So you found your ideal candidate and vetted them through your rugged interview process. Everyone is excited to have a new, talented team member…until you hit a glitch. You find out your candidate has multiple offers.
How can you stand out and compete with other employers when presenting YOUR offer? Here are five tips:
- Hiring Manager Communication – In many cases, hiring managers rely on the recruiter to be the main source of communication with a candidate. Recruiters have dozens of open positions, which causes them to be spread thin. If you’re the hiring manager, you may only have one opening with a couple of top candidates. Take it upon yourself to be the main source of communication with the candidate from this point forward. After all, you will be working with this person on a daily basis, so now would be a great time to begin building that relationship. Provide your candidate with regular updates and be mindful of where they are in their process.
- Understand Their Needs – Instead of approaching an offer from the standpoint of what you are willing to give, take a step back and truly understand what your candidate needs. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with money. After the final interview and BEFORE you prepare an offer, have a meaningful conversation with your candidate to dig deeper into what motivates him/her. Things such as a flexible schedule, certain developmental opportunities, the ability to telecommute one day per week or giving them Tuesday afternoons to go to their child’s soccer game could seal the deal. Or perhaps the opportunity to work on a side project or team would be appealing.
- A Well-Crafted Offer – Sure, there are guidelines you must follow when you create an offer for your candidate. Salary ranges, bonus amounts, stock – all may have strict guidelines. Where can you be flexible? Some companies allow for a “gentleman’s agreement” when it comes to time off. For example, if a candidate is leaving 3 weeks of vacation on the table, but your company only offers 2 weeks, consider allowing your candidate to have an additional week off of the books. (Note: we recommend discussing this with your HR team!) Or, if you are competing against a company who is offering a hefty sign-on bonus, but you can only offer a set amount, ask your superiors if you can offer a tiered hiring bonus. You could structure it to pay out every six or twelve months.
- Enlist Support from Others – As you are wooing your candidate, set up various meetings or phone calls from impressive people on your team. Ask the President or Vice President of your organization to help you close your candidate. Other people they may feel flattered to hear from might include a Chief Architect or CFO. Helping your candidate to feel valued from all levels of the organization could help your company stand out when he/she is faced with multiple offers.
- Invite to Events – Do you have weekly or monthly events for employees? Some companies still have Friday barbeques or Beer Bashes. Invite your candidate to join you as your guest (allowing for company policy, of course!). The more you can get them to already feel like an employee, the more likely you are to close your candidate.
In addition to the tips we’ve provided, it’s helpful to know who your competition is and what they are offering. Ask your candidate exactly what they are being offered and tell them you are interested in meeting or beating their offer. Be as transparent as possible throughout the process and you will build trust.
You can also ask your candidate where you stand. Ask something such as: “Where do we stack up compared to your other opportunities?” and “What can we do to be at the top of your list?”
When you have a candidate who has multiple offers, you still have a strong chance of closing him/her if you simply put in a little extra effort.