You might not be The Godfather, but you still need to make your best job candidates an offer they can’t refuse. Still, many companies drop the ball during the job offer stage and lose out on the talent they need.
You can’t afford to lose the war for talent because you couldn’t seal the deal. The best and brightest will have plenty of employment options, so don’t make the mistake of thinking a candidate will accept your offer just because you put it on the table. Instead, you need to dedicate the same time and care in the offer stage as you did when finding and interviewing talent.
Here are six tips on how to turn a job offer to your top candidate into a great new employee for your company:
The hiring process itself often takes way too long, and deciding to make the job offer is part of this never-ending process. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, hiring someone for a new position can take anywhere from an average of 29 to 43 days. You know what your competitors are doing while you drag your feet for over a month? They’re hiring all the best people out from under your company.
If you’ve found a great candidate, it’s time to streamline your approval process. Get everyone who needs to sign off on the same page and do it as quickly as possible. Making a quick offer to a candidate not only undercuts your competitors, it also shows how excited the company is about the candidate. Everyone wants to be wanted, and making a quick offer is likely to make a big impression on the best and brightest.
Before you hit send on your email offering the job, stop and think for a minute. What will leave a bigger impression on a great candidate: an email or a phone call? If you’re offering a job to a top-notch candidate, it’s important to do so in a personal manner.
Candidates don’t want to feel like just another cog in the machine, so picking up the phone shows you care enough to deliver the good news on a more personal basis. It also allows you to gauge the interest level of your candidate and answer some important questions they may have about the position.
…But Then Put It In Writing
Now that you’ve placed a phone call with your offer, it’s time to send out the formal job offer in writing. Make sure you include everything the candidate will need to know about the position, such as salary, time off, office attire and perks.
The letter should be formal and legal, yet it should also give the candidate another glance into the company culture and how their work will contribute to your corporate goals. You should also include a deadline for how long you’re willing to wait for the candidate’s answer — around three days is a typical wait time.
When you’re speaking to a candidate about the position and the future at your company, don’t try to be so professional that you skimp on the excitement factor. Allow your natural excitement about the candidate and position to shine through, and don’t be afraid to express why your company is a great place to work.
You’ve been selling your company all along, from the job description to the interview, so now is not the time to stop telling the story of why your company is the best place to work. If you’re passionate, you’ll showcase a positive company culture and some of your enthusiasm will rub off on the candidate.
Put Benefits On The Table
Candidates want to know their salary and what tasks they’ll be completing on a day-to-day basis. But they also want to know what kind of perks they can expect at your organization. Don’t be afraid to get into the nitty gritty of specific benefits and company perks.
If your company offers a great healthcare plan, let the candidate know. If your company offers a flexible work schedule, now is the time to detail how this program operates. Get specific about your company’s benefits and put them in writing so candidates can see exactly what they’ll get when they sign on the dotted line.
Every company has its pros and cons, and your company is no different. Candidates are going to have some tough, specific questions for you to answer before they accept your job offer. Don’t soft pedal the answers, even if the reality is less than rosy. You need someone who is willing to jump in and hit the ground running.
This means taking the good with the bad and knowing what to expect. If your company has long hours and overtime because it’s a small organization, don’t hide this information. You want to be passionate and excited but also realistic and transparent so you end up with employees who will stick around for the long haul.
You’ve almost made it to the finish line with your top candidate, so now is no time to take a breather. If you make your best candidates an offer they can’t refuse in a timely and personal manner, you’ll likely end up with the top talent your company desperately needs.
What do you think? How do you make a great job offer? Share in the comments!
About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.