Getting new staff on board is an exciting time for any business. It means you’re growing which can only be a good thing! You might’ve blazed a trail through the job description and the interviews and now you’re at the point of offering your favourite candidate a position.
You’re convinced they’re the best person for the role, you don’t want to lose them and have to offer the job to a lesser candidate or worse still, start the whole recruitment process again. So how do you make sure you seal the deal? What should you say? Is there a right way of doing things? And if so, how?
What is a job offer?
A job offer is a formal invitation to a potential employee to come and work for your company. It outlines the role and sketches out the terms and conditions such as salary, hours and position.
What should be included in a job offer?
Tell the candidate how pleased you are to be offering them the role, how they were the top candidate out of all the interviewees and how you were impressed by their experience and skills. You might have been reserved during the interview process but now is not the time to hold back – the employer/employee relationship doesn’t start on the first day of work, it starts long before then, so make sure you convey your enthusiasm.
A job offer should cover the basics, including the role they are being offered, the salary and hours. But it can also include any information the new recruit will need such as benefits they are entitled to, the contact details of their line manager, where they will be working and what the induction process will be.
It can also include a preferred start date, any other terms and conditions relevant to the employment as well as sentiments to the effect that the new employee is being welcomed on board and will make a valuable addition to the team.
Does the format of a job offer matter?
Generally, an initial job offer tends to be made over the phone which allows you to discuss the role with your candidate and gauge their enthusiasm as well as whether it’s an acceptable job offer to them. They may have other offers on the table so don’t be disheartened if they don’t accept straight away. Either way it’s important to be enthusiastic about their potential new role and them joining your company.
Once you’ve had the phone conversation you can follow up your offer with a more formal letter or email.
Steps to make a job offer
It’s a heady feeling getting ready to make a job offer but before you pick up the phone take time to carry out the following steps.
They’re given for a reason so don’t miss out this vital step. People make stuff up in interviews or they may come across as the best candidate you’ve ever interviewed. A reference can either back that up or reveal a whole other story which will make you question your decision. You don’t want to offer the role in a fit of excitement only to have to backtrack later.
Know your candidate’s expectations
The employer/employee relationship is a two-way street. During the interview you will have discussed the role and what you expect as well as what they can bring to it and their experience. But did you consider what they need? If not, then you should. Knowing what they expect in terms of salary, benefits, hours and so on can save time and trouble later. After all, you don’t want to offer the role to someone whose salary expectation is completely different to what you're offering.
Have an approval process
This ultimately depends on the size of your organisation but before you make an offer you might need to consult other senior staff or HR members.
Pick up the phone to make the initial job offer. You can measure whether the person is enthusiastic or not. If they aren’t it means they either have another offer or have changed their minds about working for you. It can save you the time and effort of putting together a formal written offer, only for the candidate to turn you down at a later date.
If they’re enthusiastic and keen to accept it’s time to draft the written job offer. You can make it casual but as you’re entering into a professional relationship with the candidate it can help to get off on the right foot by writing a letter which lays out all the relevant information.
Set a deadline for a response
Send the letter to your candidate and await their response. They either return it signed and accept the offer or return it unsigned and reject the offer, or don’t return it at all which all signifies rejection. But you don’t want to be left waiting indefinitely for them to decide so set a deadline.