3 Numbers You Should Know Before Making the Recruitment Offer

The overriding goal when making a recruitment offer to a candidate is that the candidate accepts that offer. Make sense, right?

Unfortunately, just because you make the recruitment offer does NOT mean the candidate is going to accept said offer. That is especially the case in a candidate-driven market like the one we’re currently experiencing. In fact, candidates are turning down offers left and right.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hiring manager or Human Resources representative. It doesn’t matter if you’re an internal recruiter or corporate recruiter. And yes, you might have already guessed that it doesn’t matter if you’re an independent, third-party recruiter. Candidates will still turn down the offer if they believe the offer is not good enough.

The math of the recruitment offer

So . . . how can you ensure that the candidate will accept the recruitment offer? Well, there are a number of different strategies and tactics that you could try. However, for the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to attack the problem with math. That’s right, math!

Well, maybe not with math, per se, but definitely with numbers. That’s because the right numbers—specifically the knowledge of the right numbers—will go a long way to ensure that the candidate accepts the recruitment offer.

Which numbers are those? Well, to help identify them, we’re going to we’re going to draw upon the wisdom Terry Petra, one of the recruiting industry’s leading trainers and business consultants. Petra has extensive experience as a producer, manager, and trainer in all areas of professional search, including retainer, contingency, and contract, as well as clerical/office support and temporary.

Crunching (and checking) the numbers

According to Petra, in order for one of your clients to present an offer that will be accepted by your candidate, they need to know four numbers:

1. Your client must know what they can afford to pay.

If they say it’s “open” or “totally depends on the person” or “whatever it takes,” do not accept any of these as a valid answer.  Ask what amount they have budgeted for the position.  If they have not budgeted an amount for the position, it also means they have not budgeted an amount for your fee.  Is that the type of client with whom you wish to work?  I think not.

There can be many reasons why a client could be reluctant to disclose the range of compensation to a recruiter.  They may suspect their range is too low, and therefore, you will not work on their opening.  They may believe that if you know the true range of compensation, you will only present candidates at the high end of the range because you will receive a higher fee if one of them is hired.  Or in another disheartening scenario, they may not trust you to keep the information confidential.

If you identify any of these reasons, then you should not proceed.  You have yet to earn the trust of your client.  This lack of trust will show up again and again in many areas of the recruiting process and severely compromise your ability to effectively create a positive outcome for your client.

2. Your client must know the current market value for the type of individual required to successfully perform within the position.

An experienced recruiter with a highly developed recruiting software is the best source for this up-to-date information.  As a matter of standard practice, concurrent with your search efforts, you should be compiling compensation information that can be used to clearly establish market value.

3. Your client must know the exact level of compensation that needs to be included in the offer to gain an acceptance from your candidate.

Obviously, this is information that you should share with the client in preparation for their first interview with your candidates.

Keep in mind that another number used to be the compensation history and/or the present or last level of compensation for each of your candidates. However, more and more states are making it illegal to even ask about a candidate’s current or past level of compensation. (In case you’re wondering, here is a running list of states and localities that have outlawed pay history questions. As of the publishing of this blog post, the list included 17 state-wide bans and 18 local bans.)

But wait, there’s more! There are more numbers, that is. If you’re a third-party recruiter, these are numbers that you should determine with your candidate.

First is the lowest level at which they would even consider an offer, one dollar below which you have their authorization to instruct your client to offer the position to someone else.  Second is the specific offer number that they would feel comfortable accepting on the spot.

Armed with this information, you should be able to guide the client in preparing an offer that meets or surpasses the second number.  If you can’t accomplish this, then prepare your client to move to their secondary candidate (one of yours, if you’ve done your job properly). Or prepare them properly for an offer turn-down.

Do your clients know these four numbers before making an offer to a candidate?

Top Echelon’s Training Library

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 in our Recruiter Training Library. 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.

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:

For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.

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