Closing the Deal with Job Recruits
The March 2005 issue of the SullivanKreiss
“It's understandable when a recruit gets cold feet in the latter stages of the process,” says Roy. “After all, changing jobs does carry risk, particularly if it means moving to another part of the country. Sometimes a recruit decides that while the new position is enticing, the risk that it might not turn out to be what's promised or that moving away from friends, family and a familiar lifestyle is too great.”
Consequently, Roy argues, that's why closing well is so important. Any last minute bad vibes can tip the balance too far to the risk side of the risk/benefit scale for the recruit. Roy offers some suggestions for how to close these “recruiting” deals:
• Make the offer face-to-face. Roy says that he’s even heard of firm’s e-mail an offer to a candidate.
• Starting salary is an important item on the agenda, though it isn't necessarily the thing that recruits are most likely to negotiate. Most employers realize that "recruited candidates" often require a significant salary boost to justify leaving their current position for another opportunity. But sometimes salary is a greater stumbling block when a recruit is considering a job in a different part of the country.
• The most common issues that recruits tend to want to negotiate are sign-on bonuses and vacation time. Recruits can make a good case for sign-on bonuses when they would have to leave their firm before the end of the year because they may have to give up a significant year-end profit-sharing bonus. I've seen a number of recruits reject offers for that reason. Many recruits are also reluctant to give up vacation time they may have accrued over many years with their present employer.
Employers who are flexible with compensation and benefits packages will be able to accommodate the needs of many recruits. Recruits occasionally make unreasonable demands, though. When that happens, it's usually best to rescind your offer. Sometimes even a highly qualified, capable recruit just isn't a good fit for your firm.
But when you do find the right candidate and are ready to make the offer, put yourself in the recruit's position and think about how you would want to be treated. Don't let a good catch get away because of poor closing etiquette.