The moment a candidate receives an offer is like music to the ears and such a cause for celebration! While a joyful moment, it can also be stressful and candidates often react in a more frantic and disorganized manner than they should. It is part of my job as a recruiter to reign candidates in and keep them focused and organized during offer negotiations. However, it doesn’t always go as planned and frankly the offer can be seriously jeopardized if not handled correctly and with care by candidates.
Once candidates receive an offer and review the terms—it is essential that they take a deep breath, sit back, and write a list of consolidated questions regarding the offer and perhaps even the role/agency (if they did not have the opportunity to ask certain questions during the interview stage). Once this list if vetted and thoroughly reviewed, it is presented to the client who will in turn respond in a consolidated manner as well. Issues arise when there is a surplus of backs and forths—candidates appear annoying, doubtful, and frankly not buttoned up. A lot of hiring managers/HR people like to move quite quickly so backs and forths are a total nightmare and cause for concern. The worst case scenario is a withdrawn offer, which I have seen happen a couple of times, because candidates are literally asking very ignorant and even petty questions during offer stage—is there a coffee machine on every floor? What’s the policy on working from home? These types of questions are a NO NO and a complete waste of time.
The bottom line is that the offer stage is a very fragile and critical part of the hiring process. Candidates need to act professionally and organized so the process can be as streamlined and clear as possible. Candidates have any right to gather more information at this stage, but it must be done in a thoughtful and concise manner. This is definitely a skill honed over time, but candidates should at least heed this advice before they make major mistakes once an offer is made. A good recruiter will help to manage this part of the process but even a good recruiter can have a difficult time dealing with a frantic and question slap happy candidate.