Today’s highly competitive hiring atmosphere is taking an issue that was once only discussed in hushed tones behind closed doors and thrusting it into the proverbial spotlight: Pay. Low unemployment amongst tech professionals and a high level of competition to access and retain top talent has led many organizations to re-examine their policies regarding salaries and compensation, even to the point of increased transparency.
But can increased pay transparency improve tech retention? Many say yes, and here’s why.
It’s no surprise that increased trust between leadership and their employees improve retention, but issues of pay are not traditionally discussed. This leaves many workers wondering if they are being paid fairly when compared to their professional counterparts, and a lack of communication in the area can make these basic concerns become serious problems.
By being open to conversations about pay, and even starting them on a regular basis, employees are more likely to feel valued. Additionally, by removing the stigma associated with talking about salary, companies can increase the amount of trust employees have in their practices.
Companies that aim to be transparent about pay often have strong strategies in place regarding pay standards and the evaluation of compensation over time. That means these businesses are evaluating the current market to see what competitors are offering employees with similar skills and are prepared to adjust accordingly. This reverses the tradition of only having salary discussions at key points within the employee’s career, such as when they are initially hired and at annual reviews.
Since salary is given a prominent place within larger retention discussions, companies are prepared to be proactive when the need arises. Instead of having top talent begin looking elsewhere for higher compensation, the business can step in when a disparity is noticed. When an organization takes a position of maintaining an open dialogue, it is easier to demonstrate that workers are being paid well for their skills, and to make corrections when it becomes obvious the company is missing the mark.
While this requires market analysis to be completed with a high level of frequency, the effort means greater retention. And that ultimately reflects well on the bottom line.
Pay Isn’t a Secret
While most employees aren’t openly discussing compensation with their co-workers on a daily basis, there is still a conversation taking place. Internet-based employment resources have taken pay out of the shadows and somewhat into the light. Now, when an employee wonders whether they are fairly compensated, a little research on their part can yield results quickly. This means that workers aren’t mystified when it comes to what their skills can get them.
Since information on salary is so widely available, failing to be transparent means your company doesn’t have the opportunity to participate in the conversation that is happening elsewhere. And, when it appears a business is holding something back, it rarely reflects well on them.
If you would like more information about pay transparency or are interested in finding candidates by offering competitive compensation, The Armada Group has the industry information you need to make both possible. Contact us to discuss your goals today and see how our services can help take the issue of pay out of the darkness and into the light.
With unemployment amongst IT professionals being well below the national average, many teams have been asked to do more with less for the past few years. Add to that the strains of adapting to new technologies and the expectations set by management regarding their implementation, and your tech employees can easily be on the brink of burnout.
But, if they aren’t specifically airing their concerns, how can you tell if your IT team is starting to reach the breaking point? Here are a few common signs that can help you spot potential burnout before catastrophe strikes.
Tiredness and Exhaustion
If your tech pros are working overtime to meet demands or trying to juggle their work and home life unsuccessful, they may begin to come to work with noticeably less pep in their step. While everyone occasionally does battle with a sleepless night, coming to work a bit worse for wear the next day, employees that seem to be in a constant state of tiredness or exhaustion may be reaching the point of burnout. And, if it is combined with some of the signs below, it could be time to intervene.
When an employee is suddenly struggling to meet deadlines or meet performance metrics when they previously excelled, it could be a sign that trouble is brewing. While anyone can have an off week or month, an extreme change in performance is likely an indication of something else.
Decreased Work Quality
Even employees that meet their deadlines could be fighting off burnout. One indicator can be a dramatic change in the quality of their outputs in a short period of time. Sometimes, this is attributed to the exhaustion that can accompany burnout or the lack of motivation. However, it can also be connected to a lack of interest or caring in regards to their work, a surefire sign that burnout could be on the horizon.
We all get frustrated from time to time. But an IT employee that is suddenly teeming with negative emotions and comments might be having real difficulties. Additionally, a previously content employee that has developed a new habit of filing complaints with managers could be reaching the breaking point. Any unusual change in mood that persists for more than a day or two (and isn’t directly attributed to a specific short-term situation) might be burning out.
