3 Ways to Customize Job Offers & Why It Matters

May 6, 2024

Every hiring manager knows the great feeling of meeting a prospective employee and realizing that they could be a game-changer for your organization. The hiring process can be long and stressful, and when you find the perfect candidate for the role, you might be ready to make them an offer on the spot.

In these scenarios, the hiring manager never pictures the candidate hesitating – it’s clearly a great fit for both parties, so what could be the holdup? The truth is, there are a lot of reasons a candidate might need to think hard before accepting a job offer, even for a job they really want. Sometimes, a candidate needs something – for example, an extended notice with their current employer, a relocation package, or a hybrid schedule – that the offer doesn’t include.

Most hiring managers don’t want to start the hiring process all over once they’ve found the perfect person. So, what’s the alternative? Instead of sticking with your planned offer, customize one that specifically meets this candidate’s needs.

Why to Customize:

  • In the short term, tailoring a job offer to match the ideal candidate will save your company the time, money, and frustration of starting the search process over from square one. The process will likely be more frustrating the second time around because you know you already met the perfect candidate – and they got away.
  • When you meet your preferred candidate’s needs with a customized job offer, you know that you’re bringing on the best person for the job. This is both a short- and a long-term win for your company, as the most qualified candidate can make an immediate impact on their new team and your company’s bottom line.
  • By communicating with a candidate to understand their needs and designing your offer to meet those needs, you demonstrate the company’s appreciation for their value. This can bolster their immediate enthusiasm for joining the team and increase the likelihood of longer-term retention as you maintain open lines of communication and respect for the candidate’s needs and goals.

How to Customize:

  • In order to customize a job offer to meet a specific candidate’s needs, you have to know what that candidate’s needs and goals are. Different people at different stages of their lives and careers might have very different requirements from a job. For example, candidates who are early in their careers or who have young families might prioritize a boost in base salary or guaranteed cash bonuses, or a reduced travel schedule to spend more time with their families. However, candidates who are more established in their careers or who have two-income households might be more tempted by higher-potential long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) or ownership/stock options. Every candidate is different, so communicate with them directly about what’s most important to them in a job offer – and then tailor your offer accordingly.
  • In order to make sure your offer is competitive, you need to know what other companies in your market are offering. Do your research into what your competitors are paying employees in similar positions, and what kinds of benefits packages they’re offering. By keeping an eye on market trends, you can make sure your company is designing job offers that are at or above market value and that won’t be easily undercut by counteroffers from competitors or the candidate’s current employer.
  • Customizing a job offer to meet a candidate’s needs doesn’t mean you have to throw away the company’s budget or expectations. A great job offer will balance the company’s and candidate’s needs. For example, some companies may be able to offer hybrid or flex work schedules, or unlimited PTO. This can be a great draw for some candidates, and it can help the company build a team of professionals who are trustworthy and committed to a company that values their needs. In other cases, long-term, performance-based bonuses and equity potential (such as ESOP or LTIP programs) can provide significant financial rewards to employees who stay with the company and serve as high performers over the long term. Finally, perks like tuition reimbursement, continuous learning opportunities, and leadership development all maximize the candidate’s career potential while supporting your company with skilled, motivated, and fulfilled employees.

The bottom line is that in a candidate-driven market, companies need to go above and beyond to secure successful, long-term hires with top talent. Communicating with your preferred candidate about their specific needs and goals and customizing a job offer based on what’s most important to them is one of the best ways to show candidates you’re invested not just in bringing them on board today, but in helping them grow and succeed with your company in the future as well.

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