Candidate Experience Part 3:
Make the Offer Process Memorable
This is Part 3 of our four-part series on how to create an excellent candidate experience. Read Part 1 and Part 2.
Welcome to part three in our series about creating a memorable candidate experience. Benefits of completing this process include higher retention, increased employee satisfaction, and a better reputation in the marketplace. Once you’ve created a team-based strategy (part one) and directed everyone to communicate clearly and consistently (part two), hopefully, you’ll be ready to guide your chosen candidate across the finish line.
Before you send the offer letter, make sure you make it memorable. Remember, you’re competing with other companies, and candidates have the right to back out at any time. Here’s why it’s so important to make an offer process memorable, and how to go about it.
You can still lose great candidates, even at the offer stage
At this point in the recruitment process, you have invested countless hours in evaluating candidates. It can be tempting to rush the conclusion and hastily cobble together an offer package to see who bites. However, under no circumstances should you short-cut the offer process.
Before sending any offer in writing, set up a call and talk your candidate through your intentions. Speak with them, interact with them, let them hear your excitement for wanting to work with them and create opportunities for them. There is no better way to collect their initial thoughts or concerns and talk through them. I have seen more than enough offers so awry due to simple miscommunication.
Use this time to seal the relationship and set the stage for the candidate’s onboarding. Then, the offer letter package will not be a surprise and simply becomes a detail in the process. You should also strongly consider that the offer communication is completed by the hiring manager directly, or even better as a team approach including Talent Management.
The offer is the most critical part of recruitment. It’s a bridge into the company and the beginning of their experience as an official employee on the team. Handle candidates with care during this stage. Recognize that a great candidate may have received several competing offers.
Most importantly, don’t treat the offer letter as a done deal. Give the candidate the respect they deserve by being as diligent with the offer as you were with the resumé scrutiny. Use the offer letter to set the tone for the type of relationship they can expect with your company. Be excited, memorable, and personable, and candidates will reward you for your respect.
If you haven’t discussed compensation yet, it’s too late
The offer process should be memorable, but not surprising. Compensation expectations should be discussed during the interviewing process and not at the very end. It’s a better use of everyone’s time if candidates know the salary range upfront. Otherwise, you risk taking a person all the way through the recruitment process just to have them drop out at the offer stage. This is another key reason that the offer letter should always be communicated verbally, first!
Remember, compensation includes details on benefits, vacation, flex time, and more. If you have some wiggle room, the offer letter can be a powerful opportunity to offer additional benefits as a negotiation tactic. For example, your candidate may already know that the upper salary limit is $85k. But in the offer letter, you can let them know that you want them so much that you’re willing to offer an extra five days of paid vacation each year.
A memorable offer contains no surprises—but it should be delightful
There should be nothing in your offer letter that will be a surprise to your candidate. The letter should simply memorialize the details you’ve already discussed with them. However, there are lots of ways to add a little delight to the offer process.
Along with the offer email, ask the department to record and send a short video asking the candidate to join the team. Differentiate your brand by sending the candidate a small, but thoughtful gift including some company-branded items. Express your gratitude for their time, and invite them with open arms into the company. Remember, a new job is a life changing event for everyone. It’s no small thing to be offered a position within a company, and it’s definitely worth celebrating with a delightful dose of festivity.
Seal the deal by making yourself extra available to answer candidates’ questions
You’re inches away from the finish line now. You have sent the official offer letter and you’re waiting to hear back from your dream candidate. This is when hiring managers need to make themselves extra available. Candidates may have final questions before accepting the offer.
Make sure they know you’re available. For instance, providing access to the hiring manager after hours can help seal the deal during this delicate final stage. Do whatever it takes to go the extra mile to make the candidate feel you truly want them. If that means overtime for your hiring manager, send them gift card or recognize their efforts in company wide email or during your next town hall. Recruiting is the responsibility of the entire company, and there is no better way to increase participation than public praise!
Feeling more confident about creating a great candidate experience? Good! Our four-part series lays out a roadmap to help companies find and retain their most valuable asset: their people.
There’s one final part in our series. After all, recruitment is only half the game when it comes to talent management! Top companies know that the process doesn’t stop when a candidate says “yes.”
If you’re ready to create a talent management strategy that can elevate your company through 2021 and beyond, reach out to Bell Falls Search.Stay tuned for the fourth and final article in our series about creating a great candidate experience. Missed Parts 1 and 2? Read them here and here.
About Bell Falls Search
Bell Falls Search is an Executive Search firm that partners with Small Businesses and Emerging Growth Companies to build self sustainable Talent Attraction solutions.
Our team has accomplished this across a wide range of industries, functional expertise and experience levels…and we have the case studies to prove it!
Contact Ron Laneve to learn how Bell Falls Search can help with your Talent growth goals.