Hire Right, Part V – Making a Job Offer
Note: This is the fifth in our Hire Right series, showing candidates and employers the process of finding the best employees.
Hiring Right means pursuing the best candidate and making an offer when the time is right.
I bet you never thought the job process could be so detailed, did you? But this isn’t Hire Mediocre or Hire Easy – It’s Hire Right. The more nuances you can address when hiring someone, the more likely you are to make the best decision, and both the business and the employee will thrive.
Now, if you’re in the hiring process and you’ve waited five weeks to arrive at a decision as each blog entry has been published, you might be in some trouble.
But if you’ve followed the strategies from Parts…
…and used them to aid the step of the process you’re in, you probably have the best candidate or candidates waiting to work for you.
Which means that right person is waiting for a job offer. It’s a formal but simple process, one that involves several steps but can be completed quickly. Here’s a quick checklist on what you should do when you’re ready to make an offer.
Get It Done
While you’re taking your time, dragging your feet, or otherwise boondoggling – by the way, have you boondoggled before? It’s not as fun as it sounds – some other company is doing the opposite of boondoggling and has already made your best candidate an offer. You better hope it’s one that can be refused, otherwise you’re out of luck.
Instead of lollygagging – another fun word for unproductivity – just do it.
You can’t know how in-demand anyone is, but if you make an offer as soon as you know it’s what you want to do, you obviously have a better chance at closing the deal. It’s best to be thorough as you sort through candidates and prepare for interviews, but when it’s time to make an offer, do it fast. No boondoggling!
Cover The Details
You might have covered the specifics of the job in the listing or during interviews, but during the whirlwind of applying, following up, interviewing, and waiting, some of those details may have been lost along the way. While preparing and making a job offer, revisit those items to make sure the prospective new employee knows what’s happening.
Those details include:
- To whom the new employee is reporting
- Pay, along with benefits and bonuses
- The potential for upward mobility
- Giving notice to current employers
- Start date
Some of those terms can be negotiated and might not be completed or agreed to right away. They’re important to cover so your new hire can start with a positive outlook and fewer uncertainties.
I can go either way on this one. I know bosses and CEOs who are adamant about checking a prospective employee’s references, and I’ve known those who have hired people who didn’t list references on their resumes. If you trust your instincts, believe in the person’s qualifications and got a good feeling based on the interview, make the offer and don’t look back.
If you’re more in favor of checking references, let the input you receive add at least some weight to your decision. Just remember that If you’re determined to hire someone, checking references can’t persuade you, it can only change your mind.
So be prepared to hear something you don’t want to hear and to make the necessary adjustment. You may have dodged a bullet, but you also may have missed your chance to hire the best person for your business.
Choose The Method
There are various ways to formally make a job offer. Let’s cover a few before I share my preferred method.
Letter – This is the most formal and decorative choice but probably somewhat outdated, especially if you’re looking to mail it. It’s unwise to take the chance that the offer could be lost in the mail or take too long to arrive. Still, using company letterhead to make an offer adds class to the process and can make a positive first impression.
Email – Another risky play but one used by many employers. It’s quicker than a letter, of course, and offers the opportunity to say exactly what you want to say. But what if it ends up in a spam folder or you mistyped the email address? The worst-case scenario doesn’t usually come true, but why take the chance?
Phone – You’ve probably figured out that calling someone is my favorite way to make a job offer. If there are questions or concerns, you don’t have to spend six emails and two hours figuring them out. You can get immediate feedback and a timeline for a decision. No, it’s not an offer in writing, but it’s the best way to get an answer now.
If you’ve reached the end of this post, you’re not a boondoggler. The best use of your time is to get this right – it’s an important decision for you and a life-changing moment for the employee you’re adding to the team. By following these tips, you’ve done virtually everything possible to get a “Yes!” from the candidate of your choosing.
What strategies have proven successful for you when making a job offer and securing top employees? Leave a comment below.