10 Tips For Making Job Offers To Top Candidates

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You’ve reviewed resumes, conducted interviews and have decided upon your preferred applicant. Now, you need to make a compelling offer that will entice the candidate to choose to work with your business. Employees are interested in more than just the salary that a company can provide them. How can you navigate the offer process in a way that shows the candidate your job is the perfect one for them?

Ensuring you don’t have to start the hiring process all over again after finding a top candidate starts with providing an offer that is competitive. Below, 10 HR professionals from Forbes Human Resources Council explain how to make a successful job offer.

  1. Start Compensation Conversations Early

Prioritize important conversations early in the process. Build in time as part of the interview process to directly speak to matters related to compensation, benefits and evaluation procedures. Candidates should not be left guessing when the right moment is to inquire about these important topics. Remove the awkwardness and make this a proactive conversation in the interview process.

  1. Be Candid And Upfront

In today’s economic and political climate, applicants want full transparency around compensation, benefits, bonuses and promotion opportunities. Do not lose out on a great candidate due to secrecy regarding a compensation range or total rewards package.

  1. Build A Relationship During Hiring

In order to navigate the offer process, it is important to have built a strong relationship with the candidate throughout the whole process by continually communicating with them, providing information on the next steps and getting to know them as a real person. The trust you have built along the way will allow for a more robust conversation around the offer, reaching a fair and positive outcome.

  1. Base The Salary On Knowledge And Skills

An important factor in presenting a compelling job offer is basing salary on the value of the candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience to the company, not on their salary history. In addition to the practice now being illegal in many states and cities, using past salaries to determine a future salary perpetuates the gender pay gap and shows an unwillingness to pay employees their true worth.

  1. Explain Additional Incentives And Perks

Have conversations about the things that may feel uncomfortable or awkward. Are you a startup that will be paying low cash but rockstar equity? You need to say that. If the person you want to hire has two kids in college and is caring for an aging parent, that just might not work, no matter how good the match is. There are five main areas of evaluating an offer and money isn’t always the most important one. These areas include cash, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, benefits and perks and the actual job.

  1. Highlight Culture And Growth Opportunities

Companies need to compete on culture and opportunities for innovation and career growth. The current generation of top talent is looking for a holistic employee experience in their jobs. They also have high expectations around purpose-led job roles and the impact they can drive to the customers, the society and community at large. Competing on the total compensation package is a losing proposition.

  1. Include Popular Benefits

Look for the latest data from job boards and HR firms to ensure you’re offering a competitive package that includes the benefits most sought-after by jobseekers. Going above and beyond to include remote work options, flexible schedules and offsite perks, like paid volunteer days, can boost visibility and attract top candidates who are looking for employers that care about taking a holistic approach.

  1. Ask The Candidate What They Want

The recruitment process is about candidates impressing potential employers, while the offer process is about the employer winning over top talent. What can you offer that individual so they’ll lend you their talents? This is often more nuanced than just salary. Since people are motivated by different things, the best advice is to ask your top candidate what would make them happy to work for you.

  1. Consider Special Requests From The Candidate

Be creative and flexible when negotiating with a candidate so you can add or modify benefits based on what’s most valued by the candidate. Also, getting to the “why” behind any special requests, such as professional development, relocation and severance, helps craft the most competitive offer that shows you are listening and value their priorities.

  1. Have A Follow-Up Conversation

Creating and scheduling a check-in step in the process for candidates to ask questions regarding offer terms and components is critical to ensuring everyone is on the same page. Even a 15-minute preset call lets the candidate know you have thoughtfully dedicated time to be there for them in this critical moment.


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