How do you “close the deal” on an excellent job candidate?
Admittedly, by the time you have run the gauntlet of recruiting, interviewing and reference checks, you are probably weary of the hiring process. But weary or not, the most important task remains.
Simply put, this is the task of securing your selection. In an employer’s job market, this may seem unnecessary; however, excellent job candidates will probably be aware of their marketability and may have to be enticed to accept a job offer, regardless of the Labor Market.
After all, how many times has an employer thought a particular job candidate was all but hired, only to be blindsided by an “out of the blue” rejection? But these situations are common enough occurrences that it is important for employers to remain in a “recruiting mode” until the candidate actually accepts or rejects the job offer.
That said, the first step in securing a job candidate is to formally communicate the job offer to the candidate. More often than not, this is done via telephone, followed by a Job Offer Letter.
For lower level jobs, the job offer is often straightforward and uncomplicated. On the other hand, an initial job offer for higher level jobs may signal the start of negotiations regarding anything from salary and vacation to “sign-on” bonuses and moving expenses.
Ideally, most of these issues will have been addressed during the selection process. However, it should not come as a shock if a job candidate wishes to alter or renegotiate previously agreed upon terms.
Of course, if an employer is not inclined to renegotiate these issues, the consequences could be a rescinding of the job offer, or an outright rejection by the job candidate. In any event, this phase of the Hiring Process is critical, and employers should be prepared for either outcome.
As you draft a Job Offer Letter, the basic elements that should be included are as follows:
* Salutation (make it friendly and personal).
* A simple sentence offering the position (include the formal Job Title).
* Include the stating starting salary and major benefits.
* Summarize any negotiated conditions of employment.
* State the expected starting date.
* Indicate any pre-employment requirements (physical exams, proof of citizenship, legal
working status, licenses, etc.).
* Provide instructions for accepting or declining the job offer (include a response date and the hiring manager’s direct telephone number).
* End the letter with an appropriate and upbeat closing.
Employers should be mindful that job candidates evaluate prospective employers as much as candidates evaluate them. Thus, employers need to be aware that their tone and professionalism in communicating a job offer is often the determining factor in whether a job candidate accepts or rejects the offer.
In the end. employers need to be honest and forthright in communicating job offers. This includes answering questions and negotiating unresolved terms in good faith. By the same token, a job candidate who views a job offer as a license to play games or make unreasonable demands may be reason enough for an employer to move in another direction.