A job offer in your mailbox marks the successful completion of your job search journey. And it is a natural reaction to accept it quickly.
But that should not be the way how you approach your job offers.
Before accepting an offer, you should be careful in understanding what your new job entails. It is better to be detail-oriented now to avoid conflicts later on when you have joined the company.
You should be aware that most employees in Singapore are covered under the Employment Act, which is Singapore’s main labour law. The act lists basic terms and conditions at work.
Expats or Foreign nationals holding a work pass are also covered by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, which outlines an employer’s responsibilities and obligations for employing foreigners.
So, no matter which category you fall in, it’s important to understand what you are entitled to and what all you are getting from your prospective employer.
To make sure that your terms of employment are in accordance with what was discussed with you during the interview process, you should check your job offer letter thoroughly.
Here are some important elements that you should pay attention to in your job offer letter before making a decision.
Job Title/Designation & Department
One of the key elements you see on your job offer email is the information about your job title and the department you’d be working with. Your offer letter at times also carry details of your job responsibilities and who you’d be reporting to. You would want to go for an offer that will both challenge and advance your career. Otherwise, you may stagnate in the role and delay your professional progress. So, go through this section carefully to ensure that you are being offered what was discussed. Usually, companies are liberal when it comes to offering you a designation. If you think the job title you are being offered is not in sync with what was discussed, bring it to the notice of your employer before accepting the offer.
Remuneration/Salary & Benefits
This is the most important part of your offer letter. Besides the opportunity to do the great work, ultimately this is what you work for – the reward or the compensation that pays your bills. It is useful to know that workman earning a basic monthly salary of not more than $4500 and employees covered under the Act and earn a basic monthly salary of not more than $2600 month are provided additional protection (such as hours of work and overtime, rest day, public holidays, annual & sick leave, and bonuses among others).
At times during the interview process, most employers do not touch upon the matter of salary in detail. This is the time to look for what all is being offered to you.
Some of the elements you can look at in your offer other than the fixed salary could be:
- Annual Bonus
- Paid Annual Leave
- Paid Sick Leave
- Paid Annual Childcare Leave
- Unpaid Infant care Leave
- Probation Period
In the case of sales profiles where incentives are a big part of the salary, ensure that it finds a mention in your offer letter document. And if you are looking for how to negotiate, here are 8 Golden Rules of Salary Negotiation.
Joining Date and Location
Your offer letter should clearly state your joining date and location of the office where you would be reporting on your first day. Make sure that you are being given enough time to serve your notice period in your current organisation. Your offer letter should also mention the time you should report at the office.
In the changed work environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be required to directly start working from home. If it’s the case, make sure your offer letter clearly states about your working from home.
Required Joining Documents
The offer letter should list or make a mention of all the documents that you would require as part of joining formalities. It should clearly mention the documents you are required to carry for joining formalities.
Once an offer letter is in your inbox, the first thing that you should do is to acknowledge the job offer by replying them and providing a tentative timeframe to apprise them of your decision.
Though employers expect to receive your final decision as soon as possible, however, you should take your time. Go through the important elements in your job offer, ask if you have any questions and get back to the employer within the timeline you’ve given.
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