That offer must be flawless, one that will persuade your best prospect to join your team.
He’s a rock star. And he likely knows it. A little flattery can go a long way, but please do use some restraint. The worse thing you can do is turn this individual into an ego-driven monster. That’s something you won’t want to deal with down the road.
Still, you risk losing the most qualified person if you do not act fast. Once you identify that person, you need to present a competitive offer right out of the gate. Yes, it is a horse race and if you do not win it, then someone else will.
Never rely on email, regular mail or a third-party to extend a job offer. You are the one that is doing the hiring and you need to contact this person directly.
Pick up the telephone and call the candidate. If you get a recording, leave a general message, but indicate that you have some “good news” you want to share. When you connect with this individual extend your offer with friendliness and enthusiasm. You want to show a good first impression of who you are and what your company represents.
Do not think for a moment that your best people are willing to make a lateral pay move. You need to know what you can afford to pay and also understand what this person earned at his most recent job.
Top candidates need to understand the entire compensation package including base pay, bonuses and fringe benefits. You need to know what your competitors pay and at least match it. Consider that few good people will jump to your company without at least a 10 percent salary increase.
Back up your offer in writing. This means you will draft a letter on company letterhead and send it by means of overnight express to this individual. Reiterate what you said on the telephone and if acceptance is still pending, ask for their response. You can also provide additional company information including an application for the company’s health and dental plans, retirement fund information and other details to welcome them onboard.
Just Nail It
When presenting a job offer, gauging the candidate’s enthusiasm is important. Hearing the words, “I accept,” makes your job easier. However, when this individual asks for more time, you need to give them 24 hours to think things over.
Employee prospects that do not commit immediately may need to talk things over with their spouse. They may also want to discuss your offer with their current employer, who might quickly return a counteroffer.
If 24 hours pass by and you do not hear from the candidate, then call back. You need to find out if she will accept your offer or whether you will move on to your next candidates. If you are turned down, immediately reopen the hiring process. You cannot afford to delay as time is of the essence.
Often there are some important dynamics at work when an employee prospect is weighing your offer. Change is never easy and the adjustment is something that can affect the entire family especially if a relocation is part of the package.
Be sensitive to the needs of this individual and if she asks for more time, be prepared to give it. After all, she is superwoman and she knows it. But, even superwomen and rock stars have lives outside of the workplace.
See Also — 7 Small Business Hiring Strategies
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