You’ve done it – you’ve been through the hiring process and have found the perfect candidate to fill your open role.
In an attempt to not lose them in the hiring process, you’ve given them multiple options in terms of career path, how they structure their benefits package, and how they distribute their compensation across equity, salary and stock options. They’re sure to take the offer, because they can customize it for their needs–no matter what those needs are.
Be careful when providing a candidate with too many options–you might end up losing them if there’s a counter offer.
If they receive another offer that is simpler, and seems better all around, they might not take the time to go through all of the options you’re offering to see whether your offer is a better fit.
Alternative offers are the most common reason that candidates don’t take positions:
“According to the most recent Staffing & Recruiting Pulse Survey, 46 percent of recruiters say the top reason candidates decline a job offer is because they received another offer. The second biggest reason? 30 percent of recruiters said compensation and benefits offered were not in line with the candidate’s expectations.
The good news is that, according to 77 percent of recruiters, candidates decline a job offer less than 10 percent of the time.”
The good news is that you don’t have to be complicated to be flexible. We’re providing three suggestions on simplifying your offer process, while keeping expectations clear and enticing.
Keep the benefits and compensation packages as straightforward as possible.
Benefits can be a very confusing part of the offer process for candidates. In many cases, a lot of information is thrown at them at once, and it’s hard to understand.
Katie Douthwaite Wolf, Staff Writer for The Muse, shared an overwhelming experience that she had when receiving a confusing job offer:
“When I was first offered a startup job, the compensation package stated that it included profit sharing, but didn’t specify what that meant, when it would start, or how it would get paid. (And because of that, I never actually saw a percentage of those profits.)
It was also part of a confusing list of benefits that were each given a cash value and added to the total proposed salary at the bottom of the page—including bi-weekly apartment cleanings ($4,000 value) and a business cell phone ($1,000 value). They were presented as dollar amounts added into my salary (which made it appear enticing), but in reality, they wouldn’t actually show up in my paycheck.”
In her blog post, Katie cautions other candidates about glossing over these confusing terms before accepting any job offer–keep in mind that confusing representation of what you’re offering may make you seem less reliable, or make you seem like you’re trying to pull the wool over your candidate’s eyes.
It’s important to also keep in mind the more work a candidate has to do to understand your benefits and compensation package, the less likely they are to say ‘no thank you’ when another offer comes around.
Here are three quick tips to streamline your compensation and benefits offerings:
- Break down exactly what they’ll be receiving hourly or yearly, including what to expect per pay period – bonuses, stock options, commissions or profit sharing should factor into this.
- Summarize your medical insurance plan and information about your provider, along with sending documentation. Include the enrollment deadline and effective date, minimum hours they need to work to qualify, and the payroll deduction schedule.
- Finally, don’t forget about any other additional benefits you’re offering. Flex accounts, life insurance, retirement accounts, dental, vision, learning opportunities, company getaways, etc. are all important to the decision-making process.
Before you even get to your conversation about benefits and salary, make sure your expectations during the application and interview stage aren’t outlandish – it might leave the wrong employer brand impression with them.
Make sure what you’re requiring of them throughout the application process is reasonable.
Candidates often say that the length of the application process is their biggest obstacle to applying. While it’s a common practice to ask more of candidates in order to find the ones who are truly interested – often in the form of assignments and lengthy interview processes – it might be discouraging applicants.
The best candidates likely have several options to choose from. If you’re making things too complicated for them, they may choose to go with another company with an easier process.
One way to simplify this upfront is to write the most clear job description possible. They’re a very important and often overlooked part of the employer-candidate relationship:
“Job descriptions are one of the most misunderstood elements of the employment relationship,” Scott Fitch, division president of Insperity Performance and Organizational Management told Bamboo HR. “They come into play during the highest-risk times for employers – hiring, assessment and termination–so it’s important to get them right.”
While it’s important to focus on because it’s often forgotten, the job description isn’t the only part of the hiring process you can simplify.
Here are few tips to keep expectations reasonable for your candidates:
- Start with your job description. If the expectations for the role aren’t clear upfront, it could set a bad tone for the rest of the process. Be as clear as possible about goals, daily responsibilities, and department structure to provide a clear picture for your candidates.
- Think twice about asking for an assignment if a portfolio will suffice. It’s common to ask for an assignment or specific work sample from candidates to get a clearer picture of exactly how they would work for you, but if they already have work samples that suffice, you might be able to skip this step.
- Be clear about next steps. A good example is visibility into who they’ll interview with before an offer can be made. If you’re expecting them to come in for four rounds of interviews and give a presentation, let them know ahead of time so they can prepare.
Even more important than the expectations for their candidacy, you need to be clear about expectations for their role. If not, they might take another offer if one is made available.
Keep communication about their expectations as clear as possible.
Every organization is structured differently. Because of this, details of each role like job titles, department structure and goals can vary by company, even in similar roles.
If you’re confusing your candidates with wordy explanations, confusing titles and (gasp!) spelling and grammar mistakes, the good ones are likely to move on:
“A 2012 Monster survey of 2,030 job seekers revealed that meaningless jargon, confusing job titles, and spelling and grammar mistakes kept them from applying for jobs. Just as you’re reviewing tens or hundreds of resumes, the applicant is also reviewing companies based on their job descriptions.” – Insperity
There are a couple of points you can focus on when looking to simplify your explanations of your positions:
- The job title. If your job titles are altered to better fit your brand or your company structure, further explain them in the description itself. For example, if you’re looking for a “Customer Happiness Hero,” it might be best to specify that you’re looking for someone with customer service experience.
- Roles sometimes expand beyond what’s originally expected of them. While you’ll likely include expectations like, “works well with a team,” “good presenter,” and more, be clear exactly what goals you’re looking for a position to achieve, and if possible, what goals will benefit candidates the most in the way of bonuses or career advancement.
- Finally, put your best foot forward. Ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, repetitive bullet points or wordy sentences. This won’t be the best first impression of your employer brand.
The goal of these exercises is not to take away from the candidate review process, but to streamline practices that might be turned away from offerings that are too complicated.
One of the best ways to guard against this occurrence is communication. If you’re having trouble finding time to communicate seamlessly with all of your candidates, consider leaning on an agency to improve your candidate experience – they often have more bandwidth for regular candidate contact.
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