You’ve gone through the pre-screening call, interviews, discussions with the hiring committee, and now you’re confident - you’ve found the perfect candidate for the role you’re hiring for. Congratulations! You’re ready to make an offer. But a job offer is a two-way street, and top candidates often receive several offers - how can you stand out from the pack and make sure that yours is the one they accept?
On the candidate’s side, changing jobs and leaping into the unknown can be scary. After working somewhere for years where they have mastered the job and know what to expect, it’s stressful to consider starting over again! Part of making a successful job offer involves communicating enough about your company and what their day-to-day life in the role will look like that it reassures the candidate that working for you is the right next step in their career.
This article will teach you how to make a job offer that gets candidates excited about joining your team. First, we’ll take a look at the steps involved when making a job offer and some best practices you can follow throughout the process. Then, we’ll go over some tips that can make your job offer more attractive and encourage candidates to accept it.
After reading this article, you’ll be ready to go out and make some job offers that are too good to refuse!
What is a job offer?
At its most basic level, a job offer is an offer of employment. It can be informal or formal, verbal or written. Many HR professionals will begin by calling a candidate to make a verbal offer and then follow up by sending them a written offer to review and consider. Of course, candidates have the option to either accept or refuse a job offer, and this is why crafting a coherent message that conveys your corporate culture is essential.
So what can a company do to increase the chances of their offer being accepted? It’s important to keep a few things in mind throughout the recruitment process and take a structured approach when extending an offer, since things tend to move quite quickly once you and the hiring committee have come to a decision. In the next section, we’ll go over some of the steps you won’t want to miss.
How to make a job offer in 7 steps
1. Don’t wait to discuss key details
Before you even begin interviewing, it’s best to clarify key details like salary range, organizational structure, and benefits internally. When writing the job description, you’ll want to be as clear as possible - “remote-friendly” may mean 1 day of work from home to one person, while another will take it to mean total flexibility. The same goes for the salary range, as a “competitive salary” means different things to different candidates based on their seniority, current pay, and location.
In fact, LinkedIn found that 70% of professionals want to hear about salary in the first message they receive from a recruiter. Why not save time and list it directly in the job description? At the very least, discussing elements like team structure, salary, and benefits throughout the interview process will help candidates make an informed decision and decide whether the role is the right match for them.
After all, if something about the role isn’t a match for your candidate, wouldn’t you want to know that early on before you’ve both invested more time?
2. Act fast
Once the hiring team agrees on which candidate is their top pick, don’t wait around before making an offer. This is not one of those situations where you should play it cool - if you want them to work for you, let them know! Once you’ve sorted out all the details that make up the offer (salary, benefits, job title, etc.) then move on to the next step and reach out to your candidate.
3. Pick up the phone
There are several benefits to calling a candidate before extending a written job offer. On the candidate experience side, it offers a human touch and can remind them why they were so excited about the opportunity in the first place. On the talent acquisition side, a phone call allows you to go into a bit more detail about the next steps of the process and give them feedback you received from the hiring team.
This is a great time to let them know why you want them to join your team! A preliminary offer made over the phone can also potentially save you time drafting a written offer if the candidate has accepted another job in the meantime or is no longer interested.
Most people won’t accept a new job on the spot, but if they are interested they will thank you and agree to review the written offer.
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
While most candidates will need some time to think about it, don’t be afraid to ask them how they feel about the offer while on the phone with them. You can also ask them if they have any hesitations about the role. This will allow you to anticipate any points of negotiation and begin exploring if you have any flexibility that might help the candidate come to their decision. For instance, college recruitment videos can be really powerful to attracts new talents.
5. Make a written offer
Now that you know your preferred candidate is still available, it’s time to make a written offer! Many companies have a standard offer template which you can fill in with information that’s specific to the role you’re hiring for, such as salary, bonuses, and benefits. Since template offers can feel a bit impersonal, it can be a great touch to include a short video featuring yourself or some of the people the candidate has met throughout the interview process.
PlayPlay’s recruitment video maker is ideal for creating creative and professional looking job offer videos without needing to be an expert in video editing. With PlayPlay you can create the best recruitment videos to attract the best candidates !
