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How to Make a Job Offer

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A Successful Job Offer Culminates in a New Employee

A Successful Job Offer Culminates in a New Employee

Phil Date
Definition:

Interested in knowing how to make a job offer? It's an invitation for a job candidate to become an employee in your company.

The job offer contains the details of your offer of employment including:

The job offer may be negotiable, depending on the position. Or the employer and the prospect may have negotiated the details of the offer prior to the formal, written offer.

Here are the steps that an employer takes in making a job offer.

Steps in Making a Job Offer

  • The employees who were involved in interviewing prospective employees make their recommendations to the hiring manager who makes the final decision, in conjunction with Human Resources staff, about the candidate to hire.

  • The salary and benefits package were decided upon earlier in the recruitment process, often as early as the determination of the need for a position. The hiring manager makes these decisions in conjunction with HR and in consideration of his or her budget for the position.

  • With the help of HR, and depending on your company protocol, informal communication about compensation occurs between the hiring manager or HR and the selected candidate. (Occasionally, this discussion occurs in email.) You should always use a point person for the compensation discussion. If several people are involved, the possibility of misinformation, a misunderstanding, and potentially, a lost candidate, increases.

    When salary range and benefits have been discussed and understood during the interview process, this step can progress smoothly.

  • As discussed in tips for a successful salary negotiation, you will have more leeway to negotiate and make counter offers with higher level positions. Beginning to mid-career positions have salary ranges and benefits packages that are standard for new employees. You may experience a potential employee who looks at your salary offer and counter offers with a request for a few thousand more dollars. Depending on how you value the candidate, and your time investment in reopening recruitment, you may agree, or not.

    For example, right out of college, a candidate was offered a beginning marketing generalist position at a Washington, D.C. firm. The offer was for $50,000. Because of the cost of living in the area, she responded with a counter offer that requested $55,000, which she eventually received. (This was quite scary for her because she was also concerned that the employer would walk away from the negotiation.)

  • This informal approach culminates in the preparation of a job offer letter that confirms the terms the employer and the candidate have agreed to verbally and in email for his or her employment during negotiations.

    Generally, the candidate signs and returns the letter upon receipt. Once, I had a candidate who decided to reopen negotiations at this point in the process. He made a counter offer to the already agreed upon terms in the offer letter. We learned something about our prospective employee’s integrity and we never made a counter offer.

  • While I recommend this informal approach to compensation negotiation because it builds relationships, saves time and paperwork, and reduces stress for both parties, I know that many employers start the job offer with a standard job offer letter or contract.

  • In this scenario, the prospective employee may accept the job offer or make a counter offer that usually asks for a higher salary, potentially expanded benefits, and additional perks that were not in the job offer letter. Senior candidates for higher level jobs are also likely to ask that the terms of severance, if the relationship fails to work out, are spelled out in the employment contract. The more senior the position, the more likely the candidate is to negotiate. The negotiation can last several weeks as a senior candidate – with reason - will generally ask an attorney to review the employment contract.

  • When all goes well, the result of the job offer process is an employee who joins your company excited and looking forward to making contributions, getting to know coworkers, and forging a relationship that will last for years. HR, the hiring manager, and participating staff can celebrate the successful recruitment and hiring of a qualified person whose employment they are excited to welcome.

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