Every stage of the hiring process presents a challenge to recruiters. Many hiring managers find that the most important one is when they make the offer to the candidate. Hunting for talented candidates is a struggle, and you can be sure that they are interviewing with multiple companies and receiving more than one offer.
That's why you need to make sure that your offer stands out from others and convince the candidates that you're the best option they can choose.
Here are 8 tips to help you make sure that the candidate accepts your job offer and join your team.
1. Hunt for information during the interview
If you want to deliver an offer that is tailored to the needs, preferences, priorities, and aspirations of the candidate, you need all the information you can get your hands on. The best way to get this information is to ask them during the interview.
For example, ask the candidate what they consider an ideal work environment, how important development and training are to them, and where they see themselves in five years. By incorporating that type of questions into your interview process, you will gain the intel that will help you create an engaging offer. It will also show the candidate that you're interested in their future.
2. Show them all your perks
It's impossible to tell which of your little perks or benefits will strike the chord with the candidate. Sometimes it might be a company-sponsored monthly yoga class, other times they might find your organic, healthy office snacks important.
When working on your offer, it's best to simply assume that everything you offer your team is worth mentioning. From health benefits to Friday company lunches, these perks will help you cover any shortcomings you might experience regarding the salary.
Perks should also include the kinds of projects you work on as a company. For example, we worked with Walmart on a 2-week project with engineering candidates. Initial feedback showed that 70% of the candidates were unsure if they wanted to work for Walmart. A survey after the project phase showed that 100% of all candidates had a positive outlook on working for Walmart and the kinds of projects Walmart did excited them. Showing these kinds of projects with your candidates will get them pumped to work with you and excited about the future with your company.
3. Make sure to offer the right compensation
Let's not kid ourselves – people work for money and compensation is a crucial element of every job offer. Competitive salary and employee benefits usually rank as the most important factors for job hunters.
Since you want the candidate to consider your offer seriously, you need to rethink the salary that comes as part of it. Check industry standards, as well as the candidate's current salary, together with the tasks, skills, and specialization of the role they will be performing.
If you're running a small business, you're probably trying to keep costs down. Pair a competitive salary with workplace perks and fantastic company culture that to make your offer stand out without affecting your budget. Never overpromise, it can hurt your credibility and affect employee commitment in the long-term. Attracting the candidate with a high pay will leave you very little room for raises and other incentives – and eventually might also cause frustration in your current employees.
4. Describe the hiring process to set expectations
It's not good to leave candidates guessing about what is the next step in your process or how the timeframe involved looks like. You should communicate all that information and include as many details as possible.
When doing that, you will be setting particular expectations, and it's essential that you meet them. If you fail to deliver a decision on time or meet these expectations in any other way, you will only make the candidate rethink your offer and possibly decline it. It's simply unprofessional to promise something and fail to deliver on it.
5. Don't keep candidates waiting
It's essential that you design your hiring process well to make sure that it's not too long or disorganized. A lengthy recruitment process is already bad, and if you fail to contact the candidate about your offer immediately after you decide, it's going to get even worse.
Keep your hiring process precise and swift. Once you decide to make an offer, reach out to the candidate and make it. With every hour that you spend hesitating, they might be receiving other offers and already considering them seriously.
You can't, however, keep the candidates waiting in the dark. Learn how to communicate with them continuously and keep them excited about the job. A great place to start is to identify the communication channels that are favored by candidates. These days, candidates rely heavily on mobile devices so you should become familiar with texting and using social networking applications. You could even send a video via text message of the office, or a personal message to them. Whatever you choose to do, keep it personal. The candidates will feel like you care about them and will be excited to work for you.
6. Make sure they have enough time to consider your offer
You shouldn't make them wait to receive your offer, but also avoid rushing them. Remember how the situation looks like from their perspective. Changing jobs is a serious decision that everyone weighs carefully.
Smart professionals don't just jump ship. The last thing you want to do at this point is to keep reaching out to the candidate and make the entire decision more stressful – at this point, they might simply decline because they don't like being under pressure.
7. Make an offer that covers everything you discussed with the candidates
The offer stage is the final stage of recruitment, and it's the worst time for surprise news. You can be sure that candidates will react negatively to hearing something new about their position or contract.
Create a comprehensive list of points to be discussed throughout the process to make sure that candidates are fully aware of what the position entails, and that everything that you discussed and agreed on is included in the offer.
A job letter may include
- The job description
- Job title
- Starting Date of Employment
- Acknowledgment of the Offer letter (place for the applicant to sign)
Here is an example of an offer letter. You can also go to Balance Careers and download this template.
8. Assign the task to the recruiter
Imagine that you are a talented candidate who receives many different offers and gets in touch with various recruiters. They have been working with your hiring manager for a while now – throughout the entire process – so when they hear directly from the company CEO, they might feel that it's a little too much. After all, the only contact point they had with your company so far was the recruiter. Many companies break that rule and suffer severe consequences. Don't become one of them.
Hiring candidates on underserved markets is a serious challenge.
The offer stage is the most important stage in the recruitment process – after all, you have invested so much in engaging the candidate. Don't let any of these mistakes ruin your plans to hire the best talents on the market.
Follow these steps to make sure that once you decide to make an offer to a candidate, you can convince them to accept it.
Lily Kaligian is an editor at Businesscheck.co.nz and Canadabiz.net. She creates a variety of articles about careers, entrepreneurship, technology, business, education, as well as travel and personal development.