University of Oregon

Job Offer

Though the majority of the search and selection process has been completed at the time of a job offer, it is still important to assure that the final negotiation is done with complete and accurate information, an understanding of the candidate’s needs and preferences, and respect and care for their experience.  The candidate’s experience at this stage of the process may still influence whether or not they decide to accept the offer.

Recommended Practice* Associated Challenges
Pending approval by, and with support of the department head, stay in touch with the top candidate to answer any questions or address concerns he/she may have.  In addition, share departmental enthusiasm for the strengths the candidate will bring to the department The experience of candidates at any stage of the process can contribute to their decision to accept an offer.  Being unresponsive or inadequately addressing their questions or concerns can contribute to a candidate’s negative assessment of the department and/or institution
The department head should discuss possible “sticking points” such as salary and dual career issues, with the Dean and Academic Affairs.  Explore possibilities and think creatively about ways to address the candidate’s interests.  Consider options that may appear unlikely or unusual. Giving up too soon when there are challenging issues, and/or not fully understanding the interests of the candidate may lead to losing a strong candidate over resolvable issues
The department head should be aware that gender stereotypes can impact negotiations. “Because many stereotypically masculine traits are values at the bargaining table…negotiators hold implicit theories about what it takes to succeed that places female negotiators at a disadvantage.” (Kray & Thompson, 2005, p. 104). Without awareness of these concepts of appropriate behaviors linked to gender, women can be disadvantaged if their behavior is consistent with female stereotypes (e.g.,   accommodating), OR if their behaviors are consistent with male stereotypes (e.g., dominant, assertive, rational).  In the first case, the negotiation outcomes lead to less favorable results and in the second, women can be labeled as difficult, inappropriate, etc.
If an offer is made to a candidate who belongs to an underrepresented group, explore the possibility of engaging the Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP). Failing to explore this option might mean missing opportunities to supplement the hiring package and create a more appealing offer
Consider and address all aspects of a potential offer such as start up support, teaching load, assigned space, salary, credit towards tenure, travel and other research support. (Turner, 2002) To the degree that there are aspects of an offer that are not considered, there are further missed opportunities to addressed the candidate’s interests and create a more appealing offer

*The majority of these recommended practices are actions that the department head is likely to take.  Adapt as necessary to reflect the practices of your department.


Fine, E., & Handelsman, Jo. (2005).  Searching for excellence and diversity: A guide for search committee chairs. University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kolb, D. (1998).  Gender and the shadow negotiation. Center for Gender in Organization Insights. Retrieved from

Kray, L..& , Thompson, L. (2005).  Gender stereotypes and negotiation performance: An examination of theory and research.  Research in organizational behavior: An annual series of analytical essays and critical reviews. 26.

Matier, M. (1990).  Retaining faculty:  A tale of two campuses.  Research in Higher Education, 31, Retrieved from

Sotello Viernes Turner, C. (2002).  Diversifying the faculty:  A guidebook for search committees.  Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges & Universities.

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