Verbal Job Offers: Snag Top Candidates before the Competition

By Erin Coursey, iHire
Businessman smiling while talking on the phone

Congratulations—you found a candidate to fill your open position! Before you begin crafting the official letter, you should consider making a verbal job offer. By telling the potential new hire that you are prepared to deliver an employment offer, you could prevent them from continuing to apply for other positions or joining another company.

The following framework outlines the elements of a strong, effective informal job offer to make candidates cancel their job search and begin the onboarding process with your organization:

  1. State Your Excitement. Everyone likes to feel wanted, and your newest potential hire is no different. Let them know how excited you are to have them join the team.
  2. Remind Them Why They Like Your Company. Talk to them about how they’ll fit in at your organization. What made you realize they’d be a good match for your culture?
  3. Show Them The Money. Let them know the base salary you’re prepared to offer, as well as any other major benefits. You don’t need to list everything here, because it’s an informal offer. Just let them know you’re still nailing down the details of their complete package.
  4. Get a Response. Whether you’re communicating via email or phone, it’s completely appropriate to ask for the recipient’s initial response. Be aware, however, that many people may want to see the official, formal offer before making a commitment.

Sample Call Script for a Verbal Job Offer

Notebook sitting next to a cell phone

 

Hi, this is [Your Name] from [Your Organization]. May I speak with [Candidate Name]? *Pause for candidate, then reintroduce yourself.* Is now a good time to talk? *Pause for confirmation*

 

I really enjoyed speaking with you at your last interview, and definitely think you’d make a strong addition to [Company Name]’s [Department Name]. We had [# of applicants] for the [position title], but based on your qualifications and [other reason you chose this candidate], you’re our top pick. I think your [#1 reason for choosing candidate] and [#2 reason for choosing candidate] make you a great match for this opening. I’m excited to offer you the position with a base salary of [salary], as well as [other benefit(s)].

We’re still working out the final details of the offer package, but I wanted to let you know the good news right away. So, what do you think? *Pause for response*

  • If candidate turns down the offer: I’m sorry to hear that. Would you mind sharing your reason with me? *Pause for response*
    • If reason is salary or benefits related: Let me discuss this with the budgeting team, and see if we can get closer to the offer you were looking for. What would you need to accept a position with us?
    • If they continue to decline or the offer is nonnegotiable: Thank you for letting me know. We’re disappointed you won’t be joining us, but I know this is an important decision. I appreciate you taking the time to consider us, and hope you will keep us in mind for future opportunities. Best of luck in your career. *End Call*
  • If candidate accepts: Congratulations! We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the team.
  • If candidate asks for more time: That’s completely understandable. I know you’ll be a great fit here, but I recognize that this is an important decision. I need a response by [deadline], so please get in contact with your decision by then. *End Call*

We will send you the final employment offer and paperwork [by date/within time range]. Do you have any questions for me? *Pause for response*

Feel free to call me at [phone number] or send me an email at [email address] if you think of any more questions. I look forward to speaking with you again soon!


Cell phone with "Work For It" written on the screen

Making a verbal job offer should be like delivering a sales pitch. The best candidates will have their pick of employers, so you want to stand out as their top choice. Jump ahead of your competitors and get the best hires by keeping candidates in the loop and letting them know their official job offer is on the way!