Inside Executive Search

How to Present an Offer: Dos and Don’ts

June 18, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Inside Executive Search
How to Present an Offer: Dos and Don’ts
Chapters
Inside Executive Search
How to Present an Offer: Dos and Don’ts
Jun 18, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson
Talent Selection: How to extend an employment offer to a candidate, along with some key strategies and tactics to help you and your team while presenting an offer.
Show Notes Transcript

Extending a job offer is an exciting time in the talent selection process. In today’s episode we wrapped up talent selection by discussing how to extend an employment offer to a candidate, along with some key strategies and tactics to help you and your team while presenting an offer.

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Connect with Steve Yakesh on LinkedIn!
Learn more about Versique 

Speaker 1:
0:01
[inaudible]
Speaker 2:
0:02
getting ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You're listening to inside executive search with Steve Yakima and Scott Peterson.
Speaker 1:
0:22
[inaudible]. Hello and welcome
Speaker 3:
0:31
to do the inside executive search podcast. My name is Steve [inaudible] and this show is for business owners, board members and executives, exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you're not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit, said very best, keep listening. This podcast will help you get there. That said, I'm once again excited to bring in Mr. Scott Peterson from verse seek search. Hi Scott.
Speaker 4:
1:00
Good afternoon. It's great to be here today.
Speaker 3:
1:04
Well, Hey, uh, last week we covered interview bias and we previewed that we were going to be coming into this podcast that we were going to be, uh, talking about retention strategies and tactics. However, I know we going gonna do a little u-turn, little u-turn. So based on some of the responses and feedback, um, from our listeners, they were hoping we would dive into a little bit more detail about presenting an offer. You know, we sometimes take that for granted because it's kind of what we do and we do it all the time, but I can appreciate others wanting to learn about what's the better way to present an offer in the do's and don'ts.
Speaker 4:
1:48
Sorry. Yeah, we've certainly seen the [inaudible] at the offer stage at go in multiple directions. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes it goes in a direction that uh, we don't want to or the client doesn't want to. So we thought we'd give some insights and tactics around the offer process.
Speaker 3:
2:02
Yeah. And I don't envy companies that are pre at doing it on their own. You know, we as search professionals, we just have so many more tools that we can ask and close the candidates as at that third party. Yeah. So,
Speaker 4:
2:16
yeah. Yeah. We have the, we have the fortunate position to be having confidential conversations with our candidates. So we kind of know where their head is, um, where, where, what else are they looking at, where they at in terms of those opportunities. And so we're always, you know, talking to our candidates through the process. Um, probably more so than, than just a company would on their own.
Speaker 3:
2:38
Yeah. Yeah. And I agree and, and we'll, I'll maybe just kind of recap with, we as a firm are another search firm out there. You know, they're closing the candidate, they're asking all the, you know, quote unquote tough questions. What if, you know, how about this, well, what if they offered this versus that, you know, they, they flush and we flush all of that out so we can confidently go our clients and say, you know, Bob is accepting the offer. If it's at x to make y with these, you know, perks or benefits, etc. And really help our clients, you know, get there. So there isn't any issue about somebody accepting it, but when they're doing it on their own, that can be tough.
Speaker 4:
3:19
Right. And we're, you know, we're even talking the first conversation with a candidate about what their expectations are versus what we know our client's willing to do generally speaking in the compensation package. So if we try to get alignment before we ever get to that offer day, um, and so, um, that's a little bit tougher to do, uh, if you're doing it on your own.
Speaker 3:
3:40
Yep. So let's just assume some of the tactics prior to presenting the offer was done. So you win the first or second conversation with candidates. You've said, hey, here's our compensation range, here's, and they obviously know the scope of responsibility, who they're going to report to. Everything's feeling good. Yep. All right. So that's the assumption. So my first question, who should be presenting the offer? Is it HR? Is it, you know, who, who's the right person in your opinion?
