How to Make an Effective Offer of Employment


Eli Broad, the only person to build two Fortune 500 companies in different industries once said, “The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then offer it.”

The best employment offers are not standard or routine. They are specific to the candidate you are recruiting and are founded on a series of conversations that you’ve had during the recruitment process.

The Homework Phase
The key to landing a great candidate is to recognize that the process begins from the minute you engage them. What impression are you giving them? Is your interview process streamlined? Are you gathering and giving information early in the process that will help you and them make an informed decision? Remember, they likely researched you online and have tailored their interview answers to reflect your business priorities. It makes sense, therefore, that you respect the importance of how your company presents itself during the interview and recruitment process.

Consider collecting some basic data points

  • Expected income – including base and bonus
  • Willingness to commute (if relevant)
  • Work/life balance expectations
  • Preferred working style – how do they like to be managed?
  • Long-term career goals
  • If relocation is needed what are the potential costs for the candidate?
  • Desired start date

Make sure you take notes regarding the candidate’s answers to ensure information is accurate.  All information should be gathered and confirmed during the initial phone screening and subsequent interviews to ensure you are as up-to-date as possible on the candidate’s expectations.

Set timelines for when candidates will hear from you and then stick to them. Even a few hours delay can send the wrong message. Remember, top talent is always in high demand. You don’t want to sour the relationship before you even extend the offer.

Extending the Offer
Make sure to cover the following areas:

A.  Alignment – Outline the alignment between the position and the candidate’s goals. You’ll have gathered this information earlier on during the recruiting process. Include the immediate impact the candidate will make and opportunities for career advancement.

B.  Culture – The company’s culture can be a deciding factor for a candidate. Again, try to show how the company’s culture matches the candidate’s preferences.

C.  Flexibility – Does the candidate have a long commute? If so, can you accommodate a work-from-home approach 2 to 3 days per week? (flexibility is particularly important to millennials)

D.  Leadership – Is their future leader a great mentor and known for helping his/her team get promoted? This can be a great selling point, so don’t forget to mention it.

E.  Compensation – Be comprehensive here. Include signing bonus (if applicable), base salary and any performance bonuses. Outline RRSP, RESP options and discuss extended benefits. If there are any long-term earning possibilities such as stock options, or a profit sharing plan, now is the time to review them. Include conversation around holidays, flex days, etc.

F.  Prestige – Prestige carries weight whether it’s in the form of a new title or  working for an industry leader. If your organization is winning awards for innovation or making a difference in the world, make sure to speak to that.

G.  Team – People want to work with top performers. If you have a strong, high-performing team make sure to mention this, and outline the opportunities the candidate will have to learn from key personnel.

H.  Training – Do you have an in-house training program? Do you pay for employees to further their education? Both of these can be selling features.

Once you’ve discussed the offer with the candidate ask for feedback. If he or she has remaining questions or needs time to consider the offer, make sure to identify areas of concern. If he or she accepts the offer verbally, prepare them for the possibility of a counter offer, reminding them of what your organization can bring to the table.

Read:  To help your candidate prepare for a counter offer, give them the guidance contained in the blog, “How to Decline a Counter Offer.” The blog is also useful for a more junior candidate, who may need tips on resigning without burning bridges.

Next Steps
Establish timelines for the formal paperwork to be sent out. Email a PDF version of the offer letter to the candidate or overnight the offer package. Follow up with the candidate to ensure that they’ve received the paperwork. Require that the letter of offer be signed and returned by a specific date. Once the letter has been returned, follow up with the candidate once a week. This ensures the candidate won’t back out and also begins your onboarding process.

ReadHow to Onboard a New Accounting or Finance Hire” for tips on how to properly onboard new hires.

Key Takeaways
A successful recruitment process begins as soon as you engage the candidate. Try to gather as much information as you can on the candidate’s career goals and company culture preferences. Use this information to craft a personalized offer of employment. When you present the offer, align your organization with the candidate’s aspirations. Ask for feedback and prepare them for the possibility of a counter offer. Set timelines and adhere to them. Prepare your candidate for success by staying in contact with them and beginning the onboarding process. This will help you to retain them down the road. By following the tips above you will dramatically lessen your chances of losing your candidate in the 11th hour.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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