Job vacancies are at a record high in the UK, and competition is fierce for the top talent. So, finding candidates to fill open positions is a bit like putting a round peg in a square hole — difficult to get the right fit.

During the ongoing candidate shortage, once employers have found the perfect candidate, they must then ensure they can seal the deal with the perfect job offer — or risk losing the candidate to another company.

So, how can businesses secure the best fit for a job? Here are seven top tips for making an offer that would be hard to refuse…

Offer a competitive salary and benefits

In the current market, employers are willing to make attractive offers to out-bid the competition and recruit the best workers. Most desirable candidates will know their market value, so businesses must ensure the salary they offer reflects industry expectations.

However, it is also worth remembering that salary is not the only thing candidates consider before accepting a job offer. One recent survey found that just over 30% of workers would be willing to give up some of their income for a better work-life balance.

Another study revealed that over half of employees would quit their job in favour of one that provides flexible working options in the post-pandemic world. So, businesses should ensure all job benefits are clear in an offer to a successful candidate.

Pick up the phone

Thanks to digitisation, it is easy to fire off an email or a message. But a top candidate will probably be inundated with messages from other recruiters and employers who would love to have them on board — particularly with more companies targeting passive candidates.

That is why taking the time to make an offer personally over the phone could make all the difference. Speaking on a call will also provide employers with the opportunity to address any queries or concerns a candidate may have, further improving the likelihood of the offer being accepted.

Follow it up in writing

After offering the candidate the position over the phone, it is also essential to confirm all the finer details in a letter. Putting it in writing ensures the candidate has all the information necessary to make an informed decision without any confusion that could interrupt the process further down the line.

An offer letter should include the proposed job title, reporting structure, job description, start date (and end date for temporary positions), probation period, salary, any conditions to the offer or actions needed before starting — and, of course, the candidate’s full name! On acceptance of an offer, a signed copy of this letter should be returned and filed for future reference.

Act with speed, not haste

Companies must move swiftly to guarantee the best candidate does not take another offer before securing a formal acceptance. However, although a timely response goes a long way in the current climate, businesses should not make the mistake of cutting corners — or pestering the candidate for a reply!

Ideally, employers should be in touch with the candidate within a couple of days of a final interview. Delaying for too long could lead a potential employee to believe they have been unsuccessful or otherwise diminish their interest in a role, prompting them to favour another offer.

Show sensitivity and understanding

Despite the need to fill a position as quickly as possible, businesses would do well to acknowledge that the decision to change job — or even career sector — is not something many people take lightly. It is important to highlight how the company will make the new recruit’s transition into the role as easy as possible, from explaining the training they will receive to arranging personal introductions with other team members.

Taking the time to answer questions and being flexible where possible will foster a positive professional relationship from the get-go. Plus, demonstrating that a business cares about an applicant more personally will further reassure them that they have made the right decision in moving to a different company.

Be prepared for a counter-offer

Many businesses face skills and labour shortages and may be prepared to make a counter-offer that could sway a candidate to stay where they are — especially if the employee in question is highly qualified or experienced. But that does not have to mean the end of the road for that recruitment journey.

The interview process is an opportunity to learn what a candidate is looking for in a position that they are currently missing. Whether it is salary, company culture, remote working, location, training or career progression, there are many advantages a business can leverage during negotiations with a candidate that could ultimately clinch the deal.

Do not leave anyone in the dark

Research has found that 63% of job seekers are dissatisfied with their communications with employers; keeping on top of comms is a simple way to stand out from competitors. Businesses should inform candidates when to expect an update on the status of their application and ensure someone follows through with this communication — even if it is just to let the candidate know they will be deliberating for a bit longer.

It is also considerate to contact unsuccessful candidates and let them know a position has been filled. It might be disappointing news, but the effort to do so shows empathy and reflects well on a business’ culture as a whole. After all, that candidate might be the perfect fit for another role in the future!

To secure the top talent for your business and maintain clear and consistent communication throughout the hiring process, get in touch to enlist the help of our specialist recruitment consultants.