Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations acquire top talent, while helping professionals in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking all about the offer of employment from the employer point of view. Welcome, Stacy. Thank you for joining us.
Stacy: Hello, Sharita. I’m glad to be here again today.
Sharita: Stacy, today we’re talking about the offer of employment. We’ve touched upon this subject before, mainly from the perspective of the candidate. But now we’re attacking it from the perspective of the employer. Why is that?
Stacy: Well, as you know, we’re in a candidates’ job market. Since that is the case, it makes the offer stage of the hiring process more important, especially for the employer. That’s because candidates, especially top candidates, have a lot of options. As a result, employers can not assume that just because they extend an offer to a candidate that the candidate will accept it. There are a lot of things that an employer has to do in today’s market to ensure that their top choice will accept their offer and become an employee.
Sharita: What are some of the specific reasons that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals are rejecting job offers these days?
Stacy: Well, there are different reasons. In fact, sometimes there are a combination of reasons, and employers must be aware of them if they are to understand what is truly happening in the employment marketplace. Awareness is crucial if Animal Health and Veterinary employers want to hire the best talent available. It’s not just about finding the best candidates. It’s also about successfully recruiting them and hiring them.
Sharita: That makes sense. Even if you find the best candidate and convince them to consider your opportunity, it doesn’t matter if you make an offer to them and they turn that offer down.
Stacy: That’s right. All that represents a lot of wasted time, effort, and energy. And as we all know, wasted time, effort, and energy translates into wasted money. None of that is appealing to employers.
Sharita: So why would a candidate reject an offer?
Stacy: The first reason is the most obvious: the starting compensation is too low or the offer overall just isn’t good enough. In a candidates’ market, you have to make a compelling offer. In other words, the opportunity has to clearly be better than the job the candidate already has. This includes the offer. The offer has to be clearly better than what the candidate’s current employer is offering them.
The good news is that many employers in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession are starting to realize they have to make compelling offers to their top choice. The bad news is that some employers are slow to recognize this reality of the marketplace and adjust their practices accordingly. As a result, those employers are more likely to see their offers rejected by top candidates.
Sharita: What’s another reason why a candidate would reject an offer of employment?
Stacy: They would reject it if they receive a better offer from another organization. Remember, top candidates are typically part of more than one hiring process. Sometimes they receive multiple offers at roughly the same time. Obviously, they’re going to accept the one that is the most attractive and that makes the most sense and reject the other one. That’s yet another reason why employers must make their very best offer to their top choice candidate. They have no idea if another organization is courting the candidate. To be safe, they have to assume that’s the case.
A third reason is related to this one. That’s if the candidate has accepted a counter-offer from their current employer.
Sharita: Doesn’t that usually involve the candidate first accepting an organization’s offer and then declining it after they accept the counter-offer?
Stacy: Yes, that’s usually the case. I coach the candidates I work with to not accept a counter-offer. Nothing good can typically come from accepting a counter-offer. However, they do happen. In fact, the more impressive the candidate, the more likely they are to receive a counter-offer. That’s because their current employer considers them to be extremely valuable. This is why a hiring manager must execute their due diligence during the hiring process to prevent it from happening.
Sharita: How can they do that?
Stacy: They can straight-up ask the candidate if they would accept a counter-offer!
Stacy: Absolutely, and they should. That way, they can keep the candidate accountable if a counter-offer becomes an issue at any point in the process.
Sharita: What’s another reason that a candidate would reject an offer?
Stacy: Another reason would be if the hiring process drags out. If the hiring process is too long, that increases the chances that candidates will drop out of it. This is especially the case in regards to top candidates. Once again, they have more options and are probably interviewing with multiple companies. If an organization’s hiring process is dragging on, and one of the other companies with which a candidate is interviewing has a shorter process, that other company is probably going to win. Time is of the essence during the hiring process, and employers must remember that if they want to ensure acceptance of their offer.
Sharita: So what are some best practices for employers in terms of making the offer?
Stacy: One of the big parts of an offer of employment is the starting salary, and it’s true that candidates are expecting to be offered a salary that is bigger than what they already have. In fact, some candidates are expecting to be offered a salary that is much bigger than what they already have. So with that in mind, there are some numbers that the hiring manager and other company officials must know before they make an offer to their top choice.
Sharita: What are those numbers?
Stacy: Well, there are four main ones. The first one is the salary that the organization can afford to pay. Basically, this is what the organization has budgeted for the position. Ideally, it’s the maximum amount that they’re willing to pay in order to hire the top candidate. This is definitely a number you should know before making an offer.
The second number is the current market value for the position. After all, there’s a good chance that the candidate knows this number, too. They’ve probably been tracking this number for the majority of their career.
The third number is the current level of compensation for all of the candidates who are on the organization’s short list for consideration.
Sharita: Wait a minute. It’s it now illegal for employers to ask about compensation levels for candidates who are applying for jobs?
Stacy: At the present time, that’s only the case in a handful of states and a few select cities. I would imagine that the list of states and cities prohibiting employers from asking about current salary will increase, but for now, the number is small. As a recruiter, I recommend disclosing your salary information in those states where it is not prohibited.
Sharita: Why? Won’t doing that affect the offer that the employer makes?
Stacy: I have long believed that the offer is dependent upon how much value the employer believes you will bring to the organization. We’ve discussed this before in a previous podcast about negotiating money during the hiring process. Ultimately, how well you interview and how much you impress the hiring manager determines what kind of offer you receive. If Animal Health and Veterinary employers want to hire top candidates who are in short supply, they can’t make it a habit to low-ball their offers, regardless of whether they know the candidate’s current compensation level or not.
Sharita: That makes sense. What’s the fourth number?
Stacy: The fourth number is the exact salary figure needed to guarantee acceptance of the offer by the candidate.
Sharita: How would the employer know what that number is?
Stacy: That’s a great question. The answer is by working with a search consultant! An Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can be a tremendous help during the hiring process, but they can be especially helpful during the offer stage.
Sharita: Why is that?
Stacy: The search consultant has been working closely with the candidate throughout the entire process. Better than anybody else, they know what is important to the candidate and what kind of offer the candidate is hoping to receive. There’s a good chance that they know the candidate’s current compensation level, at least in the states that don’t have the ban we just discussed, and they more than likely know the level of compensation that would convince the candidate to accept an offer.
And if an organization is working with a search consultant, there’s one more important thing that the hiring manager should do.
Sharita: What’s that?
Stacy: They should let the search consultant make the formal offer to the candidate and not be tempted to do it themselves.
Sharita: Now what’s the reason for that? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the company to make the offer?
Stacy: In a lot of ways, this is similar to a real estate transaction. The buyer doesn’t make an offer to the seller directly. Instead, they work through an agent. In this case, the buyer is the company and the seller is the candidate. To get the job done, they work through a search consultant or recruiter.
Candidates are more comfortable working through their recruiter if they want to talk candidly about the offer or negotiate the offer. They’re not as comfortable doing so directly with the company. Unfortunately, there are some hiring managers who don’t recognize this.
Sharita: Stacy, have you ever worked with a client and the hiring manager made the offer to one of your candidates without your knowledge?
Stacy: I have! It’s happened on more than one occasion.
Sharita: What happened?
Stacy: When this happens, the candidate is sometimes taken aback and put off because they thought I was the one who was going to make the offer. In some instances, they rejected the offer, leaving the hiring manager to wonder what happened. This is why, if an organization is working with a search consultant to help fill a position, that organization should let the search consultant make the offer to the candidate.
Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.
Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!