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Home  > Article

Making a Job Offer

By From the career experts at Robert Half
Robert Half International

Salary negotiation is a critical step in the hiring process, largely because candidates with the most in-demand skills are likely to be already evaluating other employment opportunities. Following are some suggestions to help ensure your offer is as attractive as possible.

  • Act quickly. After you've selected a prospective hire, make an offer as soon as possible.  If you delay, you may find your top candidate has already accepted a position with a competitor.
  • Carefully consider your employment offer.  Before entering into negotiations with a candidate, have a strong understanding of compensation trends in the field.  The offer should be commiserate with the candidate's level of expertise and in line with the industry and your firm.  The Salary Guide from Robert Half International is a good resource for compensation data on positions ranging from financial planner to forensic accountant to internal auditor.  Businesses that can't provide high starting salaries should consider offering other incentives -- such as stock options, profit sharing arrangements or additional vacation days.
  • Clarify the details.  It's best to offer the position to your candidate of choice over the phone.  Waiting to meet with him or her in person could cause an unnecessary delay, during which time the individual may accept a position with another firm.  Follow up the phone call with a formal letter that specifically outlines the person's title, pay and other aspects of the offer, including benefits.  Also let the individual know if there are any contingencies associated with the offer, such as the completion of a successful background check.
  • Provide encouragement.  When presenting the offer, be sure to highlight the many reasons someone would want to work for your company.  Discuss staff recognition programs, bonuses, advancement possibilities and unique aspects of the corporate culture.  Elements such as these, especially work/life balance initiatives, are particularly important to employees today. 
  • Know when to end negotiations.  When faced with a candidate who's reluctant to accept an offer, try to uncover the source of the hesitation.  Consider, though, the potential impact of any changes required to address his or her concerns.  For example, providing a salary that exceeds someone's potential contributions can ultimately affect your firm's overall compensation scale.  Likewise, persuading an applicant with serious reservations about the job to join the firm can backfire if that individual has second thoughts after starting with your organization.
  • Maintain communication.  It's important to stay in touch with the candidate after an offer is accepted.  Make occasional phone calls to the new employee to answer any questions he or she might have about the company or position.  Also consider sending a packet with literature about the organization so he or she can start with the firm on the right foot. 

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half International Inc., the world's largest specialized financial recruiting service and a leading authority on workplace and management trends. The company has more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Learn more at

Copyright 2008 Robert Half International. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.

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