The Adequate Offer: Final Thoughts For 2023

How can you get an adequate offer in the hiring process? Know the who, what, and when's of it all.

As we conclude the recruiter tips for the hiring manager and candidate series of 2023, I want to end on the importance of conveying an adequate offer and having it accepted.  Without an offer being acknowledged and signed, everything that you both have worked hard to accomplish will be a series of great conversations with nothing being attained.  With the acceptance of an offer, all your hard work over the months has now paid off.  As a recruiter, I have seen that if the last part of this vast process is not appropriately concluded, all work has, in fact, been wasted.

Necessary Stages

Let’s discuss this process in depth.  Once the candidate has decided this is the right place for them to go and the company has also concluded that, we are now at the offer stage.  Check out last week’s blog, which discusses the timing of getting to this place being crucial.  Both parties must reach this point simultaneously.  Every firm has its process for internal approval of any offers unless we are dealing with a straightforward base salary at a low level.  Discussing the needs of the candidate is extremely important at this stage.  A good recruiter, if allowed, will prepare an inventory of the candidate’s suggested compensation program.  This is not a guess of a recruiter for an adequate offer but is based on a clear discussion with that candidate as to their financial needs.  At this point, a recruiter has probably spent at least a good hour discussing the financial needs of their candidate while at the same time knowing the parameters that the client company is willing to provide.

Line Of Communication

A recruiter who is first working with a firm must be able to adequately represent a candidate in a strong position of the client firm.  Plus, they must sell the compensation that a firm is willing to provide at the beginning of the interview process so no time is wasted if and when an adequate offer is provided.  Once the recruiter presents the client’s desired compensation model, it’s up to the recruiter and the firm to negotiate the best possible combination of salary, bonus structure, and any other rewards the company will provide.  This now breaks down sometimes because HR will go in a different direction than what the hiring manager has professed during their internal communications.  I have even seen where HR reaches out directly to a candidate and makes an offer without the recruiter knowing anything specific, and the deal is not what the recruiter or, more importantly, the hiring manager was hoping for.

Who Is Speaking & What’s The Deal-Breaker?

At this stage, communication between the recruiter, hiring manager, and HR, if involved, is crucial.  Also, we have found that if the recruiter has the buy-in of the candidate for specific compensation, we have been authorized to accept an adequate offer on the candidate’s behalf.  This is a process that guarantees acceptance by the candidate.  My philosophy at this stage is that I will not provide an offer unless I have the buy-in to accept that offer for my candidate.  Then, and only after this is provided, do we share the offer.  It is recommended that if a recruiter is not involved, the hiring manager does the same thing.  Find out what the candidate wants, and then tie them to that want with a statement similar to, “If I can get you, call it X, are you going to accept if all other provisions in the agreement are to your satisfaction?”  Without this commitment, you can waste your time, or they can use your offer to shop for other deals.

The Key & Well Wishes

Overall, communication is always the key with all players: the candidate communicating to the recruiter, the recruiter communicating to the hiring manager, and, of course, the candidate and the company regularly communicating throughout the entire interview/offer process.  Here’s to a wonderful holiday season and the start of a great 2024!


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About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.