What to Do When the Signs of Burnout Appear
Your first step in managing potential burnout is to reach out to the employee. Atypical behavior is cause for concern, and it is easy to justify scheduling a meeting to discuss the change. The important part is to try and identify the source of the issue and not be overly confrontational. If you can find out the cause, you can begin to explore methods to help them get back on track.
If you are interested in learning more about employee burnout or are trying to find a new employee to alleviate some of the strain on your current IT team, the experts at The Armada Group are ready to help. Contact us to discuss your company’s needs today.
Digital assistants, like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, are great, and although artificial intelligence gets better and better each year, sometimes getting what you want done requires an actual person to do it. That doesn't mean the person doing it needs to be in the same room with you. In many cases, a "virtual assistant" is the most cost-effective means of getting the job done.
Virtual Assistants and the Gig Economy
It's the rise of the internet combined with the rise of the gig economy that makes virtual assistant work viable. With internet connectivity and remote access applications, a virtual assistant can work from home, or wherever they might be, with the same access to corporate resources they'd have if they were working in an office.
The gig economy has made connecting virtual assistants to their temporary employers seamless. Marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour let workers market their skills and availability. Both the workers and the employers can rely on the sites for verification (usually in the form of reviews) and secure payment methods.
Virtual Assistants and the Startup Economy
For many companies, especially startups, virtual assistants fill a real need. With funding tight, the ability to commit to employees without specialized skill sets just isn't there. But the companies still need basic administrative tasks taken care of. By using virtual assistants, the companies can easily find workers to handle those tasks when there's work to be done.
Virtual assistants also bring experience that's valuable to the startup. Because startups are by definition in a state of flux, without many established policies, virtual assistants who've worked for a number of firms can use that experience to figure out how to get things done.
Delegate to Use Virtual Assistants Effectively
Using virtual assistants effectively requires the startup managers to delegate tasks and responsibilities, which can be a challenge during a company's early days. Everything seems so important that letting go of anything feels like it brings the risk of failure. But letting others handle routine tasks frees managers to focus on the more critical tasks that only they can do.
That's true in hiring, too. Using recruiters to filter candidate resumes and do initial screening interviews frees up management to do the tasks that really need management attention. Management only needs to look at resumes and interview the viable candidates, rather than everyone. Ready to delegate your recruiting work so you can focus on your business needs? Contact The Armada Group. Our experienced recruiters are your virtual hiring assistants.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has become an increasingly popular policy as more employees work both remotely and on-site from their mobile devices. This is especially popular for small businesses or companies with limited budgets — letting employees use their own devices is cheaper than investing in and distributing company devices. But is BYOD the right choice for your company in particular?
The answer depends on a number of factors. Even companies without big budgets to invest in worker tech may find that it makes more sense to find a way for company-owned devices — or conversely, those with less limited resources might find that BYOD is a better choice.
Here’s a look at the benefits and drawbacks of BYOD policies, and how you can decide what’s right for your business.
The advantages of BYOD
While the cost savings are usually the first benefit that comes to mind, perhaps the biggest advantage of a BYOD policy is productivity. Typically, your employees will be more productive when they’re working from a device they’re intimately familiar with.
However, it should be noted that there is a learning curve with company-issued devices, and employees can reach similar levels of productivity once they’ve used the new device enough.
Some of the other benefits of BYOD include:
- Cost savings: This applies not only to the initial device investment, but also to maintenance and upkeep expenses — which are typically the employees’ responsibility for personal devices.
- Increased responsibility: When employees use personal devices for work, they are fully responsible for handling them, which can decrease the occurrence of damage or device loss.
- Greater flexibility: With a BYOD policy, it’s easier to try different technologies or the latest tools without having to commit to costly upfront investments or get tied up in long-term contracts.
The disadvantages of BYOD
While a BYOD policy comes with many benefits, there are also some serious challenges to consider. These challenges can affect multiple departments in your company, including human resources and IT/security.
Some of the issues that can arise with BYOD include:
- Security challenges: With multiple users accessing your company’s network from potentially unprotected devices, it can be difficult to secure your data and systems.
