How to make offers

Yes, really. We see so much go wrong during offer stage. Miscommunication at this point in the process is rife. Egos get involved (and inevitably hurt). People go with their gut (oh, how I hate this gut feeling) instead of listening to facts. Candidates accept counter-offers.

The process of convincing someone to start at your company is in no way straight forward, and involves delicate negotiations which will require all of your diplomacy skills at once. Let’s get the basics right first.

Step One. Get your facts straight.
How much do you know about the candidate you want to offer? What salary are they on at the moment? What’s most important to them in a benefits package? Are they interviewing elsewhere, and do they have any other offers to consider? Finding out the ins and outs of their situation, and how your role ranks against the competition will give you a leg up in convincing them to accept.

Once the ground work is done, put your offer together. All the important details – salary on offer, potential start date, any perks they are entitled to, and any other benefits of working for your company. If you think it’s important, write it down.

Step Two. Send the offer across.
Whether you’re offering the candidate verbally, in writing, through an agency, or via carrier pigeon, the most important thing is to do it quickly. Honestly, there’s no point waiting to see “if anyone else comes through” after you’ve interviewed your whole shortlist already. In today’s market, they probably won’t. If you think one of your candidates is “The One”, don’t hesitate.

Step Three. Sell, sell, sell.
The opportunity you offer is great and your company is on a great mission to make the world a better place, we get it. Unfortunately, people don’t come to work solely for the fun of it, money is heavily involved in your candidates’ decision-making. Be prepared to negotiate and sell the company to them. If you really want this person on your team, make sure they know it; take them out for lunch and call them to negotiate the finer details of the offer. Don’t shoot emails across (these things never translate well in writing anyway) and leave it to someone else to do the selling, because no one will do a better job of it.

Step Four. Treat your hires like a treasured client.
If you got this far, the candidate has accepted. It’s not time to relax yet though, as you are now up against the notice period, and counter offers.

If your candidate is worth their salt, they will be counter-offered by their current employer. If you played your cards right, they will decline all their very kind and sudden offers of promotions and raises. During this liminal period, treat your candidate with the care you would afford to a client about to sign a big contract with you. Plan a couple of days where they would come in to the office, perhaps take them through all their induction during the notice period. Ensure there are contact points in place throughout, so you don’t lose their interest.

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Originally published 9th August 2018