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How to Efficiently Navigate IT Job Offers

Information Technology professionals entering the job market in 2015 are sure to find it in their favor. As we explored in our latest whitepaper, our 2015 Regional Hiring Guide, market growth has been vastly outpacing the supply of qualified candidates across industries—especially in IT. As a result, those looking for work in this candidate-driven marketplace can expect to enjoy a number of perks, from quick call backs to speedy interviewing and quality offers.

This is especially the case for candidates who possess in-demand technical skills and attractive soft skills that employers are currently seeking. According to our Hiring Guide, Information Technology professionals highest in demand are those with Java, Big Data, Networking/Infrastructure, IT Security, and .Net experience in their skill set. As for personal characteristics, employers are currently putting the most emphasis on hiring those with problem solving and analytical thinking skills, flexibility and adaptability, communication skills, and personal accountability.

However, regardless of how many of these skills you possess and how pressing an employers’ needs are, there are still a number of ways to ruin your chances at a great opportunity. Here are some tips to ensure you don’t make the employer second-guess his or her decision to hire you once you’ve been given that offer:

  1. Stay professional. The interview may be over, but job offers can easily be retracted in light of unprofessional behavior. Maintain the same level of professionalism during the offer and negotiation process, and the employer will surely feel confident that they made the right decision; drop your professional demeanor as if it were only an act, and they’ll quickly reconsider.
  2. Be up front. Highballing and lowballing salaries are strategies sometimes used by candidates and employers alike in order to reach a compromised pay range that works for both sides. However, companies are recognizing the increasing importance in attracting and locking down talent before their competition does, and are now putting their best foot forward when making offers. Therefore,  it’s best to treat salary negotiation as a straightforward process in order to save time for both parties.
  3. Know your worth, but be flexible. You should have an idea in mind of what you want from your new position, but whether you’re looking for increased salary, better benefits, or a more flexible work-life balance, know beforehand what is negotiable and what is not. As mentioned above, employers are valuing flexibility in IT candidates more than ever, so it’s best not to push the issue too hard on anything that isn’t a deal-breaker for you.
  4. Use those soft skills. Just like you want to remain professional even after the interview, you want to continue showing off those attractive soft skills—and by being flexible with your negotiations, you’re already part of the way there! Also be sure to use clear communication tactics at all times, hold yourself accountable for timely and professional responses, and find ways to display those analytical thinking skills wherever possible.  Not only will you be getting the most out of the offer process if you utilize these skills, you’ll also be showing what you’re worth and reassuring the hiring manager that they made the right decision in extending you an offer.
  5. Handle multiple offers wisely. Many clients indicated in our whitepaper that finding qualified candidates will be a major concern in 2015, so if you find yourself in high demand,  you can expect to be juggling multiple offers. In some cases, if you’re already employed, you may even be given a counter-offer from your current company. In these situations, remember: multiple offers should be assessed and decided upon in a timely fashion in order to save the employer’s time and money, and taking a counter-offer is almost never a good idea.

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