A To-Do List for Extending Job Offers

Have you ever extended an offer of employment to a job candidate only to find that the candidate then goes back to his employer and accepts a counter offer? We’ve all been there. But if we’d followed a pre-job-offer-extension checklist, the scenario above might not have happened (or it would happen far less frequently).

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Having a to-do list of things that you will make sure the candidate understands can go a long way to ensuring you end up onboarding a candidate quite happy to start working for you, one who clearly knows he’s going to work for you soon.

Here’s how such a checklist works: it ensures that all aspects of the offer are settled before you extend a written job offer.

Of course, you’re going to want to make sure the candidate clearly understands the compensation you will offer, the benefits he’ll receive and what it will take to earn any bonuses (if applicable). You’ll also want to discuss and settle upon a tentative start date.

But there are two additional important things you should discuss with a candidate before extending a formal offer. These often are overlooked and, if you do, don’t be surprised if a candidate accepts your offer but never actually becomes your employee. They are:

  1. You want to make sure the candidate won’t accept a counter offer at his current employer.

Some candidates do look for work just so they can take an offer back to their current boss and ask for more money. This rarely is wise because (among other things) now the current boss knows his current employee isn’t all that committed to his current position and guess who will be laid off first when layoffs are necessary? But that’s not your problem.

Most candidates aren’t looking to play you: they simply return to their boss to give notice and the boss counters with an offer the candidate (thinks he) simply can’t refuse.

Instead, have a verbal OK from the candidate that any counter offer won’t be accepted.

  1. You also want the candidate to agree not to entertain any other offers from any other companies.

By the time a candidate receives one job offer, chances are good that he will receive at least one more from another company, especially when he mentions to that company that he’s received an offer from you.

Ask him where he is with other companies and don’t extend an offer until he agrees that he will let the other company know he is withdrawing his candidacy once you do so.

Can/will a candidate change his mind even after he agrees to these two stipulations? Of course! But this type of discussion and verbal agreement on the part of the candidate will decrease the chances of that happening.

If a candidate accepts a job offer and then leaves you in the lurch and the work he would have done is critical, contact Helpmates for a temporary worker to help you while you look for another candidate. And – it’s definitely possible – our worker could end up being the individual you eventually hire!

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