Employers Resources

Is Your ‘Holiday Time’ Job Offer a Gift, or a Gag?

Executive Suite

By Steve Margalit, FPC Recruitment Training Consultant

With less than six weeks to go in the calendar year and competition for top talent as fierce as it’s ever been, it’s imperative you bring your best job offer to the table.  This is always true in a candidate poor market, but even more so at year end when other factors come into play.  That sounds easy enough, but are you equipped with enough information to know what that magic number is? There is no bigger momentum killer after a successful interview process than a weak, less than inspiring offer that ultimately results in bringing your search back to step one…identifying a new star candidate.  The hiring process is an information based game, if you fail to broach certain topics, you may be leaving yourself exposed.  Here are some things to remember as you put together the right job offer for your ideal candidate…

Anticipated Raises

A question you should absolutely be asking your candidate is, “when are you due for your next raise?”  In order to ensure that your offer is competitive and will even be considered by your candidate, you need to know what you’re competing with.  At the very least you need to have a clear understanding of their compensation expectations.  Please be cognizant of new equal pay/salary history laws at the state and local level.  Make sure your offer accommodates a potential raise.

Year-End Bonuses

An added consideration this time of year in providing a competitive offer for your candidate is accounting for a year-end bonus payout.  Keep in mind; these bonuses are often strategically paid in February or March of the following year.  Gathering this information in advance of delivering your offer gives you a chance to get creative to stay competitive.  Using a sign-on bonus can neutralize the loss of the year-end bonus your candidate is expecting and also keep your internal salary banding in check.

Stock Vesting

Be sure to inquire about the vesting schedule for any non-cash compensation.  At the very least, find out the amount that is due to vest within the next 12 months.  Most candidates recognize that in order to embark on a new and challenging opportunity – hopefully yours, they will be faced with a decision to walk away from future financial considerations.  Being informed on the amount and how it breaks down over the short and long term gives you a chance to stay competitive.


Many companies come to the table with a “low-ball” offer with the expectation that they can ‘negotiate up’ if necessary.  With top candidates often receiving multiple offers in this competitive market, it’s vital to deliver a strong offer the first time – if you don’t, someone else will!  Open communication and dialogue with your candidate is critical to the successful completion of the hiring process.  Your Executive Recruiter can be an extremely valuable partner in disseminating this highly sensitive yet immensely important information.  The ability to effectively close your candidate starts at day one – the introduction.  Building rapport and a mutual trust regarding compensation expectations can be the difference between an accepted offer, and one that is turned down.  In fact, using your Executive Recruiter to test the viability of your offer can save you from delivering an offer that is unlikely to be accepted.

Your business’s growth and the important hiring decisions you need to make to support it, can’t go on hiatus during the end-of-year holiday season.  If you’re not on your ‘A’ game, and if you fail to incorporate these elements, you can be sure that you’ll miss some key elements and your job offers will not be appealing to the best candidates on the market.  This is not something you can afford to do.  Click here to find an FPC Recruiter who can help.  Good Luck!

Join the Club

Register today for your FREE pass to the FPC EXECUTIVE SUITE, where you’ll receive access to our up-to-date exclusive tips and more! 


 By registering for the FPC Executive Suite, you are giving us permission to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to you from FPC NATIONAL. Don’t worry, we don’t provide your email address to anyone else, and you can always opt-out at any time if you prefer to stop receiving our messages.


Share our post