Whether you’re looking for a job or have a job and are being recruited for a new position, there are times when you might want to ask if your new job offer is too good to be true. Why?

Well, perhaps you’re being offered a lot more money – above the range for the type of work you do. While it’s common to be offered a jump in pay for a new job, a figure that really seems outlandish, or makes you raise your eyebrows in surprise, is actually a red flag rather than a good sign. So are gigantic increases in benefits or responsibilities.

Why? Because sometimes, companies have trouble hiring people. They make exceptionally good offers, because they can’t get people to work for them otherwise.

The employment rate is very high right now – the highest in several decades. Employers are scrambling to find qualified people.

Troubled companies might make “too good to be true” offers

Companies whose turnover rate is known to be high, are often avoided by people in the field. A high turnover rate often means that work is stressful or there are multiple challenges for employees – and they’re walking out the door almost as fast as they come in.

Other companies may not have a clear sense of what they want in a job. They hire people, but then decide the job isn’t being done in the right way. Or, they may decide to pile on new and unrelated responsibilities after the hire, so the employee is blindsided with new tasks they are expected to do.

It can hurt your prospects to work there

Generally, it isn’t a good idea to accept these offers. First, if you currently have a job, you are leaving it for a troubled company that may have you running for the exits in fairly short order.

Second, a short stint at a job doesn’t look good on your resume. Prospective employers will ask why. You’ll have to have a tactful response. Third, you may not have references from the position. Fourth, having to look for a job again is a drain on your time and pocketbook.

Look for potential red flags

Don’t get us wrong. It’s common to try to find good employees by offering sweeteners: more money, more benefits, increased management responsibility or higher titles. All of these can be great ways to get more out of a job.

The “too good to be true” category differs from this in that the offers are way above a normal increase. Those are red flags. Maybe you’re earning $25,000 and they offer $60,000. You’ve been an administrative assistant for six months and they offer a vice president’s responsibilities and title.

Or they make an offer almost immediately after the interview. It’s common to take weeks, if not months.

How do you ascertain if these are red flags? Ask questions at the interview. Ask specifically what the expectations are. Ask why your predecessor left the company.

Ask your network if they’ve heard of any problems at the company too.

Looking for a new job?

Working with an excellent staffing agency can help you find a great one. At Expert Staffing, we specialize in matching talent with positions that will expand their skills. To find out more about leading positions in your field, contact us today.