Decision & Job Offer

It’s decision time! You’ve placed a great ad, assigned homework, conducted interviews, and used assessment tools. You are going to use all of this information to determine if you are ready to offer one of the candidates a position at your company.

This has to be said, although it can feel like a punch in the gut… If you aren’t 100% convinced you to have a perfect fit, both for the job and for your company culture, DO NOT HIRE ANYONE. We know the hiring process is long and time-consuming. But, truly, don’t hire a warm body to fill a position. If you get to the end with a candidate you feel 98% good about, don’t hire them, if you feel mostly good about the decision, but in your gut, there is just a little something – a little question you have or a bit of hesitancy. Listen to it. It can be so tempting to try and ignore it, push the thoughts aside, or try and convince yourself that you are crazy. But listen to your gut. If you are only 98% there with the decision and not 100%, do not hire anyone. You WILL regret it every…single…time. You need to start the process all over. Sorry…

Ok, but assuming that ISN’T the case, and that you found a candidate you feel 100% great about, then it’s time to offer them the position. Here’s where it’s good to know your own strengths. Are you closer? Some managers are good at determining talent and others are good at closing the deal. If you are not good at closing the deal, you probably want to determine who IS good at that in your company and get them involved at some point in the follow- up interviews. By the time you are ready to offer the candidate a job, you want them to already be “sold” that they want to work for you.

Have you ever offered a candidate a job and they responded with “I need to think about it?” Ugh! What a horrible, sinking feeling! You want to come as close to “closing the deal” as possible in the follow-up interviews so that after the assessments determine a good match, that candidate is already “all in.”

What information do you give the candidate at the time of hire?


Salary Start date and time (Make sure this works with your schedule. You don’t want the new hire starting while you are on vacation and leaving it to someone else to orient and train them.) Review any special negotiations that were made to their compensation/benefits offering.

Let them know they should be receiving a packet of information in the mail {Re-iterate your excitement about having them on the team and the skills they will bring to the table. Make sure the new hire has your phone number and email address should they have any questions.

Side note: Although not common, the situation may occur where due to your schedule or something going on with the new hire, the start date is scheduled out for several weeks or a month. Keep the momentum going with the new hire so they don’t get cold feet and change their mind (or their current employer doesn’t try and get them to stay.) Call the new hire periodically or take them to lunch during that interim time frame. Check if they have questions and make sure they are still committed and excited.

There is so much joy and relief around hiring the perfect candidate, that it can be easy to overlook (or choose to overlook) all of those other nice people who applied for the position, perhaps came in for an interview, but ultimately did not receive the job offer. It is important to close the loop for these people. Job hunting can be a frustrating and disheartening journey for people, and although you don’t have good news for them, it is the right thing to do to not leave them “hanging.”

In fact, not only is it the right thing to do, but it also is different than what most other companies are doing. Usually, candidates never hear what the end result was. They simply hear silence – no letter, no email, no phone call, no returned phone call, and so on. Think about it, have you ever invested your time and energy into something, expected the person on the other end to have some communication with you, and then they never followed through? Doesn’t it leave you with a bad taste in your mouth? Here’s the deal, even if these people are not coming to work for you, they are still potential future customers!! So, from that perspective alone, you should want to end the interaction as positive as possible, show that you are a company that follows through, and show that you are a company of high integrity who does the right thing.

The goodwill this creates for you is huge. It is always sad to hear candidates say things like, “Oh, I’m bummed I didn’t get the job but thank you for letting me know. I’ve been on the job hunt for a few months now and you are only the second company to at least let me know where I stand. I really appreciate that. “The truth is, most companies don’t take this step, and by doing so, you are setting yourself and your company apart as someone who is different and better That can never be a bad thing.

At the very least, send an email. Often times, if your local area has an online job posting system, those systems will allow you to send a mass email out to the candidates letting them know they weren’t the right fit for you. Otherwise, send your own email. You can make it generic, and just BCC (blind carbon copy – you don’t want everyone to see everyone else’s email addresses) a large group of candidates. This approach is recommended only for those candidates who you aren’t bringing in for an interview. It is fast, easy, and again creates goodwill – there’s no reason NOT to do it. if you are unsure what it should say, consider something like this: Thank you for applying for the position of [position name] at [company name]. After reviewing all applications, yours has not “been selected for further consideration at this time. I appreciate the time you invested in your application, and I wish you the best of luck with your job search and in the future. Thank you, again, for your interest in our company Regards,

[Your name]”

For those candidates you DID bring in for an interview, something a little more custom and personal is preferred. It doesn’t take much time at all to contact these candidates individually and let them know they weren’t selected for the position. If the candidate gave you an hour of their time to come interview with you, the least you can do is give them two more minutes of your time to let them know they aren’t the right fit.

The best approach is to pick up the phone and call the candidate. If you are unsure what to say, consider this:

If you absolutely cannot stomach making the call, then at least send a personal email.

Dear Joe,

Thank you for coming in and interviewing for the [position name] at [your company name]. After interviewing a number of candidates, I have determined that another candidate is the most qualified for the requirements of the position.

Thank You for taking the time to meet with me. I sincerely enjoyed meeting you and our discussions. I wish you success with your job search and in the future and truly thank you for your interest in [your company name].

Regards, [Your name]

Make sure you are 100% convinced you have the perfect candidate before making the job offer.

Do what’s right. Communicate quickly with positive and negative news to candidates.

Someone who does not qualify for a position today may be a potential tomorrow. And by the way, people always talk about how they were treated, right?