There is a piece of wisdom in the recruitment world: hire slow, but fire fast.
It means recruiters shouldn’t rush to employ a new candidate only to fill the position. In fact, they should take time to do proper research and consideration before extending an offer to a candidate. And if an employee turns out not to be a good fit, it is best to part ways early on.
When a hiring manager does the first thing properly – that is to say, when they’re cautious and diligent about who they hire – they won’t need to have tough conversations nearly as often.
Typically, finding the perfect candidate for the job may seem like the recruiting process is done, and the hard work is in the past. But, if they aren’t convinced with the proposal, a candidate might decide to decline it.
Ways of Extending a Job Offer
Extending an offer to a candidate can be done in two ways: verbally or in writing.
The best method is to combine them: first, explain the offer in person or on the phone, and after the candidate shows interest in it, draft an offer letter and send it via email.
What is important to note is that a verbal offer doesn’t replace a written one.
Sending out a written offer letter is obligatory, whereas giving a spoken presentation isn’t. For that reason, many recruiters decide to skip extending a job offer verbally and directly deliver it in written form.
However, although it might seem unnecessary, giving a verbal offer before a written one has apparent advantages:
- It lets the hiring manager discuss the company culture and highlight the impact the candidate will make.
- It provides an opportunity to have an informal conversation which builds a positive relationship between the manager and the candidate.
- It allows both parties to address any issues and concerns regarding the offer.
- It reveals any reservations the candidate might have.
- It allows the candidate to voice what is crucial for accepting the offer and empowers them to negotiate a better deal.
After getting verbal acceptance, the next step is to send out an offer letter, usually done via email. Most often, recruiters decide to use templates for offer letters. Still, it is essential to check they include the most vital elements:
- Job title
- Primary responsibilities
- Base salary
- Working hours and schedule
- Starting date
- Employment conditions and contingencies
Employment conditions and contingencies How to Present a Job Offer
There are three essential components to presenting a job offer: the hiring manager’s work before hiring, the offer itself, and the candidate’s response.
It’s unlikely that a highly-qualified candidate has only one option when looking for a job. Therefore, how a manager reaches out with the offer may make or break the candidate’s final answer.
Specific steps might secure a positive outcome.
Before extending an offer to a candidate, the hiring manager’s work may be the critical element that leads to acceptance.
First, a manager must have all the details connected with the job position to be able to answer any candidate’s questions. This refers to pay range, bonuses, benefits, compensation packages, starting date, or job responsibilities.
Recruiters should discuss, at length, the salary and benefits they are willing to offer the candidate. The salary range should have a low end and a high end, leaving some room for negotiation.
However, keep in mind that low-balling the salary is not a great way to start the manager-candidate relationship. The offered package should be enticing to the candidate but at the same time not too high without room for a counter-offer should one be necessary.
Generally, it’s not often up to the recruiter’s discretion who gets hired and who doesn’t. Therefore, a crucial step is having thorough discussions with all the people the preferred hire will be working with before reaching out with a proposal.
The company should also determine how long the candidate will have to reply to the job offer.
The hiring process should be slow, but not too slow.
Setting a date to get an answer, appropriately a maximum of one week, is enough time for the candidate to decide. Should they fail to do so or decline the proposal, the hiring manager will have plenty of time to move to the second candidate.
Secondly, collecting information about the preferred candidate is also very important. A recruiter must figure out the candidate’s requirements, such as pay range, schedule availability, and earliest starting date, to have the necessary knowledge to prepare a tempting offer.
Another essential aspect that a manager should address is preparing any paperwork they can in advance. Once the candidate accepts and the procedure runs smoothly with fewer hiccups, the better the company looks and the faster the process can move forward.
According to recruiting statistics, the hiring process lasts around 36 days.
Therefore, making the candidate wait longer than the average increases the chances of them finding another job.
Last but not least, the company should make sure it has a thorough onboarding process in place. Depending on whether the candidate will work remotely or at the office, the onboarding process should be adapted to suit all needs. A properly set-up onboarding software can make the process incredibly smooth.
The Offer Itself
After putting in time and effort into finding the right fit, comes the hard part – presenting the job offer in a pleasing way that a candidate has no choice but to accept.
All aspects mentioned above that a hiring manager should consider before hiring will prepare them for this moment. They will have a job offer created to suit all candidate’s requests.
In addition, they will be ready to answer any candidate’s questions regarding the job position and can properly guide them through the company’s organizational structure.
Hence, the first step toward extending an offer to a candidate is making a phone call. The call should be enthusiastic and show genuine excitement about the candidate joining the company.
After receiving verbal confirmation, the next step is setting up an interview.
The best option is to meet face-to-face either in the office or at lunch. But since the hiring in the post-pandemic world changed the rules, the candidate might choose to have the interview through video software.
No matter the way, this is the chance for the hiring manager to convince the candidate to snap up the offer. Conveying how thrilled they are to be extending the offer to them will make the candidate more prone to accept.
An emphasis on why they are the best candidate and how they’ll fit into the company will significantly increase the chances. The recruiter should discuss everything included in the offer with the candidate at this stage.
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The Candidate's Reply
In most cases, a candidate will give one of three replies:
- “I’ll think about it.”
The most fantastic outcome is getting a positive answer. All a recruiter has to do now is give the paperwork for the candidate to sign and see to it that the onboarding process goes smoothly.
When a candidate isn’t sure, they are probably considering another offer. In this situation, the recruiter should contact them again to ask what’s on their mind and why they’re torn between yes and no.
If it’s about compensation, figure out what other offers they have on the table and negotiate. If it’s about company culture, answer their questions and make the perfect company pitch.
It is good to give the candidate a tad more time to decide in this situation. But don’t let them drag it too long because a candidate who can’t choose within a week is probably not that interested. And making a bad hire will only cause problems in the team and cost the company in the long run.
The worst-case scenario is when a candidate declines the offer.
However, even though a recruiter loses their preferred candidate in this case, there are still some valuable lessons they can learn by asking the candidate why they said no. A straight-up no doesn’t leave much room for negotiation, but it might help them improve their practices for the next hire.
On a Final Note
Easy as it may seem, extending an offer to a candidate can often be pivotal. A hiring manager’s work is not done when they find the perfect candidate. They have to take a moment to gather all kinds of information about the job and the candidate before even starting to create an offer. Ergo, each proposal requires time, effort, and a lot of consideration and care.