You’ve gone through the interview process. You’ve selected your candidate. You’re ready to make the offer.
Now how do you position yourself so that your candidate actually accepts?
This job market, after all, favors the employee -- and they might well be entertaining a couple of different options.
Here are a few ways that can help you get a new hire across the finish line, once you’re ready to make the offer.
Making the offer.
Make sure your offer is competitive. Are you offering a reasonable wage and competitive benefits for this position? Do you offer perks (like extra vacation time or free meals) that make up for any shortfall? Do industry research to be sure you’re not losing good candidates simply because you’re paying under market rate. You can also suss out what a candidate is expecting during interviews -- even if you can’t meet what they’re asking for, you’ll know if you can get close. And if you’ve talked salary expectations during interviews, there will be fewer surprises to the candidate when they finally receive the offer.
A tight presentation goes a long way. I once worked at a restaurant that presented me with an offer letter when I landed a job. And yes, I found it impressive. No matter what industry you’re in, a tight offer presentation is a way to show a candidate that you’re serious about hiring top talent -- and it’s also an opportunity to sell a candidate on your place of work. You can inject a little of the company’s personality into the details, and you can clearly outline what employees gain by working with you -- both from a monetary perspective and a growth perspective.
Make the offer a celebration. The offer is an exciting moment -- so make it celebratory! Get on the phone with a candidate and convey your enthusiasm. Have your team participate by sending congratulatory emails or joining the beginning of the phone call. Taking a moment for celebration before diving into the details shows a candidate how much you care about bringing them on the team.
After the offer.
Prepare to negotiate. Most candidates will ask for some time to digest the offer, and may come back with requests -- so prepare to negotiate. Set some parameters for where you’re willing to bend on salary or benefits, and prepare to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement. Bolster your negotiation by reasserting development opportunities and growth trajectory.
Consider a sell exercise. Some big companies bring prospective hires to a sell day -- a day during which the company sells itself by introducing candidates to future colleagues, highlighting the culture of the workplace and career possibilities, and taking candidates out for dinner and drinks. You don’t have to go that hard to make a good impression: a coffee or drink with colleagues is a good way for a potential hire to meet the team in a low-pressure environment, and learn about why people like to work with you.
Put the applicant in touch with other members of the team. If you can’t carve out a sell exercise, consider introducing the candidate to other members of the team who can answer questions or convey the benefits of working at your company. This gives them an opportunity to ask more questions and better understand the culture of your workplace.
Follow up. If it’s been a couple of days, reach back out and ask if you can answer more questions. You can also set a reasonable timeline for an answer -- say a week after the offer was made.