Corresponding reading:

· Maurer, R. (2022, July 19).  . SHRM. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/5-tips-for-closing-the-deal-.aspx


Delivering an offer is the final step in the true hiring process. Offers can be provided by either the human resources lead on the job or the hiring manager. It all depends on the organization and, sometimes, the role and preference of the hiring manager. Usually, an offer is delivered in two components: a verbal offer and a follow-up offer letter. Both are very carefully crafted beforehand.

In the last module, we mentioned salary quite a bit, but let’s go a little more in-depth about where a figure comes from. Before any offer is made, a lot of prep work is done to triangulate the right salary and compensation package for the individual. During the job description process, a salary (or salary range) is conceptualized based on the expectations for the role and in accordance with the budget. This process includes salary benchmarking – looking up salary averages for the role in databases,   Many paid and free salary databases verify that the salary is commensurate with industry, location, and experience norms. In addition, candidates are asked about their salary expectations during the screening and interview process, so companies know where the candidate’s expectations are, or at least if the salary is acceptable.

A note about salary vs. salary range:  The expectations and outcomes of the role are determined as part of the job description process, and those expectations should justify a set salary. However, a  salary range could be considered for other talents, and expertise individuals bring to the table. In an interview with SHRM, Catherine Jaeger, recruiting manager at real estate technology company Compass, agrees that presenting the candidate with the salary, benefits, and duties from the first conversation is important, "That's because I don't want to get [candidates] to the end of the process and have them not be interested or give them an offer they can't even consider," she said. "That's wasting their time and ours" (Maurer, 2022).

Besides determining the salary, the full compensation package (benefits) is usually standard for the organization. A company might consider flexibility and points of competitiveness during negotiation regarding sign-on bonus amount, vacation time (though rarely due to equity), flexible work hours, start date, job titles (though rarely), relocation costs, and specialized hardware.

The Verbal Offer

After determining a good time to speak with the candidate, either the human resources lead on the job, or the hiring manager will call the candidate. A basic script looks like the following:

1. It’s been great getting to know you throughout the process.

2. I’m excited to make you an offer today for the role of X.

3. Our competitive offer package includes (401K, X vacation days, insurance, etc.).

4. Our base salary offer is X.

5. What questions can I answer for you about everything I’ve said?

6. Would there be any issues with a start date of X?

7. We will get your offer letter over to you by the end of the day.

The Offer Letter

The offer letter should reiterate the points made on the call with great detail and contain an expiration date (the date you need to hear back from the candidate) and a start date. The candidate may have competing offers and may ask for a little time to review, but hopefully, you will receive an acceptance within 24 hours. It is customary to send a full benefits package packet with the offer letter.

SHRM shares two offer letter templates:




It is not uncommon to negotiate once, especially with every piece of advice on the Internet pointing candidates to do so. Negotiating more than once is unusual. The hope is that you can avoid negotiation altogether by getting on the same page about expectations during the screening and interview process.

Some counters ask for a higher salary, while others may ask for additional perks and benefits. Some candidates do it over the phone, while others do it in writing. In some cases, current employers may counter-hoping to retain the employee, or candidates may have competing offers. The hope is that knowledge of competing offers or interviews emerges as getting to know the candidate during the screening and interview processes.

Responding to counters via call or email is a preference, and both are acceptable.

Acceptance Example Language

I am happy to report we are able to meet your salary request. We are looking forward to you joining our team. Please see the new offer letter that confirms the new annual salary of $XX,XXX.

Disagreement Example Language

While you are our chosen candidate, we are unfortunately able to meet your salary request. We believe there will be many opportunities in the future with the growth of our company. We hope you will reconsider our offer of an annual salary of $XX,XXX.

For more information and examples of counter language, check out the article,   by Indeed.  

Regarding counters, it is not uncommon for prospective employers to hop on a call and coach candidates if they want them as part of their talent pool. They’ve developed a professional repour over the last few weeks and know a great deal about the candidate’s aims. Mirroring some of the negative comments they’ve heard candidates make about their current situation might be just what the candidate needs to hear to make the leap.

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