- Resource consumption: The need to support a variety of operating systems and device formats can be draining on infrastructure and programming resources — not to mention your IT team.
- Increased costs: With BYOD, you may end up paying additional licensing fees to install programs on employees’ personal devices, unless you’re using Web-based software or VPN protocols.
- Employee dissatisfaction: In some cases, employees may consider company-issued devices a highly positive perk — and asking employees to purchase their own equipment for work may demotivate some of your staff.
What to do if you implement BYOD
If you decide that BYOD may be the right model for your business, it’s important to have a strategy for implementation — other than simply announcing that employees can use their personal devices at work. You’ll need a BYOD policy in place that covers things like:
- Whether employees are required to have personal devices, or if it’s optional to bring mobile devices to work.
- Who can use personal devices for work (some companies have BYOD policies that only permit personal devices for employees who travel frequently).
- Any usage implications or restrictions on personal devices (i.e. personal devices can be used for certain purposes, or at certain times).
- Software and security requirements for personal devices.
The use of mobile devices continues to increase, for both personal and professional areas. Whether your company chooses to implement BYOD or invest in company-issued devices, it’s important to address how you’ll handle mobile devices in the workplace, and set policies and best practices that make the most sense for your particular business.
Are you dreading your year-end performance review? Many employees would rather have a root canal than sit down with a manager or supervisor and discuss their performance one-on-one. But an annual review doesn’t have to be a traumatic event. Instead, you can use your year-end review to gain critical insight that will catapult your career in 2015.
Here’s how to plan for and carry out an annual performance review that will fuel your next year and bring your career to new heights:
Self-review: Compare your job expectations to your performance
The first step in preparing for a year-end review is to dig out your original job description and go through it line by line, evaluating yourself on how you’ve performed in each area this year. It can help to use a scale of one to five, with one representing areas where you had little or no skill, and five for those in which you excelled beyond co-workers or professionals with similar qualifications.
You don’t have to be overly critical. The main objective with this self-review is to identify your strongest areas of performance, so you can expand on your contributions and successes in the next step and build a case for personal advancement.
Generate performance proof
Regardless of the workplace culture at your company, at the end of the day, a business views its employees as investments — and they expect to see a return. What’s your employee ROI? The ability to spell out exactly what you’ve accomplished for the business will help you navigate your year-end review and come out ahead.
Consider your role in terms of how you’ve saved the company time and/or money. You might have delivered great customer service, which resulted in repeat business (and more money), or implemented a strategic plan that reduced delays (and saved time). Any measureable reduction in time or costs, or increases in profits, that you’ve accomplished are worth noting.
Plan your own reward
Once you’ve made a strong case for your contributions, you can leverage your performance presentation to ask for the type of reward you’d like for your hard work. You may simply want a raise — which is common and often expected for year-end reviews. But if you’re already receiving a competitive salary, more money might not motivate you or help you advance your career.
For example, you may be more interested in a promotion. If there is no higher position currently available in your company, you could request a change of duties to align more with the position you want to move into, or additional responsibilities that would help prepare you for moving up. Or you may want to advance your career through training, and request to be enrolled in courses or sent to workshops, trade shows, or industry events. Another commonly sought-after benefit is flexible scheduling or part-time telecommuting.
Ask for a review sooner instead of later
For those who dread year-end performance reviews, this strategy might seem counterintuitive — you may want to put it off as long as possible. But keep in mind that employee reviews are just as exhausting for management and HR. Whoever is responsible for the review process will be fresher and more open to discussion during earlier reviews, but as the process drags on, they’ll just want to get it over with.
Requesting an early review also demonstrates your motivation and willingness to improve. Managers will see this as a positive quality, and may be more enthusiastic about helping you advance your career.
Don’t forget to follow up
One you’ve gotten through your performance review successfully, make notes about what you’ve discussed and detail your understanding of the review session’s outcome. Include both the actions you’ll take to correct and improve performance, and the rewards that were promised for your performance to date. Send your quick recap to your manager or supervisor the same day of the review, so any miscommunication can be addressed before the results are documented.
