How to Formulate the Perfect Job Offer

Screening resumes, interviewing candidates, and verifying their information can be hard work. Once you’ve decided on the perfect candidate, take a moment to breathe. But don’t wait too long, because you won’t want to lose that person to the competition. Follow these steps to make the perfect job offer and increase your odds of having your selected candidate accept the position.

Make a Phone Call

Even in today’s digital age, it’s always best to make a job offer over the phone. A phone call is more personal than an email. It lets you share your own excitement and hear the other person’s reaction. It also gives you the opportunity to review the offer with the candidate in real time and provide any needed clarification.

Offer 10% More

It’s rare for someone to leave a job to accept a salary that is the same as or lower than what they’re already making. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the general rule of thumb is to offer at least a 10% salary hike over the candidate’s old position.

Walk Through the Details

Although the candidate probably won’t remember most of it, take the time to walk through the details of the offer. What’s the pay structure? Are there bonuses? What are the benefits and perks? Describe the PTO or vacation time system, as well as insurance benefits, in a reasonably comprehensive way.

Ask for a Commitment

If you don’t get an unqualified “Yes” right away, feel free to ask for a tentative commitment. It’s normal for candidates to want a bit of time to think about the offer, but it’s worth asking whether there are additional questions or concerns you can address. If the candidate does say yes, confirm by asking whether it’s okay to tell the second-place contender that the position has been filled.

Follow up in Writing

No matter how detailed your phone call was, it’s important to follow up in writing as soon as possible. This could be an email or a snail mail letter, but it should contain all the necessary details regarding job title, pay, and benefits, as well as any perks you discussed over the phone. You can also set a decision deadline for the candidate at this time, which is typically three to five days.

Making the perfect job offer isn’t easy. But getting it right can dramatically boost your chances of having your chosen candidate accept the position.

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