When you extend a job offer, you want the candidate to say yes, because a declined offer reflects poorly on your company. Plus, it’s a real time-killer if you want to fill a position efficiently.
This is exactly why making an offer isn’t something you should take lightly.
The most successful companies put a lot of strategy and effort into making sure their offers are accepted.
That’s why today, you’re going to learn the five key steps to ensure the candidates you want on your team say yes to you.
As a hiring manager, the key is to have a plan in place – don’t just wing it and assume your desired candidate wants the job just because they applied, interviewed, and seem really excited. You should start planning and strategizing before the first interview. Whether you end up making an offer or not, you want to think critically and strategically from the first point of contact.
By being smart, you can improve your efficiency, and the likelihood your #1 choice says yes, rather than gambling your resources and time on recruitment efforts that aren’t successful.
Of course, you’re not a psychic and there’s no way to guarantee a candidate will accept – no matter how thrilled they seem throughout the interview process – but there are steps you can take to increase your chances.
Here are five steps you can take to boost the odds thatyour dream candidate will say YES!minutes after receiving your offer (results vary, but you get the idea):
1. Prepare well. This might sound obvious, but most hiring managers do not prepare before, during, and after the interview process. They think only the prospective hire needs to prep.
If you want to get the perfect candidate on board, you absolutely must gather all the information that’s available to you from the very start of the recruitment process.
Having this info will give you a solid base so you can ask questions and make decisions strategically, instead of shooting from the hip.Make sure you have the following information organized in an accessible place as soon as possible in the process, and certainly before extending a job offer:
The candidate’s salary and bonuses over the past two years, including percentages of the total for each.
Desired new income, including bonuses.
If applicable, willingness and ability to travel to the offices. Will this person request a lot of work-from-home hours?
Relocation costs, moving expenses, and the cost of breaking a current lease or selling a house, if applicable.
Candidate’s desired start date in comparison to your needs.
Specific motivation for working at your company: Is the candidate after a higher-level position, the opportunity to work at a company more aligned with their values, a higher salary, relocation, or some combination of factors? Ask them why they want to work at the company during the first interview, and make sure you keep asking questions until you have specifics from them.
And remember, it’s a two-way street, so you want to have a facts sheet ready for your candidate, too. Lay down all the information about the position and the company as early as possible. Discuss compensation, job expectations, travel considerations, and all details about the department and company that are relevant to the candidate.
2. Test the waters. This is crucial, but often overlooked. Extending a soft offer is a great way to gauge how a candidate will respond to a hard offer. Only do this when you’re at least 90% sure you want to hire a candidate.
A soft offer should highlight the details of the position and especially focus on the pros for the prospective hire. IMPORTANT: Make sure you emphasize that this isn’t a job offer, but rather, a confirmation of the candidate’s interest, as you consider a few options.
A soft offer should first state that you and the company have not yet made a firm decision on the position, but the candidate is a strong contender. You want them to have a clear idea of what the position would entail and get a tentative yes or no from them.
Then recap the information you have so far on the candidate, and why they’re an ideal fit.
At the end of the proposal, remind them once more that this is a soft proposal, not a job offer. Then ask them to make a decision based on the information at hand, and if they have any concerns, questions, or outside influences you might not be aware of that would affect their ability to accept your offer.
3. Addressconcerns. This is an integral part of the offer process. It’s important because it gives you a chance to ask the candidate if he or she has any reservations or concerns about the opportunity. Leave plenty of time for this.
This also gives you a chance to address informal concerns the candidate might not have been comfortable discussing during the first or second interview. It shows you’re serious about the candidate, and that you care about them as an individual.
What might feel like a personal but real obstacle for them may not be such a big deal when addressed directly. Most hiring managers don’t give candidates the opportunity to discuss more personal subjects, so if you take the time to do this it will really reflect well on you and your company.When the candidate feels cared for and like they’re joining a warm, positive organization, they’re much more likely to accept your offer.
4. Extending the job offer. When you make the actual offer, start by giving the good news, then review what you’ll discuss in the meeting. You want to make your candidate excited about the possibility of working with you as early on as possible.
After you give the good news and review your agenda, go over the reasons the candidate is a great fit, and exactly how their goals align with the position, your goals, and the company’s goals.
Explain the positive, immediate impact the job will have on the candidate’s career and their potential for growth over the next 3-5 years. Then shift your focus to the company and review its growth over the past 5-10 years, big-picture vision, what it has to offer the candidate, its strengths within the industry, and any other relevant highlights.
5. Leave time for questions.After you give the offer and review the details, ask the candidate for their thoughts and questions. You’ll be able to tell immediately if they’re excited or apprehensive, based on their questions.
They’ll usually verbally accept right away if you’ve taken all the steps I recommend up until this point, but if they don’t, it’s important to directly ask whether or not they’d like to accept the position. After that, you can move forward and get everything in writing.
If you don’t get verbal acceptance, there’s no point in sending a formal offer letter.
If the candidate wants the offer details in written form before accepting or declining – and they ask for time to think about it – send a recap of the offer via email, but don’t send an official offer letter. You can give the candidate 24 hours to think it through, but you do not need to send a formal offer letter until you get a verbal acceptance.
And please stay in touch with the new employee throughout their 2-week or longer, notice. This is critical if you don’t want your new employee lured back into the organization and changing their minds that they would like to stay with their current employer after all.
These five steps will really increase your acceptance rate when it comes to job offers, and boost your confidence as a hiring manager.
Does any part of this process confuse you?
Tell us in the comments below – we would love to support you!