What To Know Before Making a Job Offer

December 17, 2013

Now that you’ve completed the often tedious and frustrating search and interview processes, you’ve found “the one” and you’re more than ready to put an offer on the table as soon as possible. Wait- not so fast.

HR managers must keep in mind that once you extend a job offer, the balance of power now shifts and the candidate is in control. 

In our whitepaper, Talent Acquisition: “A Road Map for Success”, The Overture Group outlines five key considerations for not only making an offer, but the actual offer itself.


1. A candidate’s compensation history should have been obtained early in the process, along with desired compensation information. If a candidate works for a competitor, you should be aware if he or she is bound by any employment agreement considerations, such as non- compete, non-solicitation of employees/customers/ prospects agreements. The internal or external recruiter can complete this process. You do not want any surprises when it comes to making an offer—and neither does a candidate.

2. The hiring executive should have the key provisions of the offer outlined on paper and discuss it with the recruiter (internal or external). External recruiters can take the emotion out of the discussion with the candidate by either introducing the offer or assisting with the negotiation. This should be driven by the hiring executive. Roles should be clarified up front with the internal and external recruiter to prevent any misunderstandings. If the search firm is a retained firm, their fee should be independent of the offer in most cases and fixed up front based upon targeted compensation.

3. Certain executives and positions are more prone to loss of jobs if a company sells, especially to a strategic buyer. To reduce this risk, the employer should consider one or more of the following strategies: a long-term incentive, a sale incentive, a change of control provision that triggers severance, typically if the executive loses their position within a 12-24 month period following a change of control. All of these can help retain key talent and often help drive shareholder value if properly structured.

4. The Executive Search Consultant or hiring executive should make it clear at this stage, if not sooner, that he or she does not want an offer to be used as leverage with a candidate’s current employer. They should ask up front what the candidate’s response will be if his current employer counters with an offer. This makes it clear to the candidate that the company does not intend to play games. It also confirms the candidate’s real intentions with respect to a potential offer.

5. Offers can be extended, but be sure to specify that it is contingent on a positive background check.

 For more information on acquiring and retaining talent, download our free whitepaper here. For help with your executive search, you can also contact us!

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