Finally, after all of the sourcing, interviewing, and reference checking, you have pinned down your top candidate. Congratulations! The hard part is finally over, right? All that’s left now is calling that dream employee up, extending a job offer, and getting their desk prepared. Or is it?
Although extending an offer may seem like an easy last step, in actuality it’s an extremely important process. Be prepared for some bumps in the road before your latest team member is set up in your office.
The Reality of Extending a Job Offer
Step 1: Make the Offer with the Right Delivery
First thing’s first: when you offer a candidate a job, be sure to explain why you chose them over others. Express how excited you are at the prospect of them joining your company!
Great candidates are typically interviewing companies, just as companies are interviewing them. Depending on their situation, there may be other companies that want them just as much as you do. Remind your prospect of why they should want to work for you, and why they’d make a great fit for your team.
In order to extend a competitive offer, understand what the candidate’s compensation expectations are. This is a question that should be asked within the first phone screen. If you are offering only a slight increase or lateral move from their previous company, don’t be shocked if the candidate needs to think it over or ask for a higher compensation.
Step 2: Give a Deadline and Prepare for Potential Counteroffers
The next step is to give a deadline that you need an answer by. I usually recommend about two days for the prospect to come back with a yes or no answer. Odds are that if a candidate takes longer than two days to decide, they’re going to decline working for you. It is better to know sooner rather than later and continue on in the search.
Understand that a yes isn’t definitive. Unfortunately, a signed offer letter is not a legally binding document that obligates a candidate to show up on day one. In the interim of receiving an acceptance and the start date, a counteroffer could materialize for your candidate. While it’s difficult to avoid this from happening, there are some strategies to keep in mind once it does. First of all, speak with your candidate, reminding them of why they wanted to leave their current company in the first place. Additionally, tell them about the opportunities that you would be able to provide them with.
Step 3: Be On the Defensive
To help avoid a counteroffer, stay in touch with your candidate during their two-week period of quitting. Ask them to meet for lunch or drinks with the team, check in via email or phone to see how their transition has been, and re-iterate your excitement about them joining your company.
As you can see, there is much more to extending an offer than a simple call or email. Sourcing and interviewing candidates can be a lengthy process. As such, it is a good idea to take the extra time to prepare for extending an offer. Soon enough, you’ll have landed your ideal candidate.
Have any successes or failures extending job offers that you’d like to share? Add them to the comments section below!