In my last few posts I have talked to you about how to attract the best people for your job. The people who will make a difference to the success of your business.Today I will be talking about the final stage of this process; getting your preferred candidate to accept your offer.
However good you think your recruitment process has been, however good the job description, however thorough the interview process, your success comes down to this moment. Acceptance of the offer, the process has been a success. If the candidate walks away it’s a failure! You need to get it right!
Time and time again recruiters and employees make the assumption that a candidate who has endured the interview process must want the job. That it is enough just to give the offer. It is an unexpected disappointment when the candidate then rejects their proposition. If you get it wrong it will be costly for the business in terms of time, money and missed opportunity.
Securing your preferred candidate involves preparation you will need; an understanding of the needs of the candidate, to manage package negotiations and to promote your company and the opportunities on offer.
Once you have made your decision act quickly, within 24hrs of the final interviews – it’s good to make somebody feel wanted and time kills deals!
Through the interview process you should have built an understanding of the candidate in terms of what motivates them. Hopefully you would have discussed job requirements, why they were looking to move, career development, salary and benefits and as such will be able to talk through an offer that presses the candidate’s buttons and is in line with their needs. If you have listened you should be in a position to make your offer competitive. Try to think creatively about the package as a whole. Take the time to thoroughly explain the basic salary, bonus, holiday, pension and any other benefits that might be included. In reality very few people move purely for more money. People will compromise on salary if they are motivated by opportunity, change of career, extra holiday or support with training.
This phone call is where the employer-employee relationship begins so always call and make the call professional and memorable. Be enthusiastic, about the candidate, the business and the offer. Start by reiterating what the candidate was looking for and then go on to explain how you can fulfil their needs. Don’t rush the call, make sure you have the time and will not be disturbed.
Once you have given the offer seek to get some kind of commitment. Obviously most candidates will ask for time to consider the offer. This however doesn’t mean you can’t ask a question such as; “I understand you will want time to consider my offer but can I ask what your initial thoughts are?” This will give you the chance to see if the candidate has any concerns or objections and overcome them by providing additional information.
Be sensitive and show empathy. Changing jobs is a big deal for most people. Talk about how it will feel to give notice and how their boss will react. Remind the candidate of why they decided to look for new opportunities and even warn them there is a good chance their boss could try to buy them back. What will they do if this happens?
If the verbal offer has gone well and the candidate appears positive ask “I interviewed three other good candidates for this job. Can I tell them the job has been filled?”
Follow up in writing and give a sensible deadline for the candidate to accept and return the signed contract.
Keep in touch.
Finally keep in touch with the candidate during their notice period just in case you need to overcome buy back or warm up “cold feet”. It can be a nerve racking time waiting to start a new job and a persuasive boss may persuade their favoured employee that the “grass isn’t always greener”
There are however times that however good you are, however prepared you are, however thorough you have been, or however good the opportunity your offer won’t be accepted. If this does happen brush yourself down and get back out there.
Your candidate will be out there. Jack Nicholson turned down the role of Michael Carleone in the Godfather for which Al Pacino subsequently accepted!
If you have any questions or there are any specific subject you would like to discuss please get in touch.