College Grad Job Hunt ... and offer? Good News and Bad News

<p>The good news is that a great company wants my newly minted grad to come in and fill out new hire paperwork, bringing photo id, passport or birth certificate, SSN card etc. On Monday. They left him a phone message this afternoon. His interview was yesterday, they did a background check today.</p>

<p>The bad news: the position title is not exactly clear. The reason to accept this job is the potential with an up and coming operation, although their immediate need is apparently for an entry level customer service sort of person. That job would not require a college degree, much less the one he has. The company is fully aware of his major and college -- he got the interview through his college alumni connections. The salary has not even been discussed. My son is working a part time job next week and is not available at all. And they also did not discuss start date in the interview -- and his available start date is actually August due to prior commitments, which he indicated on his application. And he has an interview in early July for a job that we <em>think</em> might pay <em>double</em> what this spot will probably pay.</p>

<p>He is asking me how to handle this situation. Any ideas? I don't want to use the term "communication failure" ... which is my son's term. I'm thinking the "I'm confused, I didn't think there was an offer on the table" would be more appropriate.</p>

<p>How about - "Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I'm sorry, the message was not clear and I may have missed something. I wonder if you can help me out. Who can I speak with about this?" Then proceed with the questions you have. "Gee - I'm sorry, there are a couple of things I missed - what exactly is the job position? Also, the salary was not discussed, who would I speak with about that?" "Thanks so much for your help, I appreciate it."</p>

<p>Ask whatever you think is pertinent.</p>

<p>Try to be loose and friendly. Kind of make it seem that there was some sort of miscommunication without placing blame on anyone.</p>

<p>It sounds like a mistake. If I were he, I'd call them and explain politely that there seems to have been some mixup, that he had not been offered, much less accepted, a job from them, and he would certainly consider an offer from them if he received one.</p>

<p>On edit: Never mind, just do what Pengo says.</p>

<p>Did they make your S a formal job offer in the form of a letter stating the salary and terms and did he sign something and return it to them stating that he accepts their job offer? If not then he likely doesn't really have an offer but if it's someplace that simply doesn't know how to conduct business in this area professionally then he needs to contact them to have them send him the formal offer in writing. </p>

<p>Why isn't the position clear? Your S should have asked lots of questions about the position in the interview session and of course, the company should have stated it to him even if he didn't ask. </p>

<p>Clearly they need to have another meeting where your S can become clear on the position, duties, expectations, advancement opportunities, company background, working environment, etc. and where the specific salary, benefits, start date, etc. are made clear. He definitely shouldn't accept the position without knowing all of this. I'd be a little wary of this place given your description of how it's gone so far unless it's the type of business where it's common to be very informal in areas like this.</p>

<p>^^Yes that they should make an offer in writing. I think it's perfectly acceptable for your son needs to call them back and just say that he is not clear what the position is and that he had not discussed salary in any of the interviews (if this is true) and that before he comes in to sign paperwork he would appreciate more details. If they did discuss the position and the salary, then he can simply ask to have the offer detailing the compensation package sent to him in writing so that he can review all the details. This is pretty standard for companies. It protects the company as well as the employee from verbal claims that may or may not have been made in interview situations with employees not authorized to make those promises. Some companies play fast and loose with position titles so having an "unclear" position title during the interview might not be important, but there should be some classification in the letter. For example I have worked for companies that had "titles" in HR files related to pay grades, but common practice had titles that aligned more with the job function. The only example I think of is an offer letter that says "Project Manager" but the common titles might be Manager of blah blah blah or blah blah blah Manager. Regardless there is no reason for your son not to postpone agreeing to the job until he's confident he understands the job repsonsibilities and the compensation package.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The reason to accept this job is the potential with an up and coming operation

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I think the problem is that this company just hasn't got the process down. I agree with Pengo, call and act like maybe somebody just forgot to call you with the details.
Now that I think about it, my very first job (with McDonalds, back when they sold dino-burgers), nobody ever contacted me to offer the job or tell me what it paid. I interviewed, 3 days later the manager called to ask why I was late, so this isn't just up and coming operations....</p>

