October 4, 2019

Create A Powerful Offer in Six Easy Steps

by Chris Winterboer

A gymnast can have the most amazing balance beam routine, but if they don’t stick the landing they aren’t getting high marks. The same is the case for offers. You can put all the best ‘bells and whistles’ into the letter, but if you forget one little detail you’re exposed. The candidate could decline. The negotiations could drag out for weeks. They could accept but eventually renege. Competing for talent is all about the offer stage. Only 100% perfection will do. Here are some practical (and perhaps unconventional) ideas for your company to employ.

Awesome Bonuses

Walking a fine line with a lateral move in compensation? Add more bonuses with varying levels of achievement and payout dates.

  • First six months: Small but effective bonuses.
    • Maybe it is securing a license or professional designation.
    • Complete a training session. 
  • Annual Review: Discretionary, team & company performance. Individual goal hitting (production, client retention & special project recognition). It is much better for your cash flow to have it happen with that timing than trying to add in a higher amount on base out of the gates.

Titles and Promotions Matter

Be direct & outline the path to career progression.

  • Big companies use titles to attract and retain young talent. Account Representative I, Account Representative II and Account Representative III are the same job but clear, defined paths.
  • With those promotions come a raise.

All these are incentives that help you attract & retain talent.   

Let Your Culture Shine

It boggles my mind how often I hear from candidates that they are asked about personal matters (politics, religion, personal relationships), salary expectations, age, etc. As the world changes around us, we all need to be aware of how to address and embrace those differences. Salary is the biggest trap as many states have passed laws to protect pay equality. It is all about salary expectations– what they want to make to consider a move and what the market can bear.

It really isn’t too difficult to stay ahead of that curve and err on the side of caution in these matters. What is sometimes tougher is explaining to a team member who may have asked that very salary question the same way for 20 years to adjust their thinking. Better safe than sorry from our experience.

Listen To The Candidates Suggestions, Thoughts, & Insight

Direct candidates to your social media platforms. Make sure there are plenty of pictures (more than words or boring article shares) with awesome shots of team building, company picnics and volunteer days.

Buy A Gift

A gift card to Starbucks. Some company swag. A small floral arrangement.
Unique and personal makes a huge impact. Recently a candidate (in the pre-offer stage) received a wedding gift from an agency.  Can you imagine the lasting impression that made to show how much they cared about them as a person?

Hiring Manager + Candidate = Constant Communication

Once an offer is extended most companies sit back waiting for the candidate’s response.  Well, it’s in their hands now. Wrong. Don’t let an opportunity slide by to show how much you care about that person and want them to accept the offer.

  • Make it informal
  • Make it a multiple call experience
  • Make it count

Don’t just provide the lip service, but really engage with the candidate at this point in the process. I have found that if I engage with a candidate multiple times after extension of an offer, I almost always learn something new. Plus, along the way the chances increase of procuring the acceptance.

Don’t Assume You’re At the Finish Line

Protect yourself from a candidate having second thoughts or being susceptible to a counteroffer. Keep in touch with a candidate after acceptance.

  • Guide them through any background checks with regular updates
  • Check in a few times about details regarding their first day.
  • Ask how their two weeks are going after providing notice. Occasionally it goes very poorly, so you want to be by their side to counsel them on how to get through what can be a very tough time for some people.

Be YOUnique is the right mindset during the offer stage. What I mean by that is to be you. Don’t stray too far from what your company values are. Be memorable. This is what will get you over the hump and to acceptance!


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