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How to Make a Competitive Job Offer in Finance

With the abundant career options available for finance and accounting professionals, combined with the low unemployment rate in today’s market, identifying a candidate that has both the right skillset and fits well with your team can be very challenging. Identifying that perfect candidate can bring a huge sigh of relief – until it comes to negotiating an offer that is difficult to refuse.

For an employment offer to be attractive, not only should the core components such as base salary, bonus and monetary benefits such as 401(k) and paid time off be included, but also non-monetary perks. Not putting together a competitive offer – and extending it quickly - could result in a lost candidate.

Realistic Compensation
Where do both parties usually start? With annual compensation. Generally speaking, valuable candidates know their value. Employers should assume this and be sure to offer a compensation package that is based on solid market research. It is critical to incorporate several factors beyond qualification for a similar role – geography, size of company, industry and competitors, to name a few. In order to seal the deal with this sought-after candidate, you need to present them with a salary proposal that aligns with their potential other offers or, at minimum, their outside research. From there, you can offer additional benefits, setting it above the rest.

Perks of the Job
Be cautious not to overlook or downplay other benefits the organization has to offer. What were previously viewed as “perks” by job-seekers are now often expectations. Benefits such as insurance, matching 401(k) contributions and paid time off are now considered fairly standard. What other perks does your organization offer – outside of those standard benefits - that you could actually include in a written offer? Many job seekers today are also looking for non-monetary, quality-of-life benefits such as remote work or flexible schedule arrangements and even a day or two of time off for charitable opportunities. And, just as compensation, they are quick to look elsewhere if these do not match the market. Be sure to explore these areas and include in an offer letter where feasible. Putting these perks in writing – versus only verbally offering – demonstrates to the candidate that these aren’t just “possibilities”, but very firm elements of their employment offer.

Act Quickly
Time is of the essence. In today’s market, candidates can be available one day and gone the next. Allowing too much time to pass between identifying a candidate and extending a formal offer could mean starting your search over. If the candidate is strong enough to warrant an offer from you, chances are you aren’t the only one. Once the offer has been extended set a deadline for the candidate accepting it, building in a window of time for negotiation. This will help eliminate unnecessary time to pass between conversations and will also keep the potential employee engaged - with your offer top-of-mind.