Tip from top performing hiring manager:  Never provide an offer letter unless your candidate has answered the “if.” He thinks the practice of candidates acquiring multiple offer letters is almost as bad as hiring managers providing written offers without having a candidate’s real commitment on the verbal terms.

The “if” is simple: “If we offer you x,y,z compensation package and I go through the hoops of getting an offer drafted, you’re committing, correct?” If the candidate shows reluctance or delays, it is too early to give the formal offer. Instead, identify what’s getting in the way of their commitment. Don’t try to close before the buyer is ready, and a written offer is a close. Moreover, if the indecision lasts, you may be working with a game-player, light on commitment or indecisive, good reasons to not continue.

And to candidates who collect multiple offer letters: don’t do it. It burns bridges.  Don’t be shy on verbally walking through your compensation package in detail, ask as many questions as you can until you have the clarity that you need.  That’s your job. If you are seeing murky answers, walk. But an offer is the wrong vehicle for understanding an offer.

His biggest point is that great salespeople constantly seek clarity and agreement by identifying objections and talking through them to find the best mutual path. He thinks that is right way to for both parties to act in the hiring process, being really clear on what you’re selling and what you’re buying.

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