6. Start the clock
It’s common to set a deadline for the candidate to either accept or turn down your job offer. This can vary by industry and company, but 2-3 days to a week are fairly typical as a rule of thumb. If you are able to, making the offer near the end of the week can be a nice touch as it gives the candidate a full weekend to reflect on the offer without the pressures of their current job.
It may be tempting to tell them you need the offer letter back and signed ASAP, but it’s not in the company or the candidate’s best interests to make a hasty decision. Giving them time to consider and address any questions they may have will help ensure a good fit and also create a positive experience for the candidate from the beginning.
Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes: if you were deciding between a job that gave you one day to accept an offer with a “take it or leave it” attitude or a company that gave you enough time to consider the pros and cons and was willing to answer all of your questions, which one would you choose?
7. Receive the candidate’s final decision
Eventually, your candidate will come back to you with either a positive (fingers crossed!) or a negative answer. In either scenario, your work is not done yet! If they accept and sign the offer letter, you will want to work out the details of their start date and give them an idea of what the onboarding process will look like. At this stage, your Human Resources team can create a short video to congratulate new employees and give them onboarding details.
On the other hand, if the candidate ends up not accepting your offer, be sure to ask for their feedback and thank them for the time they spent interviewing with you. Data from Zippia shows that the average American has 12 jobs during their lifetime, so you may want to keep the door open for future opportunities!
Tips for making a successful job offer
A good job offer will include all of the information that the candidate needs to know in a clear, well-organized way. A great job offer will do all of that while expressing what makes your company an awesome place to work. To make a job offer that has that wow factor, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Show off your corporate culture
Job responsibilities and salary are critical factors in a candidate’s decision, but corporate culture also plays an important role. If certain values are especially important at your company, don’t be afraid to let that show throughout the hiring process. For example, if being comfortable giving and receiving feedback is part of your company’s DNA, let the candidate know that and demonstrate it throughout the interview stage. If a fun work environment is what makes your company tick, stay away from formal interview formats and traditional offer letter templates.
Automate steps where possible
As we saw above, the job offer and interview process can be lengthy. A study from Jobscan found that over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use Applicant Tracking Systems or other software. If it’s an option for your company, these programs can help you save time and automate steps, as well as centralize information about the candidate’s journey.
For example, instead of having hiring managers reach out to check on the status of a job offer, they’ll be able to check the candidate’s profile on the platform and see if you have received an update. After all, automating some repetitive tasks helps you focus on the human part of Human Resources!
Once you’ve decided on a candidate, you generally want to act quickly to avoid them accepting another offer in the meantime. Lengthy approval processes can slow this down and make it harder for you to do your job. When possible, try to centralize the approval process and make sure that only the hiring manager or the department director will need to approve the job offer as well as any negotiations that may occur.
If the candidate makes a request after receiving your offer and you take several days to respond, it may leave them with the impression that your organization is complicated or has a lot of red tape. If you’re able to agree on acceptable ranges for negotiations in advance, even better! This will give you the freedom to respond quickly without seeking extra approval.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, think about how many words a video can replace! Use a video software like PlayPlay to inject some personality into the hiring process, from the job description to the job offer itself. Videos can help candidates get a feel for the office ambiance, what your team is like, and whether or not it is the right fit for them. Instead of telling them about your office’s nice rooftop terrace or the awesome team-building seminar you went on last year, why not show them? For example, take a look at this video Tala created to show their company culture.
To summarize, there are many things that you can do as an HR professional to improve the candidate experience when making a job offer and boost the chances that they’ll accept it. Clear communication, transparency, and responsiveness all play a role in convincing potential employees to take the leap and join your team.
There are many tools available today to simplify human resources processes, like online document signature tools, platforms that help you track the candidate’s journey through your hiring process, and video creation software like PlayPlay, to share job offers or other types of recruitement videos. There’s no need for video creation to be a time-consuming project - thanks to helpful templates that reduce the need for editing, you can make creative, professional-looking videos on your own in under 10 minutes.