Questions to Consider Before Extending a Job Offer

According to a study for Harvard Business Review at least 1 in 5 candidates rejects a job offer. Recruiting requires a large investment of time, so you need to be sure your efforts are focused on candidates who are most likely to join your company. In today’s post, we are going to be outlining things to do before you extend a job offer to help increase your recruiting efficiencies.

  1.  The number one reason candidates reject a job offer is that the offered salary is too low. Be sure to determine the candidate’s range early in the interview process to make sure you have budget to hire them. Generally speaking, candidates consider lateral moves with an increase pegged at 5% to 20% of their base pay. 

    “I know it’s early in the process and you don’t want to pin yourself to a particular salary, but broadly what range of offers are you open to considering?” 

  2.  Find out the risk of the candidate accepting a counteroffer – before you make the offer. 

    “You seem like a great employee who is likely to get a counteroffer. What would your current employer need to offer you to induce you to stay?” 

  3. Coaxing a candidate to articulate why the jump to your firm is the right move is an ideal way to enter the salary negotiation, while reminding them about the value of the opportunity you’re offering. 

    “Remind me again why accepting an offer from me would make sense in your career development plan. How will you explain your choice to another hiring manager down the line?” 

  4. Determine if the move is even realistically possible. Many candidates will feign interest, and then demand periods longer than 24 hours to consider your offer. They may be delaying because they are weighing another offer or trying to get you to increase the salary. Playing games hurts both players; find out what the candidate truly wants and determine if your offer matches. 

     “If we were to make you an offer today, when would you be in the position to accept or reject it?” (The ideal answer is “I would accept it right away.”) 

  5. Lay out a hypothetical timeline and get them to agree with it, so when you extend a written offer, the candidate isn’t surprised by when they must give notice, start their new position and take any logistical changes into account – such as moving, new commutes, etc. 

     “If I were to extend the offer to you, would a December 4th start date work for you? How long of notice will you need to give your current employer? We start our workday here at 8:30am – would you be able to arrive here from where you currently live within that time frame?” 

Finally, it helps to have a set of criteria for judging whether or not a candidate is serious – even early within the interview process. These will differ from company to company, person to person and industry to industry, but generally at AppleOne, we like to consider the following to be indicators of serious candidate interest: 

  •          Early arrival to interviews and appointments
  •          Quick response / follow-up to emails and calls
  •          Dressed to impress
  •          Enthusiasm, eye contact and engaged body language
  •          Research, interest and understanding of your company
  •          Verbal and written statements of interest in the position

If any or all of those are missing, you might want to reconsider extending the offer and continue searching for a candidate that’s as motivated to accept the position as you are to fill it.

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