5 reasons to turn down the job

According to our latest employer brand research, 35% of Hongkongers are looking to change employers within the next year. In a talent short and active market, it’s not that surprise you may have other opportunities knocking at your door.  Before accepting an offer based solely on salary & benefits, our advice is to make sure that your employer’s values and expectations align with yours.

While declining a job offer is a tough call to make, it's one you'll thank yourself for later especially if you have evaluated the offer and concluded the following: 

 

1. the job doesn’t satisfy your career priorities.

Make a list of your priorities on what you are looking for in a job before evaluating any new job opportunity. This might include higher remuneration, improved work-life balance or an organisation with a positive atmosphere and workplace culture. In Hong Kong, we asked over 4,000 people what they valued most. Here’s what they ranked as most important on average:

employees seek vs employers offer in hong kong

How does this compare with your list of priorities?

If the job doesn’t meet the vast majority of your top priorities and only ticks a few boxes, then chances are you will find yourself unsatisfied in due time. 

Know that changing jobs will usually require some kind of trade-off - what you gain in a new employer could mean you lose something at your existing employment. Weighing in on this trade-off is an important step in making a big career decision. Be clear about what are your priorities and what factors are “non-negotiable” so that you don’t make a decision for the wrong reasons.

2. the role doesn’t align with your long-term career goals.

We don’t always know what are our long-term career goals so it’s easy to “go with the flow.” If you know what your long-term career goals are, stay focused to ensure that this new opportunity will play favorably in setting you up in the right direction. Take the long view, because while opportunities will present themselves with attractive benefits, you could be buying into a temporary distraction or creating career roadblocks down the road if the new job offer doesn’t set you on a path towards your long-term goals. 

3. the employer doesn’t have a good reputation.

Before accepting a job offer, it is crucial for you to research any potential employer extensively. Review their website, google them for mentions in career review sites like Glassdoor, social and professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Ask any current or past employees about workplace conditions, and evaluate reviews and testimonials from both clients and customers. 

Start-up organisations may have a strong reputation even though they have not been operating for as long as an MNC. A start-up may have less mentions online about their employer brand and reputation, but may have news coverage that provides positive indication about the company’s reputation and offering, like increased funding by investors. 

4. the culture does not fit yours.

A pleasant working environment is one of the top five most important attributes Hongkongers look for in an employer, according to Randstad Employer Brand Research 2018. You need to trust your gut instinct – if you have a bad feeling about your potential boss or other key team members, it may not be the right workplace for you. If you are having doubts, make sure you ask the hiring manager for the opportunity to speak with colleagues you’ll be working closely with. 

5. don’t get blinded by the employee perks.

Some employers offer a number of attractive perks to employees, such as free memberships or discounts. It’s no good accepting a role based on the company perks, only to discover that what was sold to you during the interview process, is not in fact, the reality of what you face. Look beyond the perks and delve deeper into the job responsibilities, future career path and working conditions.

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