The best piece of recruitment advice I can give you.

Posted on February 23rd, 2022

My advice, particularly in this market, but really any market, is not to undercut your candidate at the offer stage. Offering someone under their salary expectation is not smart at all; it’s plain crazy. It has very serious consequences to the employer/employee relationship. Let me tell you why.

This person is the most motivated they’ll ever be. They’ve been to at least one interview with you and you’re both hooked! You’re excited! Finally, someone to fill your vacancy. And someone fantastic.

Do not ruin it. Do not save yourself a buck by low balling the offer. “They can get it after probation. Makes sense. If they’re terrible they won’t get it and they don’t deserve it right?” In your head it makes sense but if you’re on the receiving end you’re thinking very differently.

You’re motivated – you’ve found a great company, a terrific next step. You know you’re good at what you do, and you can’t wait to get in there and sink your teeth into the new job. But wait! The offer is less than you told them you were looking for. How can that be?

I thought the interviews were great, a meeting of the minds. I thought they really liked me and could see the value I’d bring but now they’re saying they don’t think I’m worth it. They’re “screwing” me down. This is awkward. Maybe they’re “that” type of company. Maybe they pat you down looking for blue pens at the end of each workday.

They knew my salary expectation when we first met. Why would they do this at the last minute? Is this what they’re like? Maybe they’ll retract other things too – they’ll change their minds on working from home two days a week. Now I can’t trust them.

What is it about the job they don’t think I can do? I feel if I do accept the job now, I’m under scrutiny and I’m starting on the back foot. I don’t feel anywhere near as excited or as motivated.

Well, the company has other things going for it, I suppose it’s closer to home for a start. I might just accept it and begin somewhat cautiously – I’ll still keep my feelers out in the market by interviewing with other companies and go with whoever offers me what I feel I’m worth.

So, 3 months later guess what happens…

And you thought that was your best-case scenario. The job seeker accepted your offer.

But it’s your worst-case scenario. Investing time, money and resources into an employee who already has their foot out the door. Back to square one.

What generally happens though is they’ll reject your offer. 9 times out of 10 once they reject your first offer they will not barter with you.

And in this market the candidate you loved has already organised an interview with your competitor. Ouch.