You’ve gone through the effort of reading through resumes, interviewing candidates, and considering the strengths and weaknesses of each. You’ve determined which candidate is your favorite and after all that time and energy, you really want them to join your company. The following ten tips will help you present the offer in a way that gets the candidate to say yes. Presenting a job offer is a bit like a sales pitch, so remember that your personality and corporate culture are an important part of the picture:
1: Don’t Hesitate
High-quality candidates are likely being courted by several potential employers simultaneously so the age-old adage that the early bird gets the worm definitely applies here. This isn’t to say you should rush picking which candidate is right. It’s obviously a good idea to take the proper time, especially if you’re hiring for an important position. Once you’ve got a firm candidate in mind, however, get in contact with them as soon as possible.
2: Make It Personal
Don’t send an email to tell a candidate that you’d like to make them an offer. For one, they might not see the email right away. More importantly, however, if you can’t be bothered to pick up the phone and call them, they might get the impression you’re just not that into hiring them. It is important to establish a real-life connection and show that it is just as important and momentous for you. Get on the phone to tell them you want to make them an offer but don’t go over the nitty-gritty over the phone. Invite them to your office so you can make them an offer in person.
3: Get All Your Ducks In A Row
When your candidate comes to meet with you (or, failing that, when you’re conversing over the phone), they’ll probably have a number of questions. They might want to negotiate on salary, bonuses, commission, or any number of other features of the contract. Make sure you have a good idea how much leeway you want to give on any of those fronts. Conceptualize some alternative forms of compensation and make sure they’re viable for your budget. Make sure anyone who needs to know about the offer you’re going to make is in the know so you can avoid a situation in which your candidate can’t get answers or a formalized offer in an appropriate time frame. Should they have to wait too long, they may consider other offers.
4: Consider The Candidate & Position
Anticipating the questions your candidate might have can make the job offer process a lot easier. As we mentioned at the top, it’s kind of like sales, and any good salesperson knows that evaluating needs is the most important part of the process. The needs of an executive will be quite different than someone being hired for QA testing. Think back to the interview process and review your notes – what did they say or do that could give you a clue as to what their priorities are?
5: Set The Stage
You’re about to give your candidate an offer of employment – let people know. Tell the receptionist so they can give the candidate a congratulation when they arrive. Improve the professional appearance of your office by tidying up thoroughly before the candidate sets their foot in the door, wear your best suit, etc. Appearances count, and you want the candidate to know that you’re the right company to work for.
6: Show Your Enthusiasm
Out of the hundreds of resumes, dozens of interviews, and after hours of consideration, it has all come down to this candidate. Let them know. Use those very metrics; tell them how
many candidates applied and how they were the best among them. Tell them why they were the best; explain how you feel they’ll fit well with the company, what you like about their skill set, what you like about their personality. When your enthusiasm shines through, your candidate will notice.
7: Present Them With The Offer
The offer, at this point, is printed out and ready to go – we’re assuming you followed Tip #3. Go over the offer with the candidate explaining salary, commission, bonuses, perks, and other relevant terms and benefits. At this point, your candidate may want to begin negotiating a bit and fortunately, you’ve prepared for this. You’ve anticipated they might want to change some terms, you’ve considered employment costs and your budget and prepared hypothetical alternate offers – you’re ready.
8: Talk About The Offer
Now that the offer has been made, there are three possibilities: they say yes, they say no, or they say maybe. For a yes, congratulations! You won’t even really need to consider the next two steps; they’ll sign the employment contract and you’ll be good to go. Before they sign the contract, it’s a good idea to bring up any non-competes or conflicts of interest they might have – that’s especially true when hiring executives. If they say no, ask them why and figure out whether or not that no is negotiable. Should it be negotiable, see if it’s within your grasp. If it’s non-negotiable, find out why they chose not to go with you and thank them for their time. For maybes, it’s time for our next step:
9: Set A Deadline
You obviously want to hire this candidate and you want to give them time to consider, but don’t give them too much time as you have other high-tier candidates you could hire and you don’t want someone who isn’t that interested in working with you. Give them at least 48 hours but don’t give them too much more time than that. If they need a few days to consider, that’s okay, but if they need weeks, you should choose another candidate.
10: Consider Your Options
While waiting for your candidate to respond yes or no, consider other options you have. Can you adjust the compensation package to be a bit more attractive? What other candidates could be a good fit for your organization? Hope for the best, plan for the worst – having followed all these steps will help you get the candidate you want, but failing that, you can try again with Tip #2.