Closing the Deal: The Importance of the
Offer Presentation in C-Suite Hiring
Every C-Suite leader has lost a perfect candidate in the C-suite hiring negotiation process. There are many factors affecting the negotiation that are out of your control and some factors that are clearly in your control. Unfortunately, the factors clearly in your control are often neglected or overlooked. Optimizing the factors in your control can improve your success rate in landing the best executive candidate.
You can’t control the candidate’s reaction to your offer, competitive offers, or counteroffers. You can get an idea of how they will respond, but there are too many variables to rely on your gut. What factors can you control, and what precisely can you do to close the deal?
1. Presentation and Communication with C-Suite Executives
Besides the normal terms such as base, bonus, and benefits, you can control the offer presentation and communication. Both of these controllable factors are often unplanned, neglected, or treated as an afterthought. Now, I know what you are thinking: “The compensation terms are all that matter! The verbal offer and the offer letter are not a huge deal and are easy. Why waste time on them?”
With the experience of hundreds of candidate negotiations under our belt, we can assure you—they are not easy and are a huge deal to the candidate you are trying to land.
2. First Impressions Matter in C-Suite Hiring
All of us would agree that a good first impression and establishing early a strong relationship with your new executive or high-potential hire is critical. A weak early relationship is a risk to your business. CEOs, owners, CHROs, and other senior executives typically focus their time on the interview process, the offer terms, and onboarding plans. All of these are critical to landing the candidate and establishing a strong relationship with your new executive. However, these do not focus on the offer presentation, which is perhaps the easiest to address.
The verbal offer and the offer letter all reflect upon your organization’s culture, values, and professionalism. A polished offer presentation can support your hiring effort by closing the deal and starting off on the right foot. A poorly communicated offer or poorly written offer letter will create confusion, dissatisfaction, and mistrust when you need it the most. Perhaps more importantly, you risk losing the top candidate to a competing offer that is more refined, which wastes your time, company time, contributes to lost opportunities, and leaves your employees frustrated.
When executives are offered a position at a new company, they typically receive a verbal offer first, followed by the offer letter confirmation. Unfortunately, their spouse or partner may not hear all the nuances, soft benefits, and cultural affirmations that you hear in the verbal offer dialogue. Their significant other, a key decision maker, will see your company through the lens of your written offer, which is a business risk if it is poorly written. Think about it, if you offer a candidate a new job in a new city, what is the most important consideration in the decision process of the candidate? Their family and support systems are going to be the biggest considerations they will make, with the impacts it will have on other family members’ careers, childcare solutions, schools, and more.
3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Have you personally ever had a bad experience with an offer letter that was poorly written or incomplete? Did you ever get a verbal offer that was not aligned with the written offer? Did you question the credibility and competence of the employer? Did it affect your decision to accept or decline the offer? Did it leave a bad taste in your mouth even after you joined the organization? Did it create doubt in the company by your spouse or significant other? If so, you are not alone.
Many executives have faced similar situations and have shared with us their frustrations and regrets. Don’t let this happen to you or your potential hires. Making the investment of a little extra time during the offer phase will ensure clarity for the new hire and set the tone for a successful and long-term partnership.
Contact us to learn more about why CSES is the right fit for C-suite hiring with your organization.