Are you ready to accept that job offer?



Contributed by Charlie Waterman

Your CV got you noticed and you excelled in interview. The interview discussions should have covered all the questions you may have concerning the role. Now you’ve achieved your goal and been offered the job.

Initial elation is all too often followed by a few reservations as reality bites; Is it really the job for you? Are you up for the challenge? And, longer term, is it going to offer you the right career path you wish to take?

It is absolutely normal to have some doubt, after all this new job, the new responsibilities, environment, commute and colleagues will make up your working life for the foreseeable future. At this stage you really should have all the information you need to be able to immediately accept the offer. But if you do need to have a final review before accepting, our advice is to do it quickly. Consider the fundamental aspects of the role and make sure they will really suit you in the medium to long term. Then take the following into account and check they meet your needs before you sign that new contract.

What is the company culture?

What kind of culture does your potential new employer have? Do they value a work hard/play hard ethos? This sounds like a great environment but can be demanding if you have family commitments outside work. On the flip side, this could be exactly what you are looking for.  Are they people-oriented or result-oriented? What is their vision, values and mission statement?

Whatever the company culture is, it really should be one that suits your personality, values, goals and beliefs. Imagine having to do work which you disagree with day-in and day-out. If you are at a stage in your career/life where you want work to be your main focus while you develop your experience and skills, consider if the work environment allow for this? Does the company culture involve regular socialising as well as working together? This could impact on your current social life/outside work commitments. These may not be major considerations but just take a moment to be make sure they are not a priority to you.

What do you know of the people?

Do you feel confident that the personalities you will be working with are ones you will get on with? You will be spending as much, or more, time with these people than anyone else so it is key that, while you may be different in character, there is a connection in terms of attitude to work and the best interests of the company you work for. A supportive network of colleagues and an understanding boss can definitely make your work a more harmonious place to be.
Of course, it’s hard to tell a huge amount about someone’s personality and character from an interview alone, so this is where you may have to rely on gut instinct. Just as their first impression of you matters during the interview, the impression you gleaned of your potential new boss and/or colleagues matters just as much. They should have taken the time to prepare sufficiently enough to convince you to join the company and their team, which is a good indicator of aspects of their working style with their staff/team.

When it comes to colleagues, it would be good to find out what the demographic is across the rest of the team. While we can’t choose our work colleagues it would be good to have something in common with some of the team. This may seem minor but it will guarantee at least some common topics of interest during your daily conversations with them. Having said that, some teams have a great dynamic because they are all completely different and a team with diverse backgrounds offers a really stimulating work environment for some.

What about the workload and expectations?

During the interview, you will have been briefed on the scope of the role and what you will be expected to have responsibility for. However, we all know that we’re not simply employed to fulfil the basic job function; we will always get additional tasks and projects from time to time. What you need to find out is, how often these ad hoc items will crop up and how much the company expects employees to perform ‘beyond the call of duty’. If everyone’s expected to do more than is required, then what do you have to do to get noticed? On the other hand, if you’re not counted on to assume additional work, you will definitely be able to stand out if you do make that extra effort.

Does the career progression match your needs?

Progression or stability? This is personal to you. What matters most is that you make an informed choice based on what the organisation has to offer to you. How frequent do employees of a similar position as yours get promoted, and how often do they leave the job? You might even consider the bigger picture and examine whether the industry is stable. in a period of growth, or static.
If your priority lies in climbing the career ladder, you need to find out what it takes to get promoted. Generally speaking, the more competitive the culture, the more you need to do to impress and progress. This will have an impact on your work-life balance and even your physical and mental health. You’ve got to see if such pressured and potentially stressful working conditions are really right for you.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may prefer stability over prospects. For that, it might be helpful to find out what the staff turnover rate is for your prospective team/department. Can your prospective employer offer progression with stability? This could be the ideal scenario, whatever type of role you have been offered.

Are you happy with the salary and benefits?

Your consideration should be that you are being offered a package which matches market rates for the skills and experience you offer. Talk to your recruitment consultant; they will have in-depth knowledge on your sector and will be able to advise accordingly. If you applied direct to the company, you should have already compared salaries for the role in questions. Remember to also take into consideration the company benefits too, such as insurance, training programmes, annual holiday entitlements, discounts on products/services etc.

In summary, a number of the factors mentioned should be considered long before a job is offered, but it is worth just reviewing them all before you do commit. And, if you have considered all these fundamentals and everything is a positive then what are you waiting for – get that contract signed!


