After you make your final hiring choice, you may think you can just sit back and relax. Not just yet. Have you closed the deal? Are you sure the candidate wants you? If you want to know how to make a job offer that’s successful, you need to make sure it’s followed by an acceptance.
In today’s competitive employment market, you should be prepared to entice top talent in accounting, finance and bookkeeping. Otherwise, you can lose the job seeker to another company.
Do you know, for instance, what factors are most critical to applicants as they're weighing job offers? A new study by Accountemps shows it isn’t just salary, although that’s a starting point.
Keep the following five tips in mind regarding how to make a job offer that will be received positively.
1. Make sure your compensation is competitive
The first step is to do some research. Look over the average starting salaries for more than 400 accounting and finance roles in the latest Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance. Then narrow down the information by city.
Do you know the top jobs and in-demand skills for accounting and finance professionals? Do you know how to prepare for salary negotiations? When it’s time to talk money, you need to be ready.
2. Find out what matters to workers
Compensation is about more than just money. In the Accountemps survey, more than a quarter of the respondents (26 percent) cited vacation time as the most important benefit beyond the paycheck. Corporate culture (24 percent) and career advancement potential (21 percent) came in close behind.
Not only are those prized perks important when job offers are evaluated, but they can also help when you’re recruiting and retaining top talent.
3. Know how to make a job offer quickly
Top applicants today typically weigh a number of options, so even a short delay could cause you to lose them. After you make up your mind and think you’ve won over the candidate, make the job offer immediately. Even a delay of a day or two can cost you the employee of choice. If your business has procedures that slow down hiring — for example, no one gets hired unless the president interviews the individual personally — look for ways to streamline the process.
You have no reason to be coy at this point. Call the person you want to hire and outline the details about pay, benefits and anything extra. If you don't have these details nailed down yet, you're not ready to make the offer. Most small businesses make verbal job offers by phone, then follow up with an official letter. Making the offer by phone rather than waiting to get the candidate back into your office helps you avoid letting too much time elapse between the interview and the offer.
4. Set a deadline for a decision
Give candidates a reasonable amount of time to decide whether to accept the job offer. What's reasonable generally depends on the type of job. The time frame for an entry-level job may be a few days, but for a mid- or senior-level candidate in a competitive market, or for a position that involves relocation, a week isn't excessive.
Thinking about making a counteroffer, if it comes to that? Read these reasons to think again.
5. Stay connected
While the candidate considers your job offer, stay in touch. The purpose is for you to reinforce your enthusiasm about having him or her join your team, and that may help seal the deal. Just be sure to avoid being pushy, or you could give your ideal candidate second thoughts.
Robert Half has been helping companies with their hiring since 1948. Have you considered bringing in skilled professionals on a temporary or temporary-to-hire basis?
Editor's note: This post was updated recently to reflect current information.