Handled properly, the year-end review is your opportunity to move your career forward and accomplish your goals for the upcoming year. Contact The Armada Group to learn how to better be prepared and positive, and don’t miss your chance to elevate your career in 2015.
For the modern IT professional, career changes are not only normal — they’re expected. Over the course of your IT career, you can probably expect to change jobs, change companies, and even change fields or specialties. You might start out a Python programmer and make your way to Java front-end developer, or climb up from help desk support to IT project manager. The one constant in IT is that nothing is constant, and everything changes.
But that doesn’t make a career change any easier or less personally nerve-wracking.
If you’re in the midst of changing your career or thinking about making a move — whether it’s up, down, lateral, or a quantum shift to something completely new — here’s what you should know to make the transition smoother.
It’s not a challenge — it’s an opportunity
Starting something new can be exciting, but usually it’s more terrifying. When you step out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory, you’re likely to experience fear that you’ll do something wrong, and regret that you’ve left your safety net behind for something you might not succeed with.
Your new area may be challenging, but what’s most important is the opportunity you have to test yourself, improve your skills, and expand your accomplishments. Learning that you can complete something you’ve never done before gives you an incredible boost in self-confidence, and primes you to try even more new and exciting things.
Interviews are your chance to learn
When you’re facing a career change, you may be dreading the very idea of job interviews. Maybe you were feeling relieved when you landed your current job because you’d never have to interview again, or maybe it’s been so long since you’ve been on a job interview that you’ve completely forgotten the basics — do they still shake hands, or should you just wave casually when you walk in?
In any case, keep in mind that interviews are just as important an opportunity for you as they are for the interviewers. They’re your chance to learn more about your new career, to ask questions about the team, the infrastructure, and the job itself. When you treat interviews as your opportunity to interview a department or company, you’ll be better positioned to make sure the new job is a good fit for you — which enables you to start with more confidence.
Understand what you bring to the table
A career change means you’re starting a new position for the first time. But it also means it’s the first time the new position has you — and all of the unique skills and experiences you’re bringing along. Your newness is an asset in an IT world that thrives on innovation.
Because you’re working in a certain capacity for the first time, you don’t have the ingrained habits and perceptions of your more experienced colleagues. You’ll be able to bring a fresh perspective to the work you do, and view challenges at different angles that can produce unexpected results. This is the definition of innovation, and you are uniquely suited to achieve great things in your new IT career.
For more help with a new career or career transition, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group. They can assist you in finding the IT career you’re looking for, today.
What web-based company has the world’s largest Hadoop cluster? Surprisingly, it’s not Google, Facebook, or even Twitter — it’s Yahoo!, with 455 petabytes of data stored on over 100,000 CPUs in more than 40,000 servers. The company’s biggest Hadoop cluster, at around 4,500 nodes, is around four times the size of Facebook’s largest cluster.
Hadoop is a hot topic in today’s tech world, especially when it comes to Big Data. As more organizations work toward mining and implementing Big Data strategies, the use of Hadoop on a larger scale is set to become the new standard for practical, results-driven applications of data mining.
What is Hadoop, and why does it matter?
At the most basic definition, Hadoop is a free, open source software library that makes useful, cost-effective processing of Big Data possible. The Hadoop library, developed by the Apache Software Foundation, is built on underlying technology that was invented by Google to index the massive amounts of data collected by the search engine and transform it into relevant results for searchers.
Hadoop consists of four modules — Hadoop Common, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Hadoop YARN, and Hadoop MapReduce — and includes several compatible add-ons such as programming languages and databases, which enhance the real-world applications of the library.
Providing scale and flexibility for large data projects, on a basis that’s affordable for both enterprise and small business, makes Hadoop an attractive solution with endless potential.
The appeal of Hadoop
As Yahoo! has come to realize, Hadoop provides a wide range of flexible, scalable capabilities and vastly increased potential for the real application of Big Data. In most large organizations today, data is siloed — stored and worked with in separate systems with little to no cross-functionality. Large-scale Hadoop installations make it possible for organizations to share data quickly, easily and effectively, with strong security measures still in place to prevent data breaches and malware attacks.
