A job offer is much more than a procedural formality — it lays the foundation for a successful and harmonious employer-employee relationship in the future. However, crafting an appealing job offer is an art that requires a nuanced understanding of the candidate’s needs and goals.It involves not only presenting a competitive salary but also showcasing your company’s employee value proposition.
Keep reading for some insights and tips to navigate this meaningful first step with new employees.
When it comes to talent acquisition, it’s important to remember you’re not just recruiting people to work for you – you’re selling your company and developing a relationship with potential hires. The recruitment process should therefore be a two-way street where candidates can learn about the company’s culture, values, and unique selling points so they can envision themselves as part of the team – as well as an opportunity for the candidate’s potential manager and colleagues to start learning about their future teammate.
Especially when it comes to technical roles, it’s important to utilize a hiring manager with adequate familiarity or expertise to communicate effectively in the candidate’s language.
This makes it easier to gain an understanding of the candidate’s skills and aspirations as well as what’s motivating them to leave their current employer — all valuable information in crafting a winning job offer. A hiring manager well-versed in the requirements of the role can also answer candidates’ questions and provide a more insightful overview of the company.
It’s not uncommon for companies to assume candidates care most about salary requirements, but while it’s a key factor, there are oftentimes other priorities driving candidates in their job search which vary from individual to individual. These may include opportunities for career growth or leadership, a supportive culture, benefits stability or the chance to develop new skills. Candidates may not always be open or direct with hiring managers about what they’re looking for. This makes it important to ask lots of questions and get concrete answers without needing to read between the lines.
Maintain detailed records of all candidate interactions. These records will help companies make better-informed hiring decisions and craft a job offer that truly aligns with what the candidate is looking for.
Always complete the background check early on in the hiring process to streamline the overall process. This allows you to address any potential concerns proactively, make informed decisions, and avoid any surprises after you’ve issued the job offer.
Get a feel for whether or not the candidate is negotiable about their requirements, especially when it comes to salary. Initiate negotiations early in the process and explore alternatives if their expectations seem too high – you don’t want to wait until they reject the job offer to find out you overlooked a non–non-negotiable item. Offer creative and flexible solutions as alternatives, and stress your company’s work environment and other positives.
Throughout the recruitment process, create multiple touchpoints and foster continuous interaction, including introductions to team members and managers as well as insights into current or forthcoming projects they’ll be contributing to. This keeps candidates informed and motivated about joining your organization, gives them an idea of the workplace culture, and allows them to start developing a positive rapport with the team.
One of the most successful strategies in crafting an effective job offer is staying in tight communication with the team. Know what the candidate’s future team offers in terms of objectives, projects, and culture to ensure you’re conveying accurate information. The result is a unified front and consistent information, reducing confusion and contributing to a more seamless candidate experience.
Extend the offer verbally with enthusiasm, making sure to express how excited the team is to have the candidate join the organization and detailing all of the information in the package as thoroughly as possible. This includes not only compensation and benefits, but intangibles such as a flexible work schedule and other information, including who they’ll report to.
Along with the offer, fill them in on every detail about when and how they will start, the equipment they can expect to receive, and whether or not they’ll need to be on-site. Let them know when they can expect the official offer in writing. By communicating everything upfront verbally, you will have the opportunity to make sure they understand everything the offer entails to gauge their response and address any concerns or considerations should they arise.
When extending a job offer, make sure it’s as compelling as possible from the start. This includes a strong compensation package. If budget constraints limit the competitiveness of the salary, make sure all the other benefits of your company, including the culture and intangible, non-monetary benefits, are made clear to the candidates. These may include flexible scheduling, professional development opportunities, and exciting projects. By presenting a comprehensive package up front, you greatly increase the likelihood of candidate acceptance and help make a positive impression of your company.
The candidate can respond to a job offer in one of three ways: They can accept it, give a counter-offer, or reject the offer. Here’s what to do in each situation:
If they accept the offer, send an email to the candidate and manager to put them in contact with each other, so the manager can help keep the candidate informed about what to expect when starting. Confirm their start date, and address and arrange the sending of any equipment to their home if needed. Most importantly, make them feel like they’re already part of the team.
Counter-offers are common when a candidate’s current employer makes an offer to keep them on the team.
You may gain some insight as to what the candidate is considering by asking questions like, “What enticed you to stay now?” Or, “What has changed in your favor to stay?”
If the candidate still doesn’t accept, this is where a sign-on bonus can come in handy.
When following all of the strategies above, rejections of offers should be rare, but they can still happen. After all, sometimes candidates may simply change their minds. Try to find out the exact reason behind the rejection to make the job offer more appealing by asking them what’s missing. If you’re not able to negotiate and change their mind, take it as a learning experience for the future.
Rescinding a job offer is an unfortunate task that necessitates delicate handling in adherence with legal and ethical guidelines. Ideally, employers should aim to do everything in their power to avoid such situations up front with thorough candidate vetting and transparent communication throughout the hiring process.
However, should such a situation arise where a rescission of an offer is necessary, make sure to express the decision promptly, clearly, and with empathy with a detailed explanation. It’s also critical to make sure you comply with all applicable labor laws and contractual obligations.
Navigating successful job offers requires a strategic and considerate approach to ensure that offers aren’t just enthusiastically accepted but lay the foundation for a mutually beneficial partnership with employees.
By following our guide above, you can make the most of this vital step in the candidate experience. For more tips, download our free e-book, The Insperity guide to HR outsourcing.