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How to Make the Best, Compelling Offer to Top Talent

Posted on November 20, 2015
Lori ShearinWritten by Lori Shearin | Email author

Very recently I had a conversation with the COO and CFO of a client regarding a top candidate who had turned down an offer.  They were shocked and confused.  They had offered the candidate the compensation she requested and had thrown in a few small perks, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to seal the deal.  Ultimately that candidate (who had multiple offers on the table) accepted another offer.  Why?

how to make a compelling offer to the best talent out thereNot long ago, during the down economy almost every offer was accepted.  However, things have changed.  In today’s competitive marketplace, top candidates are receiving multiple offers.  That means your offer process must be updated and fine-tuned.  Welcome to the days of the compelling offer…

What is a Compelling Offer?

A compelling offer is anything that sets your organization and position above other potential competitors.  What can your organization offer to attract and retain top talent?  A compelling offer can include a host of things:

  • signing bonus;
  • equity in the company;
  • stock options;
  • additional total rewards and more.

The key to a successful compelling offer is identifying what an individual candidate’s top needs are and what will get them to accept your offer.

How to Make a Compelling Offer

The recruiter, hiring manager and human resources must do their due diligence to uncover what the criteria are that will make a top candidate accept your position.  Thorough compensation analysis must be done.  Teams must learn how to “sell” to in demand candidates.  Recruiters must learn how to successfully combat counteroffers.  Human resources needs to evaluate their total rewards package and ensure it’s in line with today’s competitive market.

What to Include in a Compelling Offer

This is where all of that homework comes to fruition.  The most important component of a compelling offer is identifying and understanding what will ensure that an individual will accept your offer.  A compelling offer is more than compensation however that’s where it begins.  Once compensation is competitive, what else can be included that is very attractive to your candidate?  Is it a flexible work schedule, the ability to telecommute, additional PTO, added bonuses, competitive rewards?   Or is it tied more to career progression?  Is there a defined career path?  A promise of promotion or added responsibilities?  This is also where your company’s Employee Value Proposition comes into play.

Have an Established Employee Value Proposition

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can be heavily used in a compelling offer.  Organizations that have an established EVP are more likely to attract and retain top talent.  This is an employment deal that defines what an employer expects from its employees and what the organization provides to its employees.  Basically the EVP helps an organization define its promise to its employees.  Your EVP should discuss how your organization meets the employees’ expectations and what you expect from the employees to help the business grow.  It’s an employment deal for the present and future.  The EVP should outline the whole work experience:  culture, mission and values, total rewards and how this is achieved.  A compelling offer will include how the candidate fits into this plan and how their hiring will impact the organization in a positive manner.

Move Quickly with Your Compelling Offer

Top candidates may have multiple offers so once you define your compelling offer, then you must move quickly.  One of the top reasons organizations lose their candidate of choice is because they don’t move quickly enough.  As soon as you know that a candidate is right for your organization, move forward.  Time is truly of the essence.

Compelling offers are here to stay.  If your organization aligns itself with competitive rewards and good communication, you have a good chance of hiring your next great talent.  However, if your team does its homework and presents the candidate with a compelling offer, that chance goes from good to practical done.

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