With an organization’s data stored collectively, Hadoop installations can then run YARN to manage data ecosystems. Hadoop YARN is a framework that provides job scheduling and cluster resource management, enabling the system to spread resources out sufficiently across multiple machines and deliver increased flexibility. The YARN framework also maintains redundancy to guard against data loss and system failure.
With YARN, engineers and developers can work immediately on small clusters within a larger deployment, and collaborate with others without sacrificing security.
Combining Hadoop with other systems
Within Hadoop, there are several distinct systems that can be operated independently, but still remain part of the larger ecosystem. This includes elements such as Hbase, the non-relational distributed database for Hadoop; Pig, a high-level platform for large-set data analysis; and Hive, a data warehouse infrastructure.
Hadoop has the capabilities to handle large swaths of an organization’s data needs, but depending on the individual company, other systems may be used to supplement a Hadoop installation — and the library integrates well with popular enterprise systems. For example, Yahoo! employs other systems for email serving, and photo serving in Flickr, but stores copied data from these systems in Hadoop.
The rise of Big Data and the need for efficient, cost-effective analytics has paved the way for Hadoop to become standard in organizations of all sizes. To find out if your organization should be undergoing a Hadoop installation, contact the IT experts at The Armada Group.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon is still under debate in many workplaces. Some employers have strict policies that prevent employees from using personal devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops at work. Others allow limited usage under guided policies — and some feel there’s no point trying to stop the flood of devices, and do nothing.
The use of personal devices is spreading faster than any new technology before, and there are already more smartphones than people in the United States. Should your company give in to the BYOD pressure? Here are the pros and cons of allowing personal devices in the workplace.
The Pros: BYOD and consumerization
Allowing employees to use personal devices at work can do more than satisfy their desire to check Facebook on their lunch breaks. BYOD has been linked to the consumerization of IT — an emerging process that’s helping to connect companies with customers, develop stronger consumer relations, and increase employee participation and job satisfaction.
The benefits of IT consumerization through BYOD for your company include:
- Faster communication and more efficient mobile employees through the internal use of personal devices
- Increased consumer relationship building and the ability to shape customer perceptions of your company with consumer tools, especially social networking
- Mobile devices as an HR tool: Younger employees rely on their smartphones and other devices, so refusing to allow BYOD will make it difficult to attract and retain fresh talent
- The self-supporting nature of consumer technologies allows BYOD policies to actually decrease the burden on your IT department and increase IT productivity
The Cons: Limited control and security risks
While there are many benefits to BYOD, there are also downsides — particularly for companies who manage sensitive information digitally that must be protected. Due to the lack of a unified device platform and the non-existence of regulated mobile security standards, a diverse range of devices in the workplace can be difficult to manage at best, and can sometimes pose a high risk for employers.
Some of the disadvantages of BYOD include:
- Managing security: Security is one of the biggest and most significant challenges for BYOD. With multiple employees using multiple devices, it’s difficult to meet both compliance and security standards, particularly for companies in industries that must adhere to certain security measures. There is also the risk of employee devices containing sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
- Acceptable use control: In any workplace, especially larger organizations, there may be little control over the way employees use personal devices at work. Even with acceptable use policies in place, monitoring every device at all times to ensure that employees follow those policies is not a feasible or cost-effective strategy.
- Performance and productivity: While some BYOD workplaces achieve increased productivity, others see a drop in productivity when personal devices are permitted. This may be due to several reasons. Larger workplaces are unable to monitor all employees and restrict the use of personal devices. What’s more, the addition of multiple personal devices to the business network can strain resources, affecting network performance and connectivity speeds — and ultimately productivity, as employees’ workstations are slowed.
- Data retrieval: Finally, BYOD environments can pose a risk when employees leave the company, taking all of the data on their devices with them. This can be particularly problematic in sales environments, when employees often leave for competitors — but still have access to their previous company’s contacts and information.
When it comes to tech, employees are DIY
Today’s personal devices are engineered for simplicity on the user end. User-friendly interfaces mean that more employees are finding innovative ways to put personal devices to work for their companies — whether or not IT allows it. This can be either a positive or a negative aspect of BYOD environments.
