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Recruiting the best candidate for the job can be a demanding process, but even when you do find the perfect candidate, that’s doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to sign on the dotted line. Getting to that point means putting together the right job offer in a timely manner, because there’s a lot that can happen between the final interview and the job offer.

The job offer should contain all the details of the role, including salary, benefits, job description, terms of employment, start date and line manager. Some of these details may have been discussed previously, but at the job offer stage, typically, the general terms of the offer are still negotiable. Depending on the size of the company, it’s usually the decision-maker in the recruitment process that will iron out the finer details of the offer with the HR department.

Make the recruitment process as short as possible

It’s easy to lose a great candidate to a rival firm if your recruitment process takes too long or your job offer is delayed for any reason. If a candidate is looking for a new job opportunity, you can reasonably assume that your firm is not the only one on their hit list. In most scenarios, the first job offer received by applicants will take priority.

So, before you even begin hiring, get all the stakeholders together and work to make the entire recruitment process as quick as possible from start to finish. Once interviews are complete, secure feedback immediately for everyone involved, so you can make the earliest possible decision.

Once that’s done, make the job offer immediately. Don’t ask the selected candidate in for a meeting. Instead, telephone straightaway and give them the details. Then follow up with an official letter. And be realistic. You can’t expect a candidate to come on board for a lower salary, unless there’s a very good incentive for doing so, such as extra benefits, or faster career progression. Above all, never make promises you don’t intend to keep.

Waiting for the perfect candidate

Make sure that you give applicants a reasonable amount of time to accept or decline the job offer. This will, of course, depend on the seniority of the position and the candidate’s personal circumstances, but be aware that they may be continuing with other applications, so make sure they know that there is a deadline in place. A week is generally more than enough time for someone to decide, but it could be beneficial to make a follow-up call before then. That might just seal the deal. Just don’t be too pushy. In the meantime, you can be checking references and qualifications.

As with any business deal, you may need to renegotiate the terms of the job offer. That will depend on how badly you want the candidate on-board.

Even when the job offer has been accepted, it’s worthwhile contacting unsuccessful candidates by phone to let them know the outcome. You might have to rehire, if things don’t work out, or another job role might be created that better fits their skill set. So let the rest know that they were good candidates and ask if you can keep them details on file in case you need to fill a vacancy in future.

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