Making a Successful Offer

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Frosty morning

Even in a time of high unemployment, finding and recruiting the very best possible person for your specific needs is challenging.    Both your offer process and the offer content are significant to the candidate personally, to your reputation and to the candidate’s decision.   Think about process and content to improve the chances your offer will be accepted.  


Cover the following points in a face-to-face or phone conversation to produce an offer tailored to land the new hire:

Clarify how this person’s involvement will bring value to your company.   The best people know what they have to offer.  They seek a chance to succeed with maximum impact. Emphasize  why you want this candidate on board.

Prepare the way for a written offer.  Ensure your candidate understands what accomplishments are expected and on what schedule.  Be certain the reporting structures, up and down, are understood.  

Ask in advance if there are any impediments to accepting your offer, particularly if relocation is involved.  Spouse employment? Children’s schooling?  Home resale?

Verify current compensation, including base, bonuses, 401K matching, stock package, and perks such as company car.  Regarding stock, ask how much unvested stock compensation will be left behind.

Anticipate a counter-offer.  Discuss frankly the possibility that such an offer will be made, and ask your candidate what he will do when this happens.  Point out that people who accept counter offers rarely last a year in that employment

Let your hiring manager “sell” the position and the company by addressing the unique fit of the position to the candidate.   This is a critically important issue!

Expect your recruiter to collect relocation and compensation information for you.

Bremer Associates arrange for candidates talk with a relocation expert during or after the first on-site interview.  The relocation person can provide practical information about the geographic area, housing prices and availability, and length of commutes to your location.  Having this specific information lets the candidate picture himself in the new  location and  increases the possibility that he will accept an offer.  


The total offer in today’s market should still fit the candidate’s real value.

-- A candidate between jobs should be offered a total package comparable to their last; successful people don’t lose ground lightly.

--If your candidate is currently employed, plan to increase base pay by at least 10% - 15% while matching or increasing bonuses.

•    If you cannot match what the candidate currently receives in retirement matching, increase the base salary accordingly.
•    Try to match or better the ownership portion of the current package.  Don’t try to cover unvested stock.
•    Present as much detail as possible about any ownership package – the percentage of ownership, the value of the company, etc.

Sometimes prospective employers offer a situation with better potential for long-term earning with no increase in immediate compensation.  This works best when the candidate will be in a position to make a real difference in the company’s bottom line.

Have your recruiter pre-qualify the various points of the offer with the candidate to facilitate any needed adjustments before the offer is extended.

First impressions count!  You are much more likely to have an offer accepted if the initial impact of the process and content is favorable than if you attempt to regain lost ground through negotiation after a bad offer.