In some cases, BYOD can improve productivity. With an endless list of business tools available on personal devices, from social media to Google Docs, Dropbox, Flipboard, productivity apps, CMS access and more, most employees need little to no guidance integrating their devices with their working lives. It makes things easier for employees — and for IT, who doesn’t have to babysit a network of personal devices and can focus on core responsibilities instead.
However, the perception of mobile devices as DIY technology can also pose risks in BYOD workplaces. Employees may not be as stringent with security measures for their own personal devices as is required for business-related applications, and can neglect to apply security features such as multi-factor authentication. They may also not change their passwords frequently enough, and fail to apply security updates as needed — leaving personal devices open for security breaches.
The decision to allow personal devices in a workplace rests on a number of factors. These policies can be effective in smaller businesses, or those without strict industry security regulations. But for large companies dealing with sensitive information, mobile device standards for security and platform unification may not be advanced enough to permit safe BYOD environments.
If you need help implementing a BYOD policy at your company, contact the experts at The Armada Group today.
Technology is irresistible to humans. We can’t help pressing buttons, flipping switches, or rearranging those tangled cords — and if we’re at work with no clue what we’re doing, it’s only a matter of time until disaster strikes and IT swears revenge while they spend hours fixing what took us seconds to break.
At InfoWorld’s Off the Record blog, IT professionals share anonymous stories of tinkerers, button-pushers, and clueless people who “know what they’re doing” — when it comes to bringing the office workflow to a crashing halt. Here are five of those stories illustrating why sometimes, your employees should really resist the temptation to fix things that aren’t broken.
Network admin disconnects the employees — all of them
A senior network administrator was showing off two relatively new servers in a data center to managers, boasting about uptime with claims that there was no need for an uninterruptible power supply. The admin touched the dedicated circuit breaker for the first server to prove the point — which promptly kicked 500 users off their server connection.
Apparently not satisfied with cutting office productivity in half, the admin then touched the second server’s circuit breaker and severed the connection for the remaining employees. Management decided to increase their investment in server infrastructure.
Operator powers down
A data center operator committed to easing workflows and expediting tasks noticed a loose ring on a piece of glass, and proceeded to improve efficiency by moving it. But the glass happened to be covering an emergency power-off button, which the operator managed to press — causing a blackout and a systems shutdown. The company experienced no long-term damage, but the operator decided to stick to a broader scale for improving efficiency, and leave the little details alone.
Newbie pushes the embarrassment button
A junior tech on a mission to turn off a non-critical server headed to the server room, located the machine, and pushed the button — only to instantly realize it was the wrong server, one housing files that were currently in use by more than 600 employees. Letting go of the button would wreak havoc, but there was no one around and his phone wasn’t getting service.
With a landline phone just 10 feet away, but out of his reach unless he released the critical button, the tech heroically took off his pants and used them to pull the phone over. Help soon arrived in the form of several eyewitnesses, who received the best office story ever in exchange for saving the day.
Paperclip panics the boss
It was a classic computer room — three mainframes with several attached tape drives, four printers (three line, one high-speed laser), dishwasher-sized disc packs, and a huge Halon fire suppression system to protect the investment. As the boss and the operators disagreed on handling shutdowns in case of fire, they met in the computer room for a test run that the boss insisted should include the main operators staying behind to take care of the mainframes.
Just before the test, a stray paperclip dropped into a control box, creating a short circuit that triggered the Halon. But the drill went as planned when the boss was the first one to speed out of the room.
VPs make executive decisions
Admins get a little worried when execs start poking around servers — with good cause, as this story proves. One day, in the middle of a difficult data center consolidation between two tech departments, employees suddenly found they couldn’t get email or connect to certain remote sites. IT traced the issue to server failures, which seemed to have happened all at once.
Amazing coincidence? Not exactly — a couple of VPs visiting the acquired company had ruled the critical servers “unused” with no impact on production systems, and had turned them off.
