We’ve all been there… In a position where you’ve jazzed up your CV, sent it out to various employers and recruiters, attended multiple interviews, spent time doing presentations and finally you get to the offer stage. After receiving an offer or multiple offers, you are now in the position of deciding whether to accept or weighing up multiple offers with pros and cons to decide which is to be your next career move. With that in mind, how much time is too much time to decide? …
Let’s consider the motivation factors from a candidate perspective:
- The package: A driving factor for many of us, it may be that you are holding out for more money or looking for extra car allowance, bonus, benefits, whatever it may be that you need. You need time to decide whether the offer is sustainable and attractive enough for you. This can play a huge part in how long you take to decide if the offer is right for you. If you are money motivated then generally the higher the offer, the less time it takes to accept or know which role is right for you.
- The role itself: You may be looking at the new role or roles you have been offered and comparing it to your current role, what’s involved on a day to day basis and is it challenging or maybe too challenging? How may direct reports you have, what the demands of the role are, what projects will you be undertaking and which clients you may be working with, can all influence how long it takes to make your decision.
- The new environment: A big factor in determining decisions for candidates can be the environment. I find this even more so in digital. Some prefer the agency environment, its fast paced nature and working with multiple clients. Some prefer the client side challenges and working for one firm with a shared goal. Do you prefer a quirky, modern environment with onsite perks like a Google style office or do you fit more into a corporate financial/legal environment? It’s becoming more frequent for candidates to attend a day on site prior to starting with a new company just to get a real feel for the environment, how their colleagues operate and what the office personality is like. After all we spend most of our working week there!
- The new management: There’s a common phrase that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. We all remember our good managers just as much as we try to forget and learn from the not so good ones (politically correct Dom statement there). We establish over time what our personality profiles are and what type of manager gets the best out of us so we strive to work in an environment where this is present. Choosing the right workplace based on whether you click with the new management can be an essential factor in choosing your next role and the time it takes to decide. Especially if you have two offers and you like both managers!
- Future prospects: In today’s digital world, as much as there are multiple role titles for similar jobs, I tend to find that a lot of the candidates I speak to have a clear outlook and focus on where they are at and where they want to be. Career path and future prospects can be a high factor in time taken to make the right decision. Who is offering the best career path? Who wants to grow and develop me? Who is prepared to pay to fund my development? Am I going to be stuck at the same level or move up after a year of being successful? All questions you may be mulling over, so checking out other staff on LinkedIn who work there and seeing if they’ve moved up and talking to people who’ve worked there before will help you make your mind up.
- Lifestyle factors: The work/life balance is something we hear more and more these days and is an essential part of staying active, healthy and productive both in and outside of work. Healthy body, healthy mind is something we take seriously more so than ever, so choosing an offer based on element such as holidays, flexitime, fresh fruit on a morning, duvet days, location of the role itself (commute), team socials, corporate days and teambuilding can all play a huge part in the time we take to decide on an offer.
- Current company: The dreaded counter offer. We are finding more and more these days that counter offers are coming in to play, with clients realising the value of losing a good employee and that replacing them can often be too costly to overcome in the short term. As a result we are seeing higher counter offers to candidates to stay. The impact of this on your decision to stay or go is often determined by many of the points raised above and whether they are already in place at your current firm. If you have a real bond with your current firm and don’t really want to leave then you are more likely to accept a counter offer and make a quick decision around this, than if you are driven by one or more of the missing factors above and realise that the new position is best for you and to make that leap.
From a client perspective when it comes to leniency over candidate decision times, we tend to find that clients are being more lenient over attracting the top talent by giving them a reasonable decision time because they want you on board but know that they have to offer without the added decision pressure. That said, how much time is too much time for them? In my years in recruitment I’ve seen many decisions made immediately by candidates, some take few days, some up to 3 or 4 weeks depending on where they are in the process of other roles.
Clients like to see commitment reflected once a candidate is at offer stage even though generally they know you may have other roles on the horizon or want to consider all factors before deciding. If they make a solid offer that fulfils all of your needs that have been discussed and negotiated at the interview stage, then generally any time between a few days to a week or two to decide is the standard I’d expect to see in the market. This way the client’s expectations are being met, you are getting the right time to consider all factors and discuss with your loved ones and the client has time to interview other candidates and keep the process moving should you decide to not venture on board. Time taken over 2 weeks can become a concern for clients in that you may be indecisive, not fully on board or holding out for something else.
So… How much time is too much time when considering a new digital role? In my experience the average is a few days, the maximum to be up to 2 weeks.
I look forward to your feedback.