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Weekly News Digest - 11th-15th Jan 2021

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Weekly News Digest: 4th-8th Jan 2021

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The Top Data Trends for 2021

Back in 2019, there was speculation that 2020 was going to the year for Data Science and, whilst it certainly was, the reason for its acceleration wasn’t entirely planned. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the implementation and use of all disciplines within Data, including Data Analytics, Machine Learning, AI and Data Science, grew exponentially across all industries globally.  Since March 2020, teams have been using data to help themselves navigate the unknown. By having tangible hard numbers and statistics, decision makers have been able to make informed business choices which not only make supply chains and service offerings more effective and efficient but save time and money - both crucial elements for any company, but especially in a time of crisis. This growth of Data & Analytics is set to continue as we move further into 2021 (and beyond). Figures suggest that 2020-2022 could be the biggest period of growth the industry has ever seen, from being worth $189bn globally in 2019 to an estimated $274bn in 2022. This not only means more innovation and disruption from numerous businesses globally, but also a higher demand for Data specialist recruitment.  So, what exactly could this growth look like over the next 12 months? The rise of the Machine Learning Engineer (MLE) Usually, when companies want to build a data-driven business model and analyse the data, they would hire two separate roles in order to do this: A Data Scientist to do the deep dive analysis and then build the model, this model would then be passed to an Engineer who would write the code and deploy the model so it can run effectively in a business setting and get results.  However, as a direct result of the pandemic, companies are now looking at ways to get as much as they can out of their financial investment and make their teams leaner. Machine Learning Engineers mould the roles of the Data Scientist and Engineer into one and the salary investment would be slashed by half.  But implementing this change won’t be an easy feat for employers straight away. Machine Learning Engineers will be harder to find that Data Scientists and Engineers, as many data specialists won’t have an all-round knowledge of both disciplines instead, holding specific specialisms in one area. Nevertheless, with this increased demand for MLEs, we will see people who are earlier in their careers building up the necessary skills to have the perfect CV for a MLE, making them much more employable. An increase in e-commerce  This year we will undoubtedly see an increased focus put on e-commerce. As our world becomes increasingly more virtual, companies will be trading more than ever online and, to be successful, many of them will need to invest heavily in the data and technology needed to run e-commerce efficiently. From updating their website to implementing more analysis and testing, these aspects will allow companies to better understand what their consumers are doing online, ensuring that their e-commerce platform is fit for purpose.  Amazon is a prime example of where most e-commerce retailers will be aiming for over the next few years. Aspects that we take for granted from the retail giant, such as being told when something is out of stock and the expected delivery date of our order, is in fact a very complex data and algorithm platform that takes large financial investment to perfect. However, we will likely see more and more smaller businesses looking at how they can create and build something similar for their own sites.  IR35 won’t be the death of the contractor  In 2021 the economy will continue to rely heavily on an agile workforce, however, with the introduction of IR35 in April many companies are going to pause, or stop altogether, the hiring of self-employed contractors; instead, opting for permanent members of staff. A Catch-22.  That said, this won’t necessarily be a long-term issue. IR35 started in the public sector and at that time, a lot of companies locked up and didn’t hire contractors. They suffered from losing those highly skilled individuals and became worse off for it and, over time, the issues were resolved, and contractors could once again enter the workplace without too much worry.  The business world will, of course, have teething problems with this and we are likely to see the number of contractors decline in the first half of 2021. Many of these individuals may opt to take on permanent roles for the time being, accepting a lower net income but, after a 12 month delay and with a greater understanding of the IR35 processes and legislations, businesses should feel more confidence in continuing to hire contractors, especially in high level roles. Diversity One of the biggest trends we’re likely to see in the industry in the year ahead lies within Diversity and Inclusion. The market has been traditionally quite poor when it comes to diversity, especially where gender is involved. Currently, only 18-25 per cent of the market is female and these percentages decrease the further up the career ladder you look. After the events of this year, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, more businesses in the space are going to focus on how to improve their diversity.  Of course, there is no quick fix, and this will be a theme for many years to come but 2021 will certainly be a great starting point. Internal structures and procedures will need to be revisited by HR leaders and senior teams and tackling the problem much be started at the roots with aspects such as the hiring process and attitudes towards Diversity and Inclusion within existing internal teams.2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year and one that has witnessed huge change, growth and innovation within all areas of Data. The Data & Analytics market remains full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with us at info@harnham.com.

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