A sigh of relief. You’ve traversed weeks of candidate shortlists, phone, video and face-to-face interviews, sign-off processes with line management, and you’ve finally found the perfect candidate for your team.
What could possibly go wrong now? The hard bit is over, right?
The steps of offering the candidate and onboarding them to your business are perhaps the most important and volatile parts of the hiring journey.
From making the right offer to the right person, to avoiding counter offers, there are plenty of challenges that can come up in the final stages of recruitment campaigns.
In fact, almost one third of respondents to our recent LinkedIn poll said that candidates receiving and accepting counter offers is the main hurdle stopping them from filling their job vacancies right now.
We believe that a key step to mitigating this issue is getting the offer stage right in the first place, and there are various actions you can take to do just that:
Check twice, offer once
The offer stage of the hiring journey is possibly the most significant. What offer you make and how you make it will have a big impression on the candidate and their perception of your employer brand, which is why it’s always better to make the right offer first time rather than opening the floor up for negotiations and potential disappointment.
Find out what drives the candidate and balance that with what your business can offer. One small tweak can be the difference between a successful recruitment campaign and having to start the process all over again.
Every candidate is unique, with individual needs, commitments, home circumstances, etc. so taking a one-size-fits-all approach to remuneration doesn’t work anymore.
Think about how you can fine-tune the salary and package to truly benefit this individual. Maybe they’re more interested in share options than a signing bonus, or the opportunity to buy more annual leave instead of a car allowance.
Getting a candidate bought in and committed to your business is much like customer care. They will be more engaged, loyal and genuinely excited to join the more personal and positive you make their pre-employment experience.
To do this, have direct conversations with the candidate about the offer you’re extending to them. Be open and honest about why you think they are the right person for this role, and why your business is the right option for them.
Really demonstrate your enthusiasm for bringing them on board. Discuss what a great impact you think they could have in your team and what brilliant things they can achieve in the future of their career with your business.
Simply, make your first offer the best one.
Lowballing a candidate, trying your luck to see if you can get someone for less than their declared remuneration requirements, reflects badly on your business for many reasons. Not only does it show the candidate that you don’t value them realistically, but it raises the question, if you’re not operating with integrity here, what is the rest of your business operation like?
Whereas, coming in with a realistic and considered, even flattering offer demonstrates that you truly appreciate this person and the value they can bring to your team, you’re serious about bringing them on board, and you have a strong, principled operating ethos.
As mentioned, considering a next career step is no longer just about salary, it’s about everything else the role and employer can offer as well.
Each candidate has unique motivations for looking for a new role and distinct aspirations for their career. This is why it’s important to dig down into the detail so you can understand exactly what they’re looking for and how your job offer will address that.
One way of doing this is to highlight the pros of joining your team that are specific to them as an individual, for example:
Are they looking for a career path to a director role that you can offer them?
Are they passionate about championing D&I and will have the opportunity to lead workshops in your business?
Are they keen to build a skill in a new software which you can train them on?
Another is to revisit their reasons for considering new career options in the first place. Common motivations for looking at new job opportunities include:
Limited career progression
No training & development opportunities
Lack of business stability/job security
Inflexible working from home policies
If you have discussed the candidate’s drives for looking for a new role, remind them of these and how your job offer and a career with your business resolves those issues.
Here to help
If you’re not as confident in certain aspects of the process, such as handling counter offers or promoting the selling points of your business, this is where an expert recruitment partner like MERJE can provide support.
It is core to our service for both candidates and clients to truly get to know their motivations, aspirations and requirements so we can bring talent together effectively to reach a long-lasting outcome which benefits everyone.
We can provide further, one-to-one guidance or step in to support you wherever necessary. After all, it’s what we do every day!
Overcoming Recruitment Challenges Series
This article is the first in a series sharing advice and guidance for clients to overcome the recruitment challenges they’re facing in the candidate-driven employment market.
Check out all the articles to see hints and tips for different stages of the recruitment journey to help you build a successful process:
Introduction: Why is hiring so tough right now?
The dos and don’ts of making a job offer