<p>Thanks everyone. New hire paperwork and I-9s come <em>after</em> accepted offers ... in my universe anyway. And since they didn't talk salary ... or actual title (i.e. is it an hourly job or a management job since both are open in that department) there's a lot of confusion here.</p>

<p>It was the HR guy who called him to come in Monday .... but I think that maybe this is the right hand not talking to the left hand ... and he'll call Monday and see if he can get them to clarify just what they are talking about. </p>

<p>When I interview the teens, I always tell them what I am going to pay them and what the progression is. But ... obviously ... I am not hiring college grads for their first professional position. I'm starting the minimum wage retail kids on their very first job.</p>

<p>I think this discussion ought to be moved "up" to the regular Parent Forum.</p>

<p>Really? I thought this was a genuine "Cafe" question! :)<br>
Move it wherever it's most appropriate!</p>

<p>The New York Times recently had experts weigh in on this subject with mixed opinions coming out:</p>

<p>Is</a> Any Job Better Than No Job? - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com</p>

<p>Thought all you nice people would like a little update on my son's job offer.</p>

<p>Turns out this company, as a matter of policy (OK, whatev, they seem to be from a different planet) does not do "written offers". What they do, however, have the employee sign a very detailed job description as part of the new hire paperwork that includes the offered compensation and payroll structure. They thought they had communicated this during the interview -- but according to my son they did not, and he would have picked up on any sort of dollar amount! </p>

<p>At any rate, the amount offered (which is more than I had guessed they would offer) is not going to be enough for him to either live independently, or to commute from our home (a doable but distant commute). It's also apparently a position that does not actually require a college degree, although his specific major makes him very attractive to the organization as a whole and sets him up for promotional opportunities. So ... he is quite possibly going to decline the offer and keep looking for something more suited to his talents and requirements -- but it's very hard to turn down an offer! I guess I need to go reread the linked article in the above post!</p>

<p>Ouch. Kind of like the college admit offer with too little aid met.... It's something I would have a hard time advising my kids on. Is any offer better than none? How far is the commute, and do they have closer locations that might offer a position after 6 months or so? Can he live on the salary with room-mates? So hard. You have our empathy.</p>

<p>I think it is probably a good idea to turn it down
My Bil who had had many jobs and quite a few as an internal auditor for banks- took a position with ' an up and coming company', when the bank restructuring left him high and dry.
Well as a father of 4 kids- he had certain salary needs- but bought their spiel that it was the next Symantec if not the next Microsoft.</p>

<p>Started out great- but then they kept pushing " stock options" instead of raises, and he kept with it as he " believed ".
They went bankrupt.</p>

<p>From our house, the commute would cost approximately $90/week or $285/month. He'd need a car, and he'd need to park at the train station. Even with roommates he'd be spending too high a percentage on housing if he lived in the city (NYC). And what's the point, for a young person, to live in the city if you can't have some FUN in the city?? My H and I actually own a (currently empty) house that's much more commutable that where we live in the 'burbs. That's a possibility -- with work and roommates -- although he'd still have to deal with commuting from the outer boroughs into downtown NYC.</p>

<p>So... the real question is ethical. Take it and keep looking? I vote no as an ethical position. Also because i think because I think he interviews really well, his connections are good, and something more appropriate will be forthcoming. He's also loan-less and can coast for a bit. Which I am OK with if he is working towards becoming employed.</p>

<p>OP -- I wouldn't advise him to take this job and keep looking. It isn't a matter of ethics but feasibility. It's hard to look for a job when you're working full time -- you're not as free to take calls from recruiters/other potential employers on the job bc there's a chance others will hear it; you can't be surfing the internet looking for other positions if the office set up is such that others will see you and presumably, the new company will be keeping you busy all day; if he does manage to get interviews, he may not have the time off right away to be able to go to those. My thought is that if you take a job, you should expect that it'll be 6 months to 1 yr before you can make a voluntary move because it's just that hard to be interviewing for other jobs while on a new job. This is why sometimes people who can afford to coast for a bit do so rather than taking a position that they consider under-employment because that under-employed position can keep them busy enough that they can't find a job that they're more qualified for.</p>