Candidate Challenge -Accepting or Rejecting the Job Offer

  By Dr. Frank Burtnett  |    Monday May 10, 2016

Category: Certification, Education, Expert Advice

Over time veteran staffing professionals are bound to observe an array of candidate behaviors once they have been offered a new position. Many candidates are pleased with their new employment opportunity and eager to accept it. Others, however, show signs of reluctance and procrastination---this after they have successfully navigated the job search process only to face the daunting challenge of deciding what they will do with the offer before them.


In my book, Career Errors: Straight Talk About the Steps and Missteps of Career Development Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2014), I put forth a six element model for job acceptance that I call the Fundamental Employment Acceptance Test (FEAT). The premise of FEAT is that a range of factors should contribute to one’s acceptance of a new position and it is important to examine all that are relevant. At the same time, FEAT adds structure to this important decision and ensures that it is given thoughtful and complete consideration. 


Applying the Fundamental Employment Acceptance Test (FEAT)


Using FEAT, the candidate is going to examines six separate and distinct factors in making her/his decision to accept a job offer. Each factor generates a series of questions that need answering and consideration. Those factors include:

The work itself

Employment security

The people factor

Compensation and benefits

Growth opportunities

Life-work balance issues

By creating and answering a set of questions under each of the above factors, the decision-maker creates a “yardstick” for measuring the acceptability of each job offer. Active job seekers may find themselves willing to accept a position that has less than a perfect score. Passive job seekers, especially those that are working and reasonably comfortable in their current roles, will likely want higher FEAT grades in order to make a job change.


To receive the extensive list of questions that are contained in Career Errors, interested EMInfo readers can contact me at and I will send you my complete FEAT document. Simply insert FEAT in the subject line.


As staffing professionals educate candidates in the FEAT model, it’s important to convey the need to continue the exploration that has delivered them to this point in the job search and change process, including employer due diligence, internal and external research and extended interaction with family, friends, colleagues and networks. 


Standing on One’s FEAT


Any new job offer is a beginning. As a part of looking ahead, the candidate must make certain the magnetism of the offer is such that taking this important step is a positive one and he/she is drawn to the job for all the right reasons. Far too many people accept less than “good fits,” with the belief that they can change things once they start working. This belief fails as often as it succeeds. The last thing you want a candidate to say six months into the future is: “If I had only known ___________.”


Depending on the mindset, preferences, and circumstances of the candidate, each job offer will present tempting elements. Staffing professionals must help each candidate make certain the positive aspects of the job offer outweigh any negative ones. Help them stand on their FEAT!

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