8 Steps to Making
the Right Offer of
By following this guide to making an offer of employment to a candidate you will substantially reduce the number of
people you lose out on, who ultimately succumb to a counter offer, offer from somewhere else, or simply reject your
Consider the Bigger Picture before
Making an Offer
You’ve found a great candidate having exhausted your
own direct hiring channels (and also possibly those of
your recruitment agency partnerships) and now want to
make sure that when you make an offer of employment
the candidate will accept it. When delivering an offer to
a candidate you are always mindful about them
accepting a counter-offer from their current employer or
accepting another offer elsewhere if they’re active in the
Below are some important points to consider before you
make the offer:
Is your Offer Fair and Competitive?
It might sound obvious, but to the best of your
knowledge have you offered the candidate fair market
value for the role they are going to be doing and is it
in line with their experience? Look objectively at what
the candidate’s value is to your organisation and avoid
getting preoccupied with what their current salary is. If
you decide to “low ball” the candidate and offer the
bare minimum then you should accept the risk
associated with this.
We are in a candidate driven market where really good people are hard to find, let alone secure. Companies like
yours are after the best candidates who will have a substantial impact on the bottom line of the business they run.
Before delivering an offer it’s vital that you understand their collective remuneration and not just their basic salary.
The candidate might have to walk away from certain benefits in their current organisation e.g. increased holiday
allowance (having accrued additional days via length of service), shares they’ve accrued during their time with the
company, enhanced pension schemes, free parking, health benefits, subsidised travel, childcare vouchers etc. You
may have to consider compensating the candidates for the benefits they may have to give up if they’re going to
accept your offer of employment.
By looking at the candidate’s value to your organisation, the budget for that hire and the cost of having this role
vacant, it may be commercially sensible to:
Offer the maximum you possibly can to
increase the chances of securing the
Create a real sense of engagement and
buy-in from the candidate as an
employer who values their worth
Recognise the cost of going back to the
drawing board could in fact exceed the
saving you might make if you chose to
offer the candidate a lower salary which
they subsequently decline.
Take into account that if a candidate is
not working, this should not
automatically result in a low offer being
made, they will have a fair value in the
market regardless of their current
Calculate the Cost of Starting the
Hiring Process…. again!
Add together the cost, both in time and monetary
terms of having to re-advertise the role, arrange
interviews (which will also impact on hiring managers
time), all with no guarantee that you'll find the right
candidate as good as the one you wanted to secure
in the first place. It may be second time round you
appoint someone out of necessity and end up paying
an inflated salary just because you can't risk going
back to the drawing board.
The other important factor is to consider the cost and
profit impact of having the role vacant for a longer
period of time with no guarantee that you'll find a
candidate as good as the one who's turned your offer
down. Also be mindful of your employer brand,
candidates will have seen the role advertised once and
then they are seeing it re-advertised again in a short
space of time. This would be a red flag to many
candidates who have a number of alternative roles to
Coming up with a fair and competitive package is only
part of the process to securing the candidate, it's
important to consider what other aspects of the total
package are going to be important to the candidate.
Put yourself in the candidate's shoes and think about
what else might be important to you if you were
considering making a career move.
Does the Candidate feel wanted?
We all acknowledge recruiting the right people is difficult,
competitive and fraught with risks right up until they start.
Candidate’s have an obligation to get across at interview that
they are keen on both the role and to work for the organisation.
We’ve highlighted the importance of making a competitive offer to
a candidate, but your chance of securing them can be further
enhanced by how wanted they feel throughout the process. The
main challenge to this is that various people can be involved
throughout the recruitment process and consistency in approach
can be mixed.
We’ve found that organisations who approach candidates with a
“justify why you think your good enough to work for us” mentality
alienate good candidates which only serves to push them into the
hands of your competitors. We’re not suggesting that you roll out
the red carpet and make the interview process fluffy, but there is
a way to engage with candidates and make them feel wanted.
Making a move to a new employer is a leap into the unknown for
many people, they will leave behind friends and a knowledge of
how things are done. Candidates are keen to understand what
kind of induction they will receive, what does it look like, how
long does it last etc. Will their training be done in a different
location to their normal base, who will be involved in their
induction, what are the organisation’s expectations of them during
this period? This is not something that should be communicated a
week before they start, but instead when the offer is relayed to
them. Do not have a candidate hanging on for information you
consider trivial, but is of high importance to them as they are
vulnerable right up until the morning they start with you.
Training & Development
Ensure you’ve clearly communicated what your organisations philosophy
is behind growing, nurturing and developing talent… Candidates will want
some reassurance of what they will receive that will enable them to
fulfill their career aspirations. Training and development can be one of
the key reasons why people look for a new role, if your organisation is
renowned for this then actively market it to a candidate throughout the
process, and remind them of it when delivering an offer of employment.
Don’t delay making an offer
If you’re in the fortunate position of having found more than 1 good
candidate for the role and are deciding on which candidate to offer,
always try to avoid the decision process becoming more prolonged than
is absolutely necessary. It’s important to recognize that if you think the
candidate(s) are good then so will other organisations who they might
be interviewing with. If you dither on making an offer you could infact
lose both candidates and be left to go back to square one. If you are
managing the recruitment process for a hiring manager you might need
to ensure they are aware of the need to make prompt decisions and
highlight the consequences of failing to do so. Most candidates
understand it may take a few days after final interview for a decision
to be made, but this should be communicated accordingly.
We find that on more than one occasion line managers will say things
like “we’ll make a decision and come back to you tomorrow”, thus
setting an expectation with the candidate. Our advice would be to
always avoid putting timescales on when feedback or an offer will be
received and instead say for example; “we’ll endeavour to come back to
you as soon as we can, we hope this would be before the middle of
next week.” The point we are making is communication is vital and
organisations who do this consistently with candidates in a timely
manner throughout the process are the ones likely to secure the best
Putting the Offer in Writing
Any delays in putting the offer in writing can create question marks in the candidate’s mind. We have examples of
organisations, typically larger ones, who still haven’t raised the offer paperwork less than a week before a candidate
is due to start. The quicker you can generate offer letters (even if it is an email confirming the offer before the
offer paperwork is generated, which is typical of larger organisations), details of your bonus, benefit schemes etc.
then the more secure and confident that candidate will feel that they’ve made the right choice.
Often people make important decisions on an element of ‘gut feel’, does it feel right? Any unnecessary delays in
following up of a verbal offer can create seeds of doubt in the candidate’s mind, especially if they have a written
offer from another company who was still an attractive option to them. Use engaging language in your written
correspondence with the candidate to ensure they feel valued. A phone call from the line manager giving a personal
welcome costs the organisation nothing, but the value to the candidate who is joining the company is huge.
Securing your preferred candidate isn’t always easy but the actions that organisations take through the process
determines success or failure. Line Managers can need coaching and support from HR teams regarding how to
successfully recruit and on-board people and it can be an automatic thought that a Manager knows how to do this.
The Market has changed and there can be no blame attached to organisations that are unaware of these changes
or indeed hiring conditions at the time. By sharing our thoughts about current market conditions and what it takes
to successfully offer and secure talent, with HR teams and interviewing managers, we’re sure you’ll notice a positive
impact with the number of candidates who accept your offer of employment and successfully start with you.
Detail2Leisure are one of the UKs leading hospitality recruitment specialists focusing specifically on contract catering
& facilities management, restaurants, bars, hotels, chefs, leisure & entertainment venues. From our offices in London,
Manchester, Edinburgh & Dublin we work closely with our clients on a national basis, so that we are able to
recommend candidates who are closely aligned to their organisational values and behaviours.
Thanks for reading!