Time between job offer and contract?

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offwego
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:45 pm

Time between job offer and contract?

Post by offwego »

How long is it, typically, between being offered a job and actually receiving a contract to sign?

It's been several weeks since my last interview with a particular school, and I finally got an official job offer last week. I don't have the finalized contract yet, but maybe that's normal? I haven't gone overseas for work in almost two decades, so I don't remember how long I had to wait for the contract.

We're talking about China, if that helps. But I'm curious about other countries, too.

Thanks!
sciteach
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by sciteach »

It really depends on the professionalism and how western the admin runs. For example - I've had a contract given to me when I've been offered a job straight away. I've also been given a contract to sign when I made it on location.

I do know that sending documents are more difficult and more expensive during covid times. If they are working on your visa then they are spending money on you and I'd say things would look much more secure.

On these topics - lots of people have different strong views. My comment on how the admin runs is that more local schools tend to follow local norms - whatever they may be.
offwego
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:45 pm

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by offwego »

I guess I was under the mistaken assumption that they were just going to email me something in an attachment to sign. If they need to pull together a bunch of official documents and then mail them, then that's totally understandable that it would take a few weeks.

I should probably stop stressing out and just relax and enjoy the fact that I got (and accepted) a job offer at a good school! Hooray!
sciteach
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by sciteach »

Asking if there is a contact to sign politely is something that can be asked. Others may be able to say more on how to do this carefully
McQwaid
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:46 pm

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by McQwaid »

In the international global realm of things "contracts" really don't stand for much legally. It pretty much depends on the integrity of the "job offer". One thing to watch for is ensuring the school conducts the reference checks quickly. Do not let them make a job offer or contract with a small print that says "depending on satisfactory references". This opens the door for them to conduct the reference check whenever it suits them. Therefore making it very convenient for them to wait until the real staff retention picture unfolds in Feb or March. It's real easy for a school to withdraw an offer or contract based on a mysterious unsatisfied reference check. Make sure they do the reference checks prior to offer/contract.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

It can be hours too months, a week is typical. The rule is when an IS wants you they act like they want you. Excessive delays could be many things, top among them and the most concerning is that they are keeping you on the hook while waiting on another candidate or they are still interviewing. It doesnt take long to get a contract tough, work permits visa documents are a different issue, but as far as someone signing the contract and chopping it, then scanning and emailing it to you, thats a day at most, maybe a bit longer with the pandemic and someone has to physically go into an office and access the chop. Anything beyond that though should be suspect, and beyond a week is just not realistic.
In China they cant even start on those other documents until they have a properly executed contract among other documents(such as passport, degrees, etc, and other forms).
I concur with @McQwaid, in that contracts dont mean very much from a practical standpoint. ITs are very rarely in a position to enforce compliance with an IE contract.
Heliotrope
Posts: 961
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by Heliotrope »

offwego wrote:
> How long is it, typically, between being offered a job and actually
> receiving a contract to sign?
>
> It's been several weeks since my last interview with a particular school,
> and I finally got an official job offer last week. I don't have the
> finalized contract yet, but maybe that's normal? I haven't gone overseas
> for work in almost two decades, so I don't remember how long I had to wait
> for the contract.
>
> We're talking about China, if that helps. But I'm curious about other
> countries, too.
>
> Thanks!


I've had paper contracts send to me, and electronic ones emailed to me. Sometimes the paper ones were there within a few days, and sometimes the email took nearly two weeks.
The paper ones have the benefit that they (one copy for you, one for them) will already have their signatures on them (in my experience at least), while if they email it to you you still need to wait for them to send back a signed copy with their signatures in addition to your own before you're in the clear (relatively at least).

There can be many reasons why it takes long (usually a disorganized or understaffed HR department, or a recruiter that forgot to put in the request for a contract to be made and sent).
If it takes more than a week and a half you can definitely inquire. You could do that in the form of a question about whether they will email it or sent it by snail mail (ask for a tracking number).
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Inquiry

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Why cant an IS just send you the ones they have signed to begin with?
How is a disorganized HR or an absent minded leader justifiably good things that arent problematic warning signs?
Heliotrope
Posts: 961
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Inquiry

Post by Heliotrope »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Heliotrope
>
> Why cant an IS just send you the ones they have signed to begin with?

They can and they do. As I said, whenever I've received contracts by mail, they've always had their signatures on them.

> How is a disorganized HR or an absent minded leader justifiably good things
> that arent problematic warning signs?

If you're referring to the OP, they said it's been a week since the offer (at the time of writing). A week isn't so long that you can say the HR department is disorganized. If the contract isn't there two weeks after the offer, I would certainly raise the matter.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Inquiry

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Why cant an IS just send you, by email, the ones they have signed to begin with?

I was referring to your post, and your apparent attempt at making excuses for either bad HR or incompetent/negligent leadership, how is either one of them appropriate or acceptable?
Heliotrope
Posts: 961
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Inquiry

Post by Heliotrope »

PsyGuy wrote:
> I was referring to your post, and your apparent attempt at making excuses
> for either bad HR or incompetent/negligent leadership, how is either one of
> them appropriate or acceptable?

I wasn't 'making excuses for bad HR or incompetent/negligent leadership'.
What I said was that the bad HR or incompetent/negligent leadership might be the reason it takes a while.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

That is literally an excuse.
We disagree.
Heliotrope
Posts: 961
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Comment

Post by Heliotrope »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Heliotrope
>
> That is literally an excuse.
> We disagree.

Nope, I'm not excusing HR or leadership's behaviour.
I'm saying that that (inexcusable) behaviour is the reason it might take so long.
offwego
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:45 pm

Re: Time between job offer and contract?

Post by offwego »

Well, for what it's worth, the school has told me I should expect a contract the week after Chinese New Year break. Fingers crossed....
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

@offwego

You are going to need your fingers crossed longer than that.
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