Why is the offer stage important?
Some people believe making a job offer is a simple process, which makes it fall at the bottom of their priority list. In reality, the offer stage is a demanding process for both parties, making it a crucial part of recruitment and selection. A bad experience in the offer stage can lead to you losing good candidates, as well as a detrimental effect on your employer brand.
Keys to a successful offer stage are matching candidate expectations; not delaying or dragging along the decision; being in contact with the candidate and answering their questions; setting clear deadlines for yourself and the candidate; preparing the paperwork before you even have to give an offer.
In this stage, you show the candidate how serious and committed you are about them joining your team.
Why you should always meet a candidate’s expectations
Once a candidate has communicated their expectations about their new role and salary, you have to decide whether to proceed with them early in the recruitment process. That is because if you proceed, you agree to also meet their expectations in the latter stages.
Deciding later to, for instance, not offer them the desired salary will likely result in you losing a good candidate. Even worse, they might tell others about their bad experience which will have a negative effect on your employer brand. That is why you must be transparent with the candidate throughout the recruitment process. If you know you can’t meet their expectations, move on as early as possible.
One of the candidates’ expectations is surely a fast offer process. The company should be confident in its decision and therefore the pace of the process should reflect that. Give the candidate time to make a decision regarding the offer, but make sure to put a deadline, so it will not drag along on their side as well.
How to give an offer
From our experience, we have seen that a job offer should always be given face-to-face because it increases the chances of the offer being accepted. If that’s not possible, then you should give the offer over a video call. Be prepared to give a thorough overview of the job offer as well as future opportunities in the company. Make sure you schedule enough time to allow candidates to ask questions.
If you decide to only do a written job offer, you don’t give candidates the opportunity to ask questions. In that case, chances are they will have too much time to overthink. Most likely they are going to try and find answers to their questions themselves, which could have an impact on their final decision. Also, it is much easier for a candidate to decline an offer that is given only in written form.
Make sure you give the offer during the latter part of the day so you can be the last person the candidate talks to during work hours. Otherwise, they could be influenced by their current employer, who already has an advantage by knowing them better. By being the last person the candidate talks with, you can remind them why they entered the recruitment process in the first place, and potentially influence their decision in a positive way.
Our experience has shown that if the decision is made during the second part of the week, then the offer should be given on a Thursday evening or Friday. In that case, make sure to schedule a call with the candidate on the same day to give them a chance to ask questions.
Furthermore, be open to the idea of giving the candidate two separate offers if the package includes stock options. That is because some candidates prefer to have a higher base salary and fewer stock options. On the other hand, some candidates want more stock options and a smaller monthly salary. Give candidates an opportunity to choose what they desire.
After you have met with the candidate, now is the time to send a written offer for confirmation. The purpose of a written offer is to make sure the candidate has all the information in one place. Whilst sending an offer via email does the job, think if you can take the regular text-based job offer and turn it into a visual PowerPoint slideshow. Not only is it more attractive to the candidate, but it also shows your willingness to go the extra mile. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the candidate’s experience unforgettable.
To prevent wasting time, it is important that you have the offer document ready before the offer stage. What is more, give the candidate a deadline to make a decision so the process doesn’t drag.
Pro tip: Make the candidate experience unforgettable. If you have sent out the offer to the candidate, have some team members contact the candidate on LinkedIn with a small message
congratulating them on the offer and saying how much they look forward to having them on the team.
Also, if you have some company merch, feel free to send them some before they accept the offer or come to work. This way they feel welcomed even before they have started their new position.
What to do when a candidate receives a counter-offer?
Our experience shows that it is important to always be prepared for counter-offers. Companies value their people and no one wants to let a valuable employee go too easily.
Yet, you can provide support to a candidate that has received a counter-offer. Be there for them in case they have any questions about their potential new role and company. Also, remind them why they have gone this far into the recruitment process, as well as what is their motivation. Go over their expectations once again after they have received a counter-offer. All of this can make a positive impact on their decision.
The cost of hiring an employee goes far beyond just paying for the recruitment partnership. Typically, your hiring manager and other members of the recruitment process are responsible for other parts of the company. So, anytime spent away from the desk doing interviews with candidates costs money for the company.
Also, when hiring for a role that has been unfilled for a long period of time, you are also losing money because the work is not done. If others have been assigned to replace that person then their work capacity will be too high as well.
The offer stage is a critical part of the recruitment and selection process that should not be overlooked. It is an opportunity to show a candidate how committed and serious a company is about them joining the team. Matching candidate expectations, being transparent throughout the recruitment process, setting clear deadlines, and being prepared with paperwork are all keys to a successful offer stage.
When making an offer, it is important to give candidates the chance to ask questions, and to provide the offer face-to-face or over a video call. Giving candidates a deadline to make a decision and being open to providing different types of offers are also crucial. In the case of a counter-offer, companies can provide support to the candidate to help them make a positive decision.
By making the candidate experience unforgettable, you can create a positive employer brand, and potentially save money on future recruitment costs.