Your Top Prospect Got Another Offer!
Sometimes a funny thing happens on the way to hiring top prospects – they receive a competing offer. It’s not time to panic, although it is time to move quickly.
So what can you do? Concentrate on what you are able to control.
- Work fast and smart. Communicate the verbal and written offers as soon as you can. Trying to time the offer to gain advantage rarely works. I’ve found that candidates are usually most attracted to the first offer.
- Communicate at a high level. Have the direct supervisor make the verbal offer and arrange contact from higher level management. You want these candidates to realize that your company is genuinely interested them. Personal, higher level connections communicate that.
- Discover the differences. Ask questions and see if you can get a sense for the differences between the opportunities. New topics and issues might be uncovered that make your opportunity more attractive to the candidate.
- Improve the offer! Do what you can to make the offer more attractive. This could be compensation, vacation time, flexibility about working from home, and other perks. It may not take much. Sometimes people are most attracted to companies that show that they want them more.
In all cases, these in-demand professionals will do what is best for their careers, families and personal lives, and unfortunately they are unlikely to let you in on all the dimensions of their decision making process. In other words, you’re going to be somewhat in the dark about how to lead them into accepting your offer.
Have contingency plans in place. Although you have identified your first choice, don’t abandon the relationship with other strong candidates. If your top prospect isn’t available, all is not lost.