Make Sure the Price is Right When Making an Offer

February 27, 2019 By: Dave Rietsema
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The recruitment process is difficult, but even after you’ve sifted through all the candidates and selected the best person for the job, you still have a critical part to attend to: making an offer. While this part may seem par for the course for hiring managers, it’s important to make sure that the price is set right for the candidate.

With this tight market, taking a candidate through the entire hiring process only to have them decline your offer would be a tragedy. Consider the following tips when customizing your offer to a new candidate.

Address Their Expectations

Ask a candidate outright on their application or in person what they are expecting for pay. This question can be daunting when posed blindly, so be sure to set the stage and soften the conversation by giving some kind of an idea what you usually pay employees in that position, whether in your job advertisement or during the conversation.

Realistically consider their expectations when deciding upon a salary offer. Offering too much less will generally be seen as an insult, so stick as close to their request as possible.

Do Your Market Research

Research online and in your local area to find out what people in your industry, in the position that you are hiring for, get paid. Salaries may vary widely from one area to another even within the same field, so don’t trust generalities. Dig deeper and make sure that what you’re offering is fair and competitive.

Start at a Reasonable Middle Point

You don’t want to offer a candidate a high-end salary to start, no matter how good the candidate looks on paper and in the interview. You have to see their work ethic, culture fit, and skills in action before you will really know whether they are going to work out or not. Leave room to give a raise after a short probationary period, like one to three months.

Let the candidate know that the starting wage will increase after they prove that they have staying power and are the right fit. Beware of starting too low, though, as a new employee may be more likely to jump ship for a better offer if another company comes back with a higher starting wage.

Make the Perks Count

Perks shouldn’t be used in place of a fair salary offer, but they can be helpful when swaying a candidate that is deciding between two comparable position offerings. Focus on the things that count, like work/life balance, wellness, and flexibility over things like free office snacks and game rooms.

Negotiate if Necessary

If a candidate comes in with expectations that simply don’t match what you’re willing to pay, or if a candidate refuses your offer, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes a candidate just wants some specific thing that happens to be a deal breaker for him or her. You may find that you can meet expectations after all, but you have to know where the candidate stands and be willing to compromise if you really believe in the candidate.


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