We’ve discussed the offer stage of the hiring process extensively during our last several blog posts. However, there is one more consideration regarding the offer state that pertains to recruiting clients and their efforts to hire the best candidates.
There are instances in which, even though an employer is working with a recruiter to fill a position, the hiring manager decides they should be the one to make the official job offer to a candidate. This, in a word, is a mistake.
However, convincing the hiring manager or other company officials that this is a mistake is sometimes easier said than done. That’s even if the recruiter has worked for the organization for a number of years. That’s even if the recruiter has worked with the hiring manager before.
Making a job offer to a candidate: dangerous assumptions
So why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons, all of which are the product of dangerous assumptions on the part of the hiring manager and/or other company officials. Those assumptions include the following:
#1—The hiring manager is supposed to make the official job offer.
After all, the employer is the one with the open position. So that automatically means the hiring manager should make the offer, right? While that makes sense and while that is the case in a situation in which a recruiter is not a part, it is not the correct course of action in our scenario. If an employer is working with a recruiter, then the hiring manager does not automatically make the offer.
#2—The candidate is expecting the hiring manager to make the official job offer.
This also seems to make sense on the surface. Once again, if the employer was filling the position without the assistance of a recruiter, then yes, the candidate would expect the hiring manager to make the offer. But as stated above, that’s not the situation which we find ourselves.
#3—It increases the chances that the candidate will accept the offer.
This is probably the most dangerous assumption of all. This is akin to a candidate thinking that going around the recruiter and speaking with the hiring manager at the beginning of the process will help their candidacy. There are hiring managers who believe if they make the offer, it will indicate to the candidate how interested they are in hiring them. Once again, that makes sense. But also once again, it’s not the case.
Relationships and real estate
So why should recruiters make the official job offer?
That main reason boils down to the relationship that the recruiter has with the candidate. After all, the recruiter is one who sourced (found) the candidate. They’re the one who initially presented the opportunity to the candidate. They’re the one who convinced the candidate to consider the opportunity and enter the hiring process of the employer.
Then there’s the information that the recruiter has shared with the candidate. After all, the recruiter knows more about the position and the employer than the candidate does. And let’s say, just for the heck of it, that this is a confidential search and a top passive candidate we’re talking about. As such, the candidate would not have known about the job if not for the recruiter. (And while we’re at it, of course, the employer would not have known about the job if not for the recruiter, as well.)
The candidate believes that the recruiter is acting on their behalf and that they’re helping to guide through the process. They realize that the recruiter is a valuable commodity, both for their knowledge and the role they play in that process. And let’s not forget about the negotiation phase of the offer stage. This is where the candidate relies on the recruiter the most. Not only that, but the candidate feels more at ease negotiating with the recruiter than negotiating directly with the hiring manager.
The whole process is very similar to a real estate transaction. In such a transaction, both the home seller and the home buyer interact with a real estate agent. Typically, the seller and the buyer do not deal directly with one another. This is especially the case during the offer stage and the negotiations contained within the offer stage. It’s the same with the hiring process when an executive recruiter is involved and the employer wants to make an offer of employment.
If you’ve been a recruiter for any length of time and you’ve witnesses a hiring manager attempt to make an official job offer directly to a candidate, you know that this is true. That’s because you’ve more than likely had to deal with the fallout from such a situation.
Candidates do not expect the hiring manager to make the official job offer. They’re not prepared for it. It “throws them for a loop.” And the recruiter then has to do “damage control.”
And if a hiring manager at one of your clients insists on making the official job offer to a candidate, industry trainer Gary Stauble of The Recruiting Lab has written an excellent post for the Top Echelon Blog that addresses that issue. The blog post is titled “6 Things Recruiters Should Say When Their Client Insists on Making the Job Offer.”
Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars on our website. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.
Stauble has a webinar video on the Top Echelon website that can help with the dilemma posed in this blog post. The title of that video is “The #1 Strategy for Billing More and Working Less.”
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
- Big Biller applicant tracking system
- Top Echelon recruiting network
- Top Echelon Contracting recruitment back office
For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.