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How to evaluate your construction job offer

Bayt.com’s Suhail Masri outlines the top five factors that candidates should consider when evaluating construction-related job offers in the MENA region

Bayt.com’s Suhail Masri (above) lists the top five factors to consider when evaluating a construction-related job offer in the MENA region.
Bayt.com’s Suhail Masri (above) lists the top five factors to consider when evaluating a construction-related job offer in the MENA region.

After a lengthy process of applying for construction jobs, attending challenging interviews, and proving yourself as a top worker, the offer letter arrives.

Offer letters can be a sign of relief and, for many job seekers, the most exciting part of the hiring process.

But even though a construction company is now ready to welcome you to its team, to sign an offer letter without scrutinising each and every detail would be unwise. A job offer means that you, as the future employee, are now the sole decision-maker in this hiring opportunity.

According to Bayt.com’s Top Industries Survey in the Middle East and North Africa for 2016, construction represents one of the most popular employment sectors in the region. Approximately 10% of respondents currently work, or have worked most recently, in this sector. Construction was also identified as one of the industries to have recorded the strongest levels of growth during the past year.

That being said, there are more details that Bayt.com’s career experts believe you need to consider when evaluating your construction job offer. Keep in mind that an offer letter is a changeable document. If you are unhappy with any of the listed terms, you should discuss alternatives with your prospective employer before signing on the dotted line.

In the following article, Suhail Masri, vice president of employer solutions at Bayt.com, outlines the top five factors to consider when evaluating construction-related job offers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Assess the basics
Among many elements of the offer letter that you need to examine are the contract terms (open, annual, project-based, temporary, etc.), the probation period and what it entails, the working hours, the working days, the reporting hierarchy, and the job responsibilities.

Bayt.com’s Top Industries in the MENA survey shows that 27% of respondents claim that the construction industry has the longest working hours. As such, the expectations of your prospective employer, and all of the aforementioned variables, should be clearly and explicitly stated in your job offer.

Evaluate the salary
How does the salary offered compare to the salaries of other construction professionals, with similar qualifications and experience as you, working in the same country? Bayt.com’s Top Industries in the MENA survey found that 13% of respondents think that the construction industry offers the most attractive salary packages.

Obtain information from professionals in the construction industry who hold positions similar to that for which you are applying. You can also use online salary calculators, such as Bayt.com’s Salary Search platform, to put your offer into context.

Investigate the travel requirements
Does your job require constant or occasional travelling or relocation? If so, are you provided with sufficient travel and accommodation allowances?

Consider whether the funding and overtime pay is sufficient to cover the associated costs of your prospective role, and reflect on whether you are the type of person who is suited to living out of a suitcase for extended periods of time.

Also ask yourself whether any of your personal responsibilities conflict with such a lifestyle. It is important for you to have a clear understanding of travel requirements before signing any binding documents.

Research the career trajectory
Although this may not be explicitly stated in your offer letter, it is recommended that you speak to your prospective manager about the future prospects of the position that has been offered to you. Find out whether he or she foresees future growth within that role.

If you are looking for continuous career progression and development, you should ensure that the job in question matches your anticipated career path.

Assess the working conditions
Construction is one of the most stressful jobs in the region, according to Bayt.com’s Top Industries in the MENA survey. Stress levels and general working conditions are equally important considerations when evaluating a job offer, as they can influence job satisfaction, and overall health and wellbeing.

Examples of attractive working conditions include flexible hours, open communication policies, vacation allowances, and team gatherings. In the recent Bayt.com poll, Stress in the MENA Workplace, our researchers found that such offerings can help professionals to eliminate stress at work.

Suhail Masri is vice president of employer solutions at Bayt.com.

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