All employers have been there: final interviews have been held and you’ve agonised over which candidate is best for the role, only to be told they are not going to take the job – or worse, they just completely ignore your phone calls. So, before picking up the phone to offer someone a job, stop and think!
There is an essential process to undertake before letting go of the reins, because once you’ve informed a candidate that he or she is the ‘chosen one’, the entire power balance shifts in their favour. The candidate now knows that they’re the best person for the job, putting them in a strong position to start negotiating for a better salary or job benefits. The majority of candidates will not attempt to do this (it’s estimated that one in five turn down job offers), but if you advertised a wage scale, the wily ones will naturally push for the top end. This is a bad position for any employer.
Always retain control; maintaining a strong negotiating position will inevitably save your company money, as well as keep the balance of power with you, the employer. Whether you’re in sales recruitment or call centre recruitment, no sector is immune from this dilemma, and before leaping to the phone to congratulate your new employee, be sure to discuss a ‘pre-employment offer’.
It’s not only up to candidates to close employment deals by selling themselves in interviews; employers need to take responsibility too. To make sure a candidate is serious about a job and will accept an offer of employment on the agreed terms, it is essential to contact them with a pre-employment offer first. Inform all potential employees that they have made the final shortlist – regardless if you have one or not – and that you need to confirm their interest in the job, as well as their terms of employment, before making a decision. These terms should cover a variety of bases, including notice period, start date, wage, working hours, etc. Make a record of the conversation, just in case it is disputed later down the line. By using a pre-employment offer, you keep the psychological balance in your company’s favour and significantly reduce the chance of getting egg on your face.
Making a job offer without using this strategy could leave you at a disadvantage, especially with clever candidates – you could end up paying a higher salary or providing bigger benefits than you expected. A pre-employment offer also avoids sticky situations, such as candidates turning down offers of employment. It is an opportunity to learn about a candidate’s reservations, giving them a chance to talk through any concerns. And finally, do not to inform other shortlisted candidates that they haven’t been successful until your preferred choice is 100 percent confirmed. It’s a simple strategy, but one that can save a lot of time and disappointment in the long-run.
Of course, a lot of this can all be avoided at the start of the recruitment process, by using a reliable and meticulous recruitment agency. Much time and money can be saved by leaving the legwork to the experts. That doesn’t mean paying huge fees to traditional recruiters or spending ages wading through a deluge of responses either. Instead, find yourself a recruitment agency that offers a shortlist of relevant, qualified candidates for a low-cost, flat fee. Ultimately, by simplifying each stage of the recruitment process, the road to final employment becomes that much smoother.