Speaker 4:
4:13
And we've seen it go both ways, both ways. In terms of HR presents the offer or the hiring manager. My, my recommendation is the hiring manager should do it. So if it's, um, you, you gain much more, um, candidate loyalty. If I'm the hiring manager and I call you Steve and I say, Steve, I want you on my team. I thought we had a great interview. The, the, uh, the, the interview panel, your evaluations came back, your assessment came back great. Um, and you're going to be working with me. And for me it's just much more impactful, uh, and, and actually makes you feel better about the opportunity and the company because they're going that extra step and having the hiring manager and, or the person they report to, um, uh, do that offer. Uh, I just, it just works better.
Speaker 3:
5:06
Yeah. And I, I, to that point, I mean, if, if I'm the HR leader who is typically the one presenting off for by default, right? Galen leader. Yup. You know, I can see how that would be that much more, you know, less impactful. If I, as the HR leader say, Hey, Scott, guess what? Taylor is really excited for you to join the team versus Taylor saying, Scott, man, I'm so happy to extend this offer and get you on my team. You're going to do great things. Right? I mean it's just that simple example I think will make sense.
Speaker 4:
5:38
Yeah, that's a, that's a phone call by the hiring manager to, to present the offer orally. Now internally you can say the offer might be coming from our HR person from a logistic standpoint internally in confidentiality of information. So HR might that off or via email in a word doc as a follow up, as a follow up. But that initial phone call to make the verbal offer. Um, we just think of it, we've seen it work much more effectively by having the hiring manager do it.
Speaker 3:
6:10
Perfect. Yup. So segue in. I'm now the hiring manager. I'm reaching out to you to extend that offer. Like you, you just gave us guidance, walk us through that conversation, not necessarily in delivery of the actual numbers, but prior to that, what are some of the important keys as I should be talking about too?
Speaker 4:
6:30
Yeah, it, and, and really this goes even before the offer, but continue to ask those questions. Like, do you have any hesitations about coming on board at this company to this position with, um, the information that you have? So you're gauging their level of interest before that verbal offer might go out? If there's hesitation, if there's a question, you can jump on it right away and say, Oh, you know, our, our strategy around, um, international acquisitions is going to be this. And that might might just be enough to push that person into accepting the offer when they didn't really know. Um, you know, a couple of key elements during the process.
Speaker 3:
7:08
Sure. It May, it might even just be a little tiny things too. Like, Hey, if I, if it's no one outside the typical Minnesota winter and are you okay if I show up at, you know, at noon and not fight the traffic or work from home that the little things, right? Yeah.
Speaker 4:
7:22
The little things that they sound that comes trivial or are minor. Um, but they all kind of just matter in aggregate. It might even be, do I get a parking spot up front? Right. There's this little things that, that matter in total. Um, in and of themselves probably don't move the needle one way or the other in an offer. But I like the idea of just getting it all on the table verbally versus having to go back and forth and negotiate after the fact.
Speaker 3:
7:47
Yeah. And then you know, it's a good point too. I mean cause at a certain point, you know, I'm trying to put myself in the candidates shoes. You know, I'm interviewing with you know, my hopeful future company until you're kind of selected as the person, you're not going to ask about that parking spot out front or you know, certain little tiny things cause you don't want to because they are somewhat trivial. But at the same time they're important.
Speaker 4:
8:11
And if you are probably asking about those, you're probably not going to be their candidate early in the process. As rough as you don't want to do that.
Speaker 3:
8:18
So like I get that Scott. So that being said, we're con covering all those little nuances, parking spots, et cetera. And we are now needing to talk about numbers. Hey your base salary, annual cash bonus, the metrics that surrounded it. And now tip all that other stuff. Um, when do I enter in the conversation about are you going to accept a counteroffer? What's your current company gonna say? How are you planning on resigning? Is that before I'm presenting the numbers? Am I presenting a numbers, getting excitement and then talking? What do you recommend?
Speaker 4:
8:56
Well, I think you, but can you talk about, um, counteroffer throughout the process and that that's a little bit easier when it's a firm that's, that's representing your company and the firm will do that continuously throughout the process, but it's something that you want to, um, you want to walk through with a, with a, with a candidate B, especially if they've never gone through an offer and counteroffer process. Um, there is, um, there is a lot of statistics out there that, that if you accept a counter offer at your current company because you told them you're resigning for another opportunity, the high, high percentage of those employees leave from that counteroffer company within a year.
