Managing the job offer process


You’ve advertised a role and the response has been excellent. You’ve interviewed several job seekers and found someone who you think will be perfect. Now what? How do you make a job offer that will maximise your chances of the professional accepting and how do you work out the right salary package to offer?  We surveyed professionals and hiring managers to find out their views, and have compiled our own recommendations.


Always confirm a job offer in writing

It’s absolutely fine to make a job offer verbally initially, but don’t expect a professional to accept until it’s been confirmed in writing. We found that over half (52%) of professionals said that they would prefer a written job offer, with only 48% preferring a verbal proposal. And almost two thirds (63%) said they wouldn’t accept a job offer without being sent an employment contract. 

Our research showed that 60% of employers make an employment offer verbally, with only 40% stating that they provide a written proposal. We recommend sending a written confirmation within two or three days of a verbal job offer, if possible. It could be the difference between your offer being accepted and the jobseeker choosing one from a competing employer. We recommend sending a written confirmation within two or three days of a verbal job offer, if possible. It could be the difference between your offer being accepted and the jobseeker choosing one from a competing employer.

Offer professionals what they are worth

How much should you pay a professional you want to recruit? There’s no straightforward answer and the amount will depend on whereabouts your business (or the job) is based, the industry you’re in, the company and your own budget, as well as factors such as the role that you’re recruiting for and how competitive the market is. 

Obviously you don’t want to pay someone a lot more than you need to, but if you offer significantly less than your competitors you may not be able to attract your first choice. Many professionals are becoming savvy about how much they can earn by using online resources such as Robert Walters’ Global Salary Survey and looking at job adverts for similar roles. However, our survey found that most organisations refer to their own salary bandings first (59%) with only around one in five (22%) using salary surveys to benchmark pay rates when recruiting.

We recommend examining internal bandings to make sure they’re in line with the rest of the market.

Promote the right elements of the job

Our survey shows that job seekers focus on the salary package and their cultural fit into the business when assessing a job offer. Only 9% of professionals we spoke to think a company’s reputation is the most important factor, and employers indicate they know this with only 7% telling us they believe that reputation is the main priority for professionals in the job offer. 

However, almost a third (31%) of hiring managers actively sell the company brand during the offer. We think this could be a wasted opportunity. The best time to sell the brand is when you are advertising a vacancy, not at the offer stage. Based on our research, the key benefits to sell in the job offer are:

  • Salary package; 
  • Cultural fit and
  • Career progression opportunities.

Make your job offer hard to refuse

If you’ve made a job offer, it’s frustrating if the person you’ve chosen for the job turns it down. However, if you understand why a refusal can happen, you may be able to minimise the chances of it occurring. Our research shows that, of the 80% of professionals who had turned down a job offer in the past:

  • 48% said it was the result of a better offer from another employer;
  • 22% said that further research into the organisation had put them off; 
  • 15% said it was because the offer differed from that discussed in the recruitment process and
  • 7% reported that it was due to a long or mishandled recruitment process.

One of the best ways to ensure your job offer will be accepted is to monitor – and manage - expectations throughout the recruitment process. This includes having an understanding of the job seeker’s key motivations for looking for a new role, their salary expectations and also their understanding of your business and culture.

If you have this information you can make the right decision about who to offer the job to, and make sure the offer is tailored to the job seeker’s expectations.

Read the whitepaper in full.

Find out how much you're worth with the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

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