December 11, 2020 | Internal

Advice for job offers

Even when you have chosen your preferred candidate, there is still a chance that your job offer could be rejected if it’s not handled correctly. We’d like to offer our advice on this stage of recruitment, drawn from years of experience in the optical industry, to help make your offer process smooth and successful.

Preparing to make a job offer

Once you’ve decided who you want to make an offer to, contact us to ensure that the chosen candidate has no outstanding questions or reservations. If they don’t, then you can proceed; if they do, make sure you address these concerns before continuing.

How to decide what to offer

It’s naturally tempting to offer as close to the candidate’s current salary as you think you can get away with. But if you make a disappointing offer, it can be almost impossible to repair this damage – so it’s best to get it right first time. You should ask yourself two key questions.
1. What is this candidate really worth to my practice?
2. What are the alternatives going to cost me if I don’t get this candidate on board?

These should help you find a starting point.

Other considerations:

You really need to consider how the role you’re offering compares with the candidate’s current job – in their eyes.

Look at the following:
• Job’s daily content
• Working days/hours, and any shift patterns
• How much the travelling the job requires
• Career progression prospects

Decide if you think yours will appear more attractive. If it’s about the same or better, you might look at offering 10% more than their current salary (as a ballpark figure). If it’s not, you might need to offer a bit more than this.

Once you’ve come up with the ballpark figure, you should take these additional factors into account:

• Number of working hours. If you’re asking the candidate to work more hours then they currently do, then look at their current hourly rate to make the package attractive. Alternatively if your offer involves fewer hours, then look at their current annual salary to make sure you aren’t offering a pay cut.
• Working days and hours. For example, are you asking them to work (more) weekends, or (occasional) bank holidays? Will the hours include anti-social early starts or late finishes?
• Bonus scheme. You cannot ignore the candidate’s existing bonus scheme, even though this income is not guaranteed. They need to have the opportunity to earn at least the same, whether in your own scheme or as a basic salary, or a combination of the two.
• Annual leave. Make sure you know how many days the candidate currently receives, then try to offer at least the same. Holiday is one of the most valued benefits and very few will want to accept a cut.
• All other benefits. Everything the candidate currently has needs to be considered, from an employer pension scheme to something like private healthcare (or equivalent). If your company does not offer these, you might want to see if there is an alternative you can offer, or if it’s perhaps worth reflecting this in the basic salary.
• Commuting. This is largely the candidate’s concern, but if they have been headhunted then you have to acknowledge if you’re essentially asking them to spend more time away from home.
All of these factors should help inform your decision. It’s also worth mentioning that we will have discussed salary in the course of our interaction with the candidate, so even if it was never addressed in the interview, you should know what their expectations are.

How to make the job offer

Once you’ve decided the value of your offer, you should extend it at another meeting, or over the phone if necessary. This allows you to talk through any complicated elements of the package.
If you tell the candidate how much you like them, how good you think they are, how much you’d like to get them on board, what kind of a positive impact you think they could have on your practice and how you think that working for you will benefit their career, you will considerably increase the chances of your offer being accepted.
You should talk the candidate through all of the following in detail:
• The working arrangements (days, hours and breaks).
• The basic salary and when it will be reviewed
• Any bonus and how it will be achieved.
• Whether professional fees will be paid.
• Pension (including contributions on both sides).
• Any other remuneration (such as mileage allowance or life insurance).
• Any training or development that’s been agreed (if you’re going to be paying for the candidate to undertake a course or professional qualifications, it will be useful to outline the financial value and commitment you are making, as this will obviously add value to the package).
• The potential career development/advancement path (if relevant).

If the candidate is earning bonus in their existing job, it’s likely that a direct comparison will be made between their current bonus scheme and your own. If their current bonus scheme is difficult to achieve, the candidate may well assume that yours is too. It is therefore particularly important to explain exactly how bonus will be achieved and the realistic earning potential based on a number of specific examples.

Once you’ve made the offer

Ask the candidate whether everything is clear or whether they require clarification on anything that’s been discussed. Make sure they have all the information they need.

If a verbal offer is accepted:

“I’m genuinely pleased you’ve decided to join us, you were our clear first choice candidate and we saw a couple of really good people. I did have a back-up candidate waiting in the wings and I don’t really want to keep them waiting for a decision. Are you happy enough with everything that I can get the agency to reject that candidate – if they haven’t already done so?”
If the candidate says yes, this will reduce the chances of their current employer making a successful counter-offer, as they will feel some responsibility for the fact that you’ve already rejected your back-up candidate with their approval.
You can then go on to talk to the candidate about a potential start date.


If a candidate asks for a few days to think things through:

This is unlikely to happen as we’ve usually received a firm commitment from the candidate that the offer will be accepted. On the rare occasions this does happen, the most common reason is because the employer had a last-minute change of heart and offered less than they said they were going to offer.
Assuming that’s not what’s happened, the first thing you should do is double check whether the candidate has any concerns that they haven’t already mentioned and address them if you can.
Next, you should ask them how long they need to make a decision. Other than in exceptional circumstances, a candidate who asks for more than a day or two (or perhaps over a weekend) without giving a very good reason for needing more time may well be intending to use your offer to solicit a counter-offer from their current employer. It’s understandable that some people might need time to consider an important career change or discuss it with a significant other but where possible, you should work to stay in control of the timescales yourself:
“I totally understand that you need time to think things through and I’m more than happy to give you some time. The one issue I have is that if I’m going to have to revert to a second choice candidate I’m going to need to do that very quickly. On that basis, can I ask you please to give me an answer within 48 hours?”


Confirming the offer in writing:

Most candidates will be happy to verbally accept a job subject to seeing the offer in writing, so verbal offers should be followed up immediately in writing. Ideally you should have a copy of the offer letter ready to hand to the candidate (although if any last minute tweaks have been agreed you’ll probably need to get it revised before handing it over). In any case, a written offer should ideally be sent the same day, or the next day at the latest. Bear in mind that even at this late stage, a candidate will still be assessing you as a potential employer and if you take several days to get an offer letter organised it’s not likely to reflect well. We recommend that you send the offer letter out guaranteed next day delivery and email it too.

Our continuing role in the process:

As soon as you receive a verbal acceptance of your offer, you should let us know. We counsel candidates through the process of handing in their notice and prepare them for any potential counter-offer from their current employer (which is common with high calibre candidates), so it’s vitally important that we’re kept in the loop. That said, the closer you follow our guidance throughout the process, the less likely it is that any counter-offer will even be entertained by a candidate.

If you have any questions about the recruitment process please ring our team of consultants on 01423 813450 who will be more than willing to help or drop us an email at

Alternatively browse our recruitment pages for more information about our service and how we could help you.

December 11, 2020 | Internal