Whenever you’ve extended an offer, and your top candidate requests changes to the offer, it’s important to maintain control of the situation and manage it in a very deliberate and thoughtful manner.
First, make sure that you know and understand all of the requested changes. Confirm with the candidate that this list of requests is complete. Then, verify that if the changes to the offer are made, the offer will be accepted.
This commitment should be backed up with concrete actions, such as:
- Agreeing on a start date,
- Allowing a public announcement,
- Refusing to consider a counteroffer,
- Cancelling interviews with other companies,
- Allowing you to tell other candidates that the position is filled.
Failing to achieve closure and commitment at this point can lead to endless rounds of changes. e.g. After granting a requested salary increase, the candidate comes back asking for more vacation time.
Sometimes, people are unable to make a decision or they don’t really want the job. If your concessions are met with, “Great, thanks, I’ll think about it,” there’s probably something else going on that you need to know about.
Get the commitment to accept the job up front, before agreeing to any changes to the offer.