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Gauging a Company’s Commitment to DEI – Part 3: The Offer Letter

October 21, 2021
3 min read

You did it! You did your research and found a company that looked like a good fit. Next, you went through the interview process and asked important questions. The company has done its own due diligence, decided that you’re a good fit for the role, and they sent you an offer letter!

But wait, let’s not celebrate too quickly. There’s still one last stage to go through, and that’s reviewing this offer. By now you know that the way a company moves through the recruiting process tells you a lot about its commitment to inclusion, and the offer letter is no different.

As you review your offer letter, here are some things to look out for.

1. Time to receive the offer

This might not seem like a big deal because at the end of the day, you did receive an offer, but it’s important to note how long the recruiting team took to actually extend the offer to you. Think about it, if you’re eager to leave your current role, and a recruiter knows that, that recruiter should work to update you on your status as quickly as possible. Especially for those of us from underrepresented communities who don’t have the time or resources to be in limbo with a role for an extended period of time. Or maybe you are between offers and you want to have all of your options in front of you before you make a decision. If you communicate that with the recruiting team, they should respect your time and be as timely with the offer as possible. 

2. Compensation and benefits

Hopefully, you were able to get an idea of what salary to expect during the pre-application phase of the interview, but if you weren't, review the compensation and benefits package to make sure that it is up to your expectations. A company that’s committed to equity is one that pays fairly. We’re all aware of the pay discrepancies between white men and, well, basically everyone else. Try to find people in your network that have similar roles and ask them to review the compensation details to confirm that it is equitable. 

3. Path to promotion

Part of the reason so many companies struggle to achieve diversity in leadership is because the promotion process is set up for people from underrepresented groups to fail. After you’ve received your offer letter, if you didn’t ask about it in the interview phase, ask the hiring manager what the promotion process is for this role. Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Inconsistent scheduling – the promotion process should be based on a set amount of time. Ensure that you know what that timeline is for your role.
  • Entirely qualitative reviews – obviously some parts of your performance review will be based on how your manager and your team speak of you, but if the entire review process is based on this anecdotal data, it’s more likely that bias slips in. Establish quantitative criteria for your promotion, and get it in writing so you can point to it when the time comes. 

Again, congratulations on your job offer. I said it before, but job searching can feel like a full-time job in itself. Getting to the point where you have an offer letter in hand is an accomplishment. However, don’t just be satisfied with the offer. Like every other piece of the recruiting process, you need to watch how the company behaves to ensure that this organization is one that you want to really work for, i.e. one that’s committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

If the company passed the other two phases but failed with the job offer, well, that’s its loss! 

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