As I mentioned last week, recruiting is a lot like dating. When you’ve found the right candidate, making a job offer can be just as tricky. A job offer is a contract that involves negotiation, strategy, and understanding the psychological needs of the candidate.
As you and the hiring manager have spent time interviewing and getting to know the candidate, hopefully you’ve taken time to discuss topics like salary expectations, job requirements, benefits, and career advancement opportunities. These are important in getting to know your potential employees by understanding what matters and motivates them. It’s also important in how you will position and present the job offer making sure you highlight some of the most important perks surrounding the job that your candidate mentioned earlier in the process.
People want to get behind their work, and know their employer has their back. Benefits provide security, and state of mind. Selling someone solely on salary (even if it is $1,000,000) is like trying to sell someone oil because it can rest atop water. Yeah, that is an impressive feature of oil. But the benefit of oil is that it works with your car and gets you where are want to go. The benefit of a new job is the opportunity to change the world of the candidate.
After bringing in your candidate and presenting them with the offer, you want to focus on the benefits long before you share with them the compensation package. Money is important, but isn’t the primary motivator when a candidate accepts a job offer. If the salary isn’t overwhelming (which it often isn’t), consider leading with benefits like flexible work scheduling, healthcare, 401(k) and career advancement or development opportunities. Nevertheless, offer a good salary, a fair salary, and one that is within their expected range as previously discussed. The focus should be on the new role and how it will impact the company positively providing the candidate valuable professional development at the same time.
PUT IT IN WRITING
Your verbal job offer should be accompanied by a formal offer letter. Have your corporate counsel draft one but make sure the letter speaks to your culture and environment in which the candidate will be working. Include within the formal job offer: documents information about the Features and Benefits that you discussed providing them with something to think about. The candidate may ask for time to think the offer over, which is fine. Provide them with a firm time, like 24 to 48 hours, in which to provide a response. Candidates who are aggressively looking for work are often juggling multiple interviews and salary negotiations with several companies, which is why it’s so important to present your best offer. The candidate is making an important career decision and will likely need time to weigh the pros and cons between your company and another company.
Preparing for the job offer process – like any sales meeting – involves research, strategy, and preparation long before the job offer is accepted.
Much of this decision to work together is made in the candidate’s impression of the job ad and interview, but the job offer is a tangible affirmation point. The key to having a job candidate accept your job offer is through engagement, conversation, and learning of how the job opportunity can help them obtain their career, personal, and professional goals. Focus on these and you’ll learn how not only how to make a job offer, but how to have a candidate accept your job offer.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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