After you make your final hiring choice, you may think you can just sit back and relax. Not just yet. You still must make the job offer official. Remember, if you fail to handle this phase of the hiring process carefully, one of two things might happen: You can lose the candidate to another job offer, or, even if the candidate comes on board, you can start the relationship off on a bumpy note. Keep the following in mind regarding how to offer a job.
After you make up your mind about candidates, make job offers immediately — especially if you're in a tight labor market. 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.
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Put your job offer on the table
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 avoids letting too much time elapse between the interview and the offer.
Set a deadline
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.
While candidates consider job offers, stay in touch with them. The purpose is for you to reinforce your excitement about candidates potentially joining your team. Showing them your enthusiasm to have them join your team may help seal the deal. Just be sure to avoid being pushy, or you could give your ideal candidate second thoughts.
Are you taking too long to make a job offer? Here's a Robert Half infographic laying out the risks of delaying the hiring process.