HR Answers: How to Present a Job Offer to Your Preferred Candidate

Female HR professional examines pyramid of wooden blocks representing job candidates with a magnifying glass
By Catherine Holland

4 minutes

6 best practices for ensuring your ideal applicant becomes a valued employee

The work of searching for job candidates for your credit union can be grueling. You need to put out the call, sift through resumes, hold in-person interviews and narrow down the field. Once you’ve chosen your preferred candidate, it’s essential that you close the deal—if not, you might end up back at square one. This short guide will help you land your perfect candidates once you’ve found them.

Act Fast

You’ve discovered the ideal candidate—she has all the skills you want and a lot of experience in the credit union industry. She has a great personality, and you’re sure she’ll get along wonderfully with your team. You wonder how you got so lucky.

The truth is, you probably didn’t.

High-quality applicants know their worth. That means they’ll almost always be applying to more than one position at once. They have the luxury of being able to choose the career path that’s most appealing to them. When you decide which candidate you want to hire, contact them immediately and schedule an interview—within a couple of days, when possible. Be sure of one thing: Other companies have their eye on that candidate, too.

Personalize It

Never make a job offer to a qualified candidate by email or over the phone. The personal touch is of the utmost importance. Invite them into your office, if possible, so it’s easy to answer and discuss any questions they might have for you, and so you can have a real, in-depth conversation about the offer. If your offices are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, consider scheduling a video call to extend your offer.

This isn’t just a matter of logistics—it’s a matter of respect. When you take time out of your busy day to make an offer to the candidate, you show them that you know they’re absolutely worth your time. For candidates applying for a role of particularly high importance, consider taking them out for a meal. Wine and dine them! Show them how much you want them to be a part of your team. Going the extra mile can help convince them to accept your offer.

Talk Money …

When a high-quality candidate walks through your door, it should go without saying that you’re probably going to have to pay them more than their previous employer did; a 10-15% bump in wages is certainly not out of the question. Depending on the position and how competitive it is, you may want to offer them even more.

… But Money Isn’t Everything

Of course, salary isn’t going to be the only thing you want to have on the table. Consider other benefits—healthcare, facilities, insurance and any other perks your organization might have to offer. These perks can be as important as financial compensation in many cases, if the candidate knows they’ll use them frequently. Make sure the candidate understands all the benefits of working for your credit union.

For high-quality candidates, room for career growth is essential—they need to know they’ll be able to update their skills, gain new ones and have the opportunity to grow into new positions at your organization. Don’t hesitate to create a career or growth map with them when you make your offer, so they can see right away what development at your CU looks like.

The impact of high employee turnover is dramatic, so you need to make sure your candidates understand the culture of your business. Give them a tour, let them chat with a few people, and tell them a bit about what working at the organization is like. This will help them understand how easily they’ll be able to integrate into the culture.

Talk About Other Offers

As mentioned above, it’s not unlikely that your candidate will be getting offers from other prospective employers. At the very least, it’s likely that they’ll be given a counteroffer by their current employer. You should address this possibility up front.

Tell them to let you know if there’s a counteroffer that they’re considering so you can go over it together. Empathize with them about leaving their co-workers and employer, if that seems to bother them; it can be hard to leave a place where you’ve made friends and had good experiences. You’re human, they’re human, and a career change is a big lifestyle change. Be understanding.

Set a Deadline

You want to give your candidate enough time to think about your offer, entertain counteroffers and make a decision. At the same time, you have a business to run. Should they choose to reject your offer, you’ll need to find another candidate. As such, give them a couple of days to decide. Optimally, if you make an offer on a Monday, they should have an answer to you no later than Friday.

Allow candidates time to discuss counteroffers with you, but make sure they understand why you need to know as soon as possible—you take the work of your organization, and the importance of their prospective role, very seriously.

Catherine Holland is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and home improvement for a variety of businesses. Some of her favourite pieces can be found on the Paradigm Insurance website.

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