Next Stop: The Job Offer

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What you should learn from job candidates before making an offer

October 01, 2003
Bob Piper, Principal, The Talon Group


What you should learn from job candidates before making an offer:
  • Current compensation: base salary and bonus, bonus criteria, how and when paid, etc. Is it competitive, and are they maximizing their bonuses?
  • Compensation expectations (reasonable?).
  • Current benefits: major medical, 401(k), etc.
  • Other factors that might affect their decision; e.g., forfeiture of accrued bonuses or vesting.
  • Money aside, what's driving their desire to make a change?
  • How your compensation and benefits compare with what they have now or their expectations.

Key points of an offer include title; start date; base salary and when paid (biweekly, e.g.); bonus potential/criteria and when paid; benefits and eligibil-ity; and relocation assistance (if applicable).

Ideally, make the offer in person. If you've done your job, there should be no surprises, and the candidate will accept on the spot. If not, ask for an answer within two days. If it doesn't feel right today, it likely won't tomorrow.

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