Oftentimes once the decision is made to hire a candidate, HR professionals feel their job is finished. But making the offer to the chosen candidate can be equally as important as the interview process. If the offer is not handled properly, you can lose the candidate, or if the candidates takes the job, he or she could start off on the wrong foot.
According to Paul Falcone, vice president for human resources at the Fortune 500 company Time Warner, detailed information should be asked of the candidate before the offer is even made (Falcone, 2011). He says that as soon as the offer is made, power is shifted to the candidate. To handle this, he suggests asking salary questions in the interview, including the following:
Asking these questions can assist in qualifying candidates, based on salary expectations. For example, if a candidate requests 20 percent more than you are able to pay for the job, this discussion can be had before the offer is even made, perhaps making this candidate no longer viable.
Once you have determined in the interview process that the salary expectation is in the range of what you can offer, the first step is to make the offer as soon as the decision is made. In a tight labor market, waiting a week or two may impact your ability to hire your first choice. You probably already have a salary range in mind and can begin to narrow down the offer based on the individual’s KSAOs. Based on the range of salary you can offer, consider the following questions when making the offer to a candidate:
Once the offer has been made, it is reasonable to give the candidate some time to decide, but not too long, as this can result in losing other candidates should this candidate reject the job offer. It is likely the candidate may come back and ask for higher salary or benefits. Some tips to successfully negotiate are included below and in Video 5.4:
Once the phone call is made and the candidate accepts the offer, an e-mail or formal letter should follow, outlining details of the employment agreement. The employment agreement or offer letter should include the following:
Once the pay and benefits package has been successfully negotiated and the offer letter (or e-mail) sent, you should clarify acceptance details in writing and receive confirmation of the start date. It is not unusual for people in higher-level positions to need a month or even two to transition from their old jobs. During this period, make sure to stay in touch and even complete the new hire paperwork in the meantime.