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Hiring 101 Part 11 – Making the Offer

by Stephen Bruce, PhD, PHR

If you have already conducted interviews and performed reference checks, it’s time to choose. In the last video in the Hiring 101 Series, Steve Bruce explains how to select the best candidate and make an offer that can’t be refused.

SB: This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor. This is the eleventh—and last—video in our Hiring 101 Series. It’s about selecting the best candidate and making an offer that can’t be refused.

You have interviewed, performed reference checks, you now have all the information you are going to get. It’s time to choose.

If there is one clear best candidate, go ahead and make the offer. However, if several candidates are still under consideration, consider a rating system to provide a starting point for your discussion and decision.

List your major criteria and assign a weight to each, so that the weights add to 100. For example:

  • 3-5 years recruiting experience: 30 points
  • Systems analyst/programmer recruiting: 15 points
  • Experience with job fairs: 10 points
  • Familiar with internet recruiting: 10 points
  • Experience setting up college recruiting: 10 points
  • Works well with senior hiring managers: 10 points
  • Able to handle heavy recruiting workload: 10 points
  • Has potential for promotion: 5 points

Then grade each candidate from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) on each criterion.

Multiply the rating times the weight, and total up the results for each candidate. Naturally, you don’t blindly follow the rating system, but the chart ranking process will help you to make an objective decision.

The charts will also help you avoid the “halo effect”—the tendency to be swayed by one particularly strong characteristic and ignore the broader picture.

For example, a candidate for the recruiting position above might wow you with technical knowledge and blind you to the fact that he or she can’t get along with hiring managers and has no experience in internet, job fair, and college recruiting.

Once you have made your final selection, you may think that you are done, but, in fact, there is one more rather important step—making sure that the candidate says yes

It is interesting at this moment—the tables have turned. All along, the candidate appeared to be in the weak position, seeking a job from you. Now, you are in the weak position, hoping that the candidate will accept your offer.

Fortunately, during the course of applying and interviewing, candidates have generally revealed a great deal about what they are looking for.

What did they say they were looking for in a new job? What did they say about why they left the old job? What seems to excite them about the new job? What did they answer to questions such as what will your boss say to try to keep you from leaving?

Think over all you have learned about your candidate, and see what you can incorporate to make an attractive offer.

Compensation is, of course, a major part of the offer. Compensation isn’t just starting pay. It might include a hiring bonus, relocation benefits, guaranteed first-year bonus, negotiated vacation days, or any number of other possibilities.

Perhaps the candidate needs time off to complete a weekend MBA program or wants to work with a certain computer program, or wants some experience with high-end clients.

Think through what you can offer in terms of the position, and work with your compensation people to put together the most attractive package you can.

Before going to the candidate, be sure that you are authorized to make the offer you are about to extend.

When making the offer, resell the candidate on the organization, its future, and its opportunities. Show the candidate how he or she fits into the picture. Make the offer. Then ask, May I tell my boss that you will accept?

Congratulations! Another great hire.

For hiring challenges and all your HR challenges, we recommend HR.BLR.com.

This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor.

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  1. Anonymous        
    September 13, 2012 8:11 am

    I teach a class to job hunters on interviewing skills, and I always mention both the halo effect and its opposite–how one weak characteristic or misstep (like inappropriate clothes or closing with “when do I start?”) can tank a good interview. HR people need to keep this tendency in mind, too.

  2. Anonymous        
    September 26, 2012 7:03 am

    Very good summary on making offers to candidates.