Mastering Job Offer Acceptance: A Guide for Employers

The best way for your top choice candidate to enthusiastically accept your job offer is to talk about expectations right from the beginning.  On your first call ideally. That includes compensation, benefits, flexibility and goals.

A lot goes into crafting a compelling offer, and the more you know up front, the better shape you will be in when you deliver an offer.

Whether you have an engaged an external recruiter or you are working with candidates directly, conducting post-interview debriefs provide excellent insights at key touchpoints. It can eliminate many surprises that tend to pop up at the eleventh hour.

A comprehensive job offer is easy to react to – and more likely to get a quick yes.

Customize the offer:

While you can’t customize every aspect of an offer, you can demonstrate a customized approach in your delivery. And most importantly, you can uncover concerns or objections along the way, so you can address them well before you present an offer.  

Know your company’s benefit package inside and out. Highlight the benefits that you know will excite the candidate. If health insurance is their top priority, include that earlier in the offer. If a family plan is important, share that benefit and cost first.

By actively listening and asking thoughtful questions throughout the process you will know what matters most to the candidate.

Crafting a compelling offer:

  • Total compensation: base salary, performance bonus and any sign on bonuses
  • Benefits: healthcare, retirement, family leave, PTO
  • Flexibility: remote, hybrid, on-site as well as your approach to flexible work arrangements (commute hours, sick time, work/life balance)
  • People & Culture: commitment to employee wellness, well defined and executed DEIB programs, sustainability, ethical behaviors – all with examples in action
  • Growth & Development: path for advancement, approach for employee development

Plan your delivery:

Schedule a verbal conversation to present the offer and allow for real-time discussion and the opportunity to address any questions. Be sure you have all necessary documentation prepared, including the offer letter and benefits summary, to forward in writing following the call.

Be prepared for negotiation:

Candidates may not negotiate on the spot, but they may do so after reviewing the offer in writing.

One way to minimize this is to explain how you consider and prepare offers. Letting them know early on that your goal would be to prepare an offer that they will be enthusiastic about because you have talked about their expectations throughout the process. There should be no surprises. Your goal would be to present a best and final offer from the get-go to demonstrate that you really want them to come on board and you see them having a bright future with the organization.

When a candidate negotiates in good faith, it signals they are interested and want to join you.

If their requests are reasonable and doable, you can let them know that you are happy to go to bat for them once.  Make sure you have surfaced all of their concerns and questions. It’s always easier to amend an offer when there is assurance that if you are able to change it, they would enthusiastically accept.

Sealing the deal:

Once the candidate accepts the offer, encourage the hiring manager to reach out to congratulate and welcome them.

Provide resources during the process to educate them on the pitfalls of entertaining a counter offer as well as tips on how to have a smooth resignation process. You can offer them coaching on resigning if they would like it.

Get confirmation that they are withdrawing from consideration from other companies.

Letting them know that you plan on calling the other candidates who were being considered to let them know you made a hire can reinforce that you are counting on them to honor their commitment.

If you have cool swag, send it to them! Share company news. Touch base weekly while they are wrapping up at their current job. Onboarding begins way before the actual start date, and can have a big impact on satisfaction.

All of this will help you build a solid foundation for a great working relationship!

Sean McLoughlin and his team specialize in every type of digital marketing role, running the gamut from analytics through marketing communications. Sean has strong expertise in life sciences, ed/tech and healthcare, as well as all things data. While we call him Marketing Practice Director and VP of Operations, at home there are 4 beautiful kids who just call him Dad.