You have gone through the interviewing process and feel great about your decision on who you want to hire! So, you roll out the offer, they accept and you move on to your next challenge. Hey! Not so fast! In a perfect world, everyone accepts your offer, but unfortunately that’s not realistic.


To avoid surprises, do what you can to get a “yes” out of your top choice.
  1. Before making an offer, confirm all their questions are answered and no further clarifications on items such as benefits are needed.
  2. Know the market. When drawing up an offer, know what the market rate is this type of position. Of course, you have a budget to stick to, but make sure the offer you’re making is realistic and won’t be considered insulting. Have a firm idea what the maximum you can do before the offer is made. Making a fair offer shows that you are really interested in bringing the candidate on board. Be aware that other perks such as time off or remote work could be negotiating items on the candidate’s part as well and know upfront where you could possibly compromise.
  3. Have the “counteroffer talk” early in the process. For more about that, check out our post on counteroffers here:
  4. Go over salary history one last time to be sure there was no last minute “raise”. (wink wink)
  5. Pre-Close the candidate. You can “test” the offer to get an initial reaction – Ideally you be pretty certain as to what it’s going to take for them to accept.
  6. Set a deadline for the candidate to respond – and in your own best interest, don’t let them have too long. Typically we recommend 24 hours. Do not roll out the offer on a Friday (then they will have until Monday)

In the end, you’ve done everything right, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. Be prepared to decide to either walk away based on the reason or to try to amend the offer. Is this person the only person who can do the job? Or is this a skill that is easy to find? Know when to end the process and feel good about your decision.

Nobody likes to be caught by surprise or unprepared. Take a little extra time and think out what the possible responses can be and be ready. It can take some of the stress out of the offer making process.