IT turns on itself
Non-tech professionals aren’t the only ones who make critical mistakes. A large, busy data center tasked an IT pro with deciding which servers were unnecessary and decommissioning them. The tech, perhaps having an off day, chose a critical management server to unplug and bring back to his desk, where he reformatted the hard drive. A flood of issues ensued with the loss of the database, extending to backups and firewalls. The tech was promptly transferred to a less disaster-making department.
While these stories are humorous, they all have a common theme – sometimes your employees need to be hands off. If you need assistance managing employees or finding better adept tech talent, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group today.
A job search can be a long and frustrating process. Of course, your ultimate goal is to end up with a great career, in an exciting place to work, with a fantastic salary. You might take a good job, in a nice place to work, with a decent salary. You definitely don’t want a crappy job, in a bad place to work, with a pathetic salary — but if you’ve been looking long enough, you may be tempted to settle for less than you need.
Taking the first job you’re offered might be the wrong choice. And if you happen to get more than one job offer, you’ll have to decide which to accept, and you’ll be left having to turn one down. Here are some tips to help you recognize when you should say no to a job offer — and how to politely turn down a job that’s just not right for you.
Salary: When enough isn’t enough
While there are many different reasons people might want a certain job, from a great benefits package to a nap room for employees, “making a lot of money” still tops the list for many. The salary is an important consideration for any job offer. Yours should be commensurate with your experience and the position you’re being hired for — if the company is offering significantly less than your last job with no subsequent perks or benefits to make up for it, or significantly lower than the average salary for that position, you should probably say no.
In addition to the salary itself, be sure to consider the job responsibilities. You might find that you’ll be making the same amount, but you’ll have a lot more responsibility and will therefore work much harder — without a raise to show for your efforts. Under these circumstances, it may not be the right job.
Responsibilities: When your get-up won’t go
Motivation is essential to long-term career satisfaction. Your initial reading of a position’s responsibilities should motivate you to perform, and the interview should reinforce that motivation on both your part and that of the employer.
If the actual responsibilities don’t seem clear during the interview, be sure to ask questions that clarify exactly what the job will involve. You don’t want to end up doing a job that you’re not qualified for — or conversely, one that will present little to no challenge and result in career stagnation. If there doesn’t seem to be ample on-the-job motivation or room to grow, it’s likely a position you’ll want to decline.
Culture: When you’re a square peg
Finding out about an organization’s culture before you accept a job offer is a must. A toxic environment is a definite don’t, but you also don’t want to work in a culture that is radically different or oppositional to your own working style — such as excessive formalism for creative positions, or a laid-back atmosphere that borders on indifference in a highly competitive industry.
Pay attention to cultural cues during your job interviews, so you can tell whether you’d be a good fit for this particular company. Asking questions such as why the person who held the position before you left, or how employees are rewarded for innovation or extra effort, can elicit telling responses that will help you decide how comfortable you’d be in the environment.
How to say “thanks, but no thanks” politely
If you find yourself with a job offer you have to refuse, it’s best to turn it down gently and graciously, no matter how strongly you feel about the offer. Here’s how:
- Offer your heartfelt thanks. Keep in mind that the recruiter or hiring manager has probably spent several hours reviewing your resume, researching you on social media, and interviewing you. They may have also talked you up to the team before offering you the job. Indicate that you know how much went into recruiting you, and you appreciate their efforts, by saying thanks for specific things the interviewer did, like answering all your questions or introducing you to key personnel.
- Give a brief, understandable reason. It’s rude to leave hiring managers clueless over why you’re declining the position — but if you get too specific here, you could step on toes fairly hard. It’s nearly always best to state that you’re declining the offer after careful consideration because you’ve decided to pursue other opportunities.
- Keep in touch. Even turning down a job offer is not a good reason to burn bridges. You never know when the wrong opportunity might become the right one, or you’ll get the chance to do a favor for a hiring manager by sending the right candidate their way — and you’ll build goodwill for your career along the way.
In the long run, holding out for the right job — and being able to say no to the wrong one — is the best thing you can do for your career. Consider your options carefully before you accept an offer, and don’t be afraid to turn down a position that could put you back on the job search path a lot sooner than you’d planned. Partner with The Armada Group during your job search, to find out how our team of staffing experts can find positions you'll want to say "Yes!" to.