Making an Offer
Prior to making an offer, the hiring manager and HR outline what’s needed in the position and gain consensus on a proposed salary and incentives, where appropriate. Research demonstrates that it is best to begin a relationship by offering the best possible compensation package. The candidate’s current salary and experience (civilian and military), regional market data and the position’s peer group salaries are typically used to determine the appropriate salary offer.
Knowing the degree of flexibility in going beyond the initial offer should be agreed upon prior to initiating a verbal offer. The hiring manager or HR contacts the candidate to advise they have been selected for the position, outlines the position title, responsibilities, work location, supervisor, proposed start date and salary. When applicable, incentive potential, relocation assistance, and other benefits should also be communicated at that time.
In most cases, once the incumbent confirms interest in the position, the discussion can be brought to closure by confirming that he/she will receive an offer packet via USPS or express courier. Conversely, it is important to immediately recognize and address any hesitation about the offer. Listen and ensure understanding of objections, answer any questions, and reassure the incumbent that every attempt will be made to resolve his/her concerns. A revised offer letter reflecting changes should be sent if further negotiations surface after the initial packet was forwarded.
Most offers are contingent on the incumbent having a successful drug screening, background check, and he/she signing/returning certain documents (including the offer letter that outlines salary, benefits, job location, supervisor and start date). Additional documents may include the required Federal I-9 form, State Tax form, Background Check Authorization, Insurance Enrollment form, Medical Evaluation Questionnaire, Intellectual Property Agreement, Non-compete Agreement (for selling positions).
Upon receipt of the signed paperwork and confirmation that he/she has been cleared for hire, HR or the hiring manager should phone the incumbent to reconfirm the start date and provide any other local reporting instructions. Should results of the drug screening or background check prevent the candidate from being employed, a retraction letter declining the offer should be sent immediately.
Once there is confirmation that the offer was accepted, the other candidates who were interviewed need to be notified that the position has been filled. Typically, HR is responsible for these notifications. Occasionally, candidates who were not selected may contact HR or the hiring manager to better understand why they weren’t selected. In these cases, it’s important to provide specific information about the individual’s gap(s) relative to the attributes used to rank all candidates.