Once you identify a promising candidate and have checked his or her references, move ahead with the offer. Delays in the hiring process commonly result in employers losing their first-choice candidates.
Skillful salary negotiation is critical. Low pay can be seen as a warning sign that your firm doesn’t value its employees, so you want your offer to be at least on par with industry standards (and ideally exceed them). Since gathering data about salary trends is not always easy, look for publications that offer this information, such as the annual Salary Guide from OfficeTeam.
Once you’ve decided to extend an offer, put all pertinent information in writing. Move quickly to finalize acceptance of an offer, but be sure to note in a follow-up letter any contingencies, such as the need to receive documentation of credentials.
If you can’t meet a candidate’s pay expectations, look for ways to modify the rest of the compensation package. For instance, you might provide additional vacation days or a performance-based bonus after a specified period of time.
On the other hand, don’t gloss over signs of a bad fit. You shouldn’t have to work too hard to persuade someone to join your firm. Similarly, don’t agree to something that would disrupt your standard practices. If a candidate seems to be accepting an offer begrudgingly, you could end up with an employee who remains dissatisfied or continues his or her job search after being employed by you.
Once the offer is accepted, start immediately to integrate the new hire into your company. You might offer additional information on the firm’s history and people, benefits and office practices — anything that will help ensure a smooth start to employment.