The Offer: Let's Make a Deal!

You've made your choice, and now it's time to close the deal. Most managers first telephone the person to extend the job offer, and then follow up with a written letter to confirm. You're enthusiastic and excited to welcome this person aboard, so let it show! Though in some situations the job offer is a process of negotiation, most often the candidate knows the terms of employment. Nonetheless, you should review them in your phone conversation.

Some people, especially those who work in technical or competitive fields, have applied for multiple jobs and may be considering several offers. Other people want to take some time to think about working for you and your company. Extend a time period for the person to consider your offer — forty-eight hours is reasonable. Call back after that time. If the person accepts, send the confirmation letter by mail (return receipt requested or certified mail is a good idea).

What if your chosen candidate declines your offer? Hang up the phone and move on to your second choice. People change their minds or are not interested after an interview for any number of reasons. Some will contact you to take themselves out of contention, though most will wait to see whether you offer a job. When the person was someone who seemed very enthusiastic during the interview, you might ask the reason for the change of heart. Sometimes there are factors you didn't consider or circumstances about the job that the candidate misinterpreted. You may have a chance to encourage your top choice to reconsider if you feel he or she is highly qualified and desirable for the job.

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