Speaker 3:
9:36
Yeah, I've heard, I've seen anywhere 60 upwards to 80%. 80 might be a little high, but 60 is kind of scary. Right?
Speaker 4:
9:44
And why is that? Well, now the company knows that you are interested in staying other than for more money. Um, because really nothing changes in the job per se or the company. So what the only thing that they did was offer you more money to keep you. And so you want to have that conversation with a candidate saying, is there anything that they could do at your current company to keep, you know? Right.
Speaker 3:
10:05
And I always throw a big what F's. What if they came back with 30,000 more on a base salary? Or what if they, you know, I know you've always been wanting an equity. What if they came back and gave you a piece of the, you know, of equity, how do you react to that? Right?
Speaker 4:
10:20
And so you want to know that, you know, that's the kind of things that you want to know even well before the offer as well. But, but again, as a last, you know, last piece of the process, you asked that again because you want to make sure that nothing changed from the previous times that you've asked it.
Speaker 3:
10:36
Yeah. Then it comes back to, you know, like we've talked about a few times during these podcasts, kind of those three areas to get alignment in. I mean, if I'm, if I'm about to present an offer, I'm probably wrapping in and reminding them of our company culture and how they fit, how their, their skills and experience align really well with the job at hand and as important, the vision I see, not for this person, I'm about to make an offer to what their career path looks like. Right? Get them thinking that way and that's going to help them.
Speaker 4:
11:07
So any counter offer they would get is just irrelevant because you've got really good alignment on those three areas. Um, then there's really nothing that company that they're leaving is going to be able to do other than offer more money. And that just, that just delays the inevitable in my opinion of that candidate leaving that company. And at another point in time.
Speaker 3:
11:26
Perfect. So about employment agreements, you know, obviously at the executive level, um, they're more frequent, pretty standard, pretty standard, right. Um, what's your guidance is, are you talking about what the framework of that employment agreement looks like prior to, um, extending that offer? Or is it just assume you, we know that there's going to be one and that's the little stuff we'll get taken care of after the fact. What do you think,
Speaker 4:
11:55
and this, this depends on the size and sophistication of the company. Sometimes there'll be smaller organizations that are hiring a CEO that doesn't, that don't, they did, they don't do employment agreements, right? Sure. But this candidate might be coming from a place where they have one. So now the new company needs to think about that needs to understand, um, that that's part of their package, part of their compensation, part of their deal to have one of those. Um, so yeah, you want to, you want to make sure that there's an understanding upfront of are they gonna need one Kenneth Years? If you're using an outside, uh, service provider like, like us or others, we already having those conversations with candidates. We've already seen the, probably their, their current employment agreements so that we can have alignment with the new one. Um, but yeah, those are there.
Speaker 4:
12:43
They're pretty standard in the industry now, uh, at the executive level and they, they contain a lot of different things from severance package, um, change of control. So if the company gets sold to their, do their stock options, accelerate, invest immediately. So there's just a lot of detail and typically lawyers are involved in those, whether it's a company's internal lawyer, legal team that's put it together. And then my recommendation is probably having, uh, the candidate get legal counsel as well because, uh, in some of, in a lot of those agreements are very legal, our legal jargon, which can sometimes make your head spin a little bit in terms of what is all those, what do those words mean? Or was that paragraph really mean?
Speaker 3:
13:23
Sure. No, that's good to get good guidance. So do you pass on, you know, you mentioned earlier the logistics of physically sending the offer. Do you, do you recommend the hiring manager also kind of outsource figuring out start date and building that onboarding plan, et Cetera, or get their listeners
Speaker 4:
13:46
thank you there. I think the hiring manager can, can ask like, you know, hey, we'd love to have you here on September 1st. Um, we got a strategic planning meeting on the fifth. We'd love you to just come, you just come to a negotiated start date. Um, sometimes an executive has a a 30 day notice or a two month notice or a three month notice Hilton into that employment agreement and their employment agreement. Right. So you have to understand, and again, those questions. Um, you know, I keep going back to if using an outside firm, we would have known that and communicated that to our client that they had a 30 day notice or whatever the notice requirement is because they're a top executive. Um, so understanding all that again, um, certainly want to lock that down at this point. But also you should understood it coming in of Hey, what is your current employment agreement look like? That can be part of that interview process and understanding what all they have to bring to the table there.
