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Tips on How to Make a Job Offer

written by: N Nayab•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/14/2011

Making a job offer is a critical part of the recruitment process. A bad offer wastes the painstaking effort of identifying the right candidate. When making an offer, be sure to have all required information on hand, adopt a systematic approach, and follow these time-tested tips for success.

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    Gathering the Required Information

    The job offer comes at the very end of the recruitment process, usually after the background check.

    How to Make a Job Offer The first step in making a job offer is to collect all information required in the offer letter.

    A good offer letter contains the following information:

    1. Title and position of the employee.
    2. Brief description of job duties.
    3. Name and title of the person the new employee will report to.
    4. List of documents required at time of joining, such as a medical check up report, relief letter from previous employer, and the like.
    5. Person to contact with details for confirming or rejecting the offer, and for follow up. This is usually the HR representative.
    6. Joining date and time. A good practice is to check the candidate’s recruitment files for the time requested to join before identifying a possible joining date. Employees working elsewhere may need to serve a notice period. The company should have the necessary facilities, such as a workstation, in place and ensure the availability of the new employee’s immediate supervisor on the day the candidate joins.
    7. Salary, including bonuses, incentives, and all benefits such as insurance, 401(k), vacation policy, retirement programs, and the like.
    8. Work hours and other basic rules. The offer needs to clarify the status of the any special considerations and facilities requested by the candidate, such as flex-time arrangements and the like.

    An important consideration is to include all benefits mentioned in the interview or other discussions. For instance, mentioning a signing bonus at the interview and not mentioning in the offer letter would give the candidate the impression of the company trying to cheat him or her.

    Image Credit: Jones

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    Making the Offer

    The foremost consideration on how to make a job offer is to check the recruitment records. The candidate might have specified a preferred time to contact, or mode of contact, not wanting to speak about a new job in the midst of the present job, or an offer letter coming out of the existing employer’s fax.

    The usual procedure of making a job offer is through a telephone call. There is however, no hard and fast rule, and an offer can be through email, fax, post, or even in person. Verbal offers however always require follow up with a written offer.

    The key to making a successful offer is being clear and including comprehensive information. While a telephone conversation need not detail all the required elements, it should consider basic details such as salary, benefits, and other important information, with the request to the candidate to check email or fax, or await the post for the detailed offer letter.

    Providing comprehensive information reduces the chance of miscommunication. Refraining from making unrealistic promises ensures that the candidate does not join with false expectations and become disillusioned soon after. For instance, mentioning four weeks of vacation time in the offer letter when no one in the company gets more than two weeks is sure to cause disillusionment.

    Most employers provide the employee with reasonable time, usually three days to a week to confirm the offer before assuming the candidate is not interested.

    Probing the reasons for candidates declining job offers provides the company with an option to allow negotiations with the candidate on salary or other benefits at this stage. Some candidates might initiate the negotiation themselves while responding to the offer. If such job offer negotiations take place, the company should send a revised offer letter, if required, at the conclusion of the negotiations.

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    Additional Considerations

    With the intellectual capital of employees being the major source of competitive advantage for firms in the new knowledge-based economy, hiring talent remains a challenge, and the key to making successful offers lies in making them as fast as possible. Those looking to change jobs invariably attend many interviews, and the success of the offer depends on making them before the candidate accepts another offer.

    Finally, most candidates do not consider an offer based on the pay package alone. Good offers not only need to reflect the worth of the candidate in terms of salary, but also need to convince the candidate that the job provides scope for development, offers good working conditions, and provides attractive fringe benefits.

    Please be sure to check out the other tips and strategies found in Bright Hub's HR Guide for Recruiting and Retaining Employees.