance bonuses, and other company-initiated perks.
The job offer is different from the employment contract. While a job offer contains the salary and benefits that an employee will get if he or she accepts the role, the employment contract details the actual terms and conditions of the job, Florentino said.
“A job offer is not an employment contract. However, if signed by both parties, it can become binding kapag pinirmahan ng both parties,” she added.
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How should you respond to a job offer?
When one receives a job offer, the knee-jerk reaction sometimes is to accept it right away. But according to Florentino, the prospective employee should carefully read it first to make sure that its content matches his or her financial needs and lifestyle.
While it’s easy to say yes to a job offer if it meets your salary expectation, it’s also best to consider the benefits and allowances that the company can give.
“For example, let's say you're married, you have children, and you worry about the health of your children, tignan mo rin meron bang HMO, covered ba yung dependents,” Florentino said.
“Or maybe you're single, you don't have any dependents, but you're the type of person who likes to travel a lot, check mo na agad kailan mo ba makukuha yung mga vacation leave credits, how many leave credits they are offering,” she added.
Consider also that there are mandatory deductions from the salary, which means your take-home pay could be much lower than what is on the job offer.
“I-consider niyo ano ba yung average gastos niyo in a month and check if your salary can cover for that…. Huwag kayo agad masisilaw na malaki yung nasa basic pay, kasi habang tumataas yung sweldo mo, tumataas din yung taxes, SSS, PhilHealth contributions,” Florentino said.
Applicants should also ask if the company gives merit increases for good performance. This way, they can expect higher salaries in the future even if their starting pay is low, Florentino also said.
“Hindi lang basta starting pay, but what happens after a year, two years or three years, titignan niyo rin yun,” she added.
How soon should you respond to a job offer? While there is no hard and fast rule for this, Florentino advised applicants to let employees know about their decision two to three days from receipt of the job offer.
“Of course, kung mas mabilis kang mag-accept, mas madali kang makakapag-start at mas maliit yung risk na bawiin nila yung kanilang job offer,” she said.
“Kasi hangga't hindi mo pinipirmahan yan, pwede nilang bawiin yan lalo na kung mabagal or matagal bago ka mag-accept. But a delay of about two to three days, that's perfectly acceptable,” she added.
How can you negotiate the terms of a job offer?
If you think the offer is below your expectations, you can try to negotiate the terms with the hiring manager especially if you can quantify the reasons for asking higher salary and better benefits, Florentino said.
“It has to be something that's not personal. Kasi yung iba ang gagawin nila, ayoko nitong basic na ito kasi ito yung mga gastusin ko. Hindi problema ng company yung gastusin mo, problema mo yan,” she said.
“Ang problema ng company is kung bibigyan kita ng mas mataas na salary, what's the return on investment?” she added.
For example, if you can show proof that you were able to raise the net revenue of your previous company through the projects you handled, or you stopped talent bleeding due to your employee management skills, then perhaps you can ask for better salary and benefits to your prospective employer.
“The more that you can quantify it, the more na makikita ng management yung value doon sa sinasabi mo na mas mataas na salary,” Florentino said.
“Hindi masamang humingi ng mataas na salary especially if you know you're worth it and if you can defend it, quantify it and see kung ano ba yung magiging impact sa kanila," she added.
Rhonadale Florentino is a human resources consultant and strategist who serves as CEO and President of UpRush Social Geekers, an HR consultancy company. Access their services here.