When you’re trying to close with a promising candidate, time is of the essence. While the majority of job seekers out there might be desperate to land any job that they can, talented employees have options and they know it. Where, in the past, employers were holding all of the power in the hiring equation, highly skilled professionals are constantly approached by recruiters and even directly by competing companies. Now that LinkedIn has become such a staple of recruiting and professional life in general, you can look up anyone at any time and get a good idea of what would be on their resume if they sent it to you. Basically, if you’re interested in a candidate, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else is too. This being the case, delivering your job offer letter to your best-fit candidate in a timely fashion can mean the difference between filling your open job and extending the candidate search by weeks or even months.
Extending a job offer to the top candidate from your applicant pool is a time sensitive issue, but beating out the competition for a great hire is just the start of why timing is important. The job search can be an incredibly uncertain endeavor for job seekers and a little bit of kindness can go a long way towards convincing a candidate of your company’s merits. When you first extend your job offer, do it over the phone (or potentially in person if they live in your area) and make sure that you sound enthusiastic about the prospect of the candidate joining your company. Just like in the rest of the hiring process, the way in which you handle candidates does a lot to make or break your employer brand. If a candidate feels taken for granted before they’ve even started working for you, chances are that they’ll want to keep their options open.
Once you’ve extended your job offer in a personal fashion, it’s time to get that offer written up and formalized in the form of an offer letter. In this offer letter, you should include any documents that they need to sign as well as basic information about the position such as salary, benefits and the starting date. To get started, here’s a template for job offer letters that shows you how to fit all of this information together.