Speaker 3:
14:44
Perfect. All right, well the last item, kind of the dark, dreary part of this conversation. What if they accept your offer? I got two questions. Number, yeah. All the time and energy and then the doesn't happen. Right? Um, do you go back and ask why and off, you know, try to put an offer together that they will accept. And then my second part of the question, if that's just not the key and you got to start over, what's your, what do you, what can you give guidance to accompany as takeaways? What can they learn from their current process?
Speaker 4:
15:18
Yeah. So first of all, yes, you always ask why? Because there may be an opportunity to enhance your offer and it may be in something that doesn't cost you much. Um, again, it could be those little things. It could be a car allowance, it could be a multitude of things. But understanding of, of, of why now that y could mean I have another offer and that opportunity is better for me. Right. I would still ask the question, why is it better for you? Tell me what is, you know, what about it is better? Is it compensation? Is it location, is it size? A couple of whatever it might, right. Yeah. Longterm, more longer term opportunities, um, growth potential, et cetera. Um, so just because they say no, it doesn't mean it's over. Um, it might mean that we didn't quite get the offer. Right. Um, and so again, going ask why or have them counter back, uh, what, you know, tell me, tell me what, you know, what would you accept? Um, is there anything I can do to change our offer that you would accept? No, I don't. I don't encourage that going back and forth 20 times because then they're just kind of grasping at compensation and that's not the kind of person you probably want in your
Speaker 3:
16:28
company. You, you missed. And then alignment somewhere else if you're going back.
Speaker 4:
16:31
And that gets back to the second piece is really evaluating your process of how did we get all the way down to the altar and the groom runs down the aisle and leaves without saying, I do. Right? So evaluate yourselves a little bit. Look internally, look in the mirror and say, what did we miss in this process? When did we not ask the right questions at the right time? Or did we not ask the questions at all? So yeah, self evaluation is always something you want to do when something like that happens. And I actually encourage it, even if it's a positive outcome, look back and say, what did we do? Right? Yeah, that's a good thing. And then emulate that. Do that again,
Speaker 3:
17:12
right? Yup. Yeah. I mean did, and again, a plug for us and other firms, I mean, we don't, we insure if the client gets down on bended knee, the person says yes, not maybe, or let me think about it. Right. And I think some companies, if they're doing it independent or on their own, they are better at it than others. But I mean, that's a tricky thing. Especially at the executive level,
Speaker 4:
17:36
I've found is that, that most companies internally, if they do the process, are uncomfortable asking those questions early in the process. And we still are at a time where us as executive recruiters are expected to by our clients. So think about that in your process as well. Don't be afraid to get that level of detail early on so that you are so to speak, dancing with the right partners all the way down.
Speaker 3:
18:00
Absolutely. Well good. All that's going to ramp up, um, kind of this plus one episode, uh, adding in, you know, kind of the offer and onboarding and acceptance type, uh, conversation, which I enjoy. It was good. Um, and I'm glad our listeners kind of brought it to our attention on. So I'll give you the same preview for next week as I did last week. Um, we're going to be looking at a variety of different retention tactics and strategies moving forward. Now that you do have your brand new top executive or key, we're all onboard. Um, how do you ensure high levels of retention for the long haul? So we'll dive in. Um, next week with, uh, kind of the high level overview of what the following, what four or five episodes will look like. And, uh, excited to do that. One, we're selection and attraction are in the books,
Speaker 4:
18:55
the third leg of the stool retention. So
Speaker 3:
18:58
absolutely cool. Well, as always, if you want to get ahold of Scott, feel free to look him up on linkedin or how bout diverse seek.com and click on executive leadership, you'll be able to find him. And, uh, if you like what you hear, go ahead and subscribe to us on the major podcast channels and we will talk to everybody next week. Sounds great. Talk that it got
Speaker 1:
19:29
[inaudible] [inaudible].