Closing the Deal when there’s a Competing Offer

Closing deal with a candidate

Closing the Deal When There’s a Competing Offer


Today’s job market is competitive, and no one knows this better than job seekers.  As we evaluate and recruit multiple candidates, job seekers are also searching through multiple opportunities. No one wants to put all their eggs in one basket.  Chances are, if you’ve found your ideal candidate, you’ve got some competition.  So, how do you seal the deal?

Getting a leg up on the competition’s offer can be tough, especially if your candidate’s current employer makes a competing offer.  The secret to a successful recruiting campaign is as simple as having a well-executed plan. Here are a few strategies to include in your onboarding process to triumph in the recruiting game.

  1. Be first

Most job seekers are looking for security. No one wants to hold out too long waiting for an offer, only to be left empty handed.  By being the first offer, your candidate is already mentally preparing to onboard with you.  Any subsequent offers are going to have to be much more attractive to persuade them to give up a done deal and start the process over again.  Having a quick onboarding turnaround time also reassures your candidate that you are well organized and eager to have them.  Nothing casts a negative light on a company more than poor communication and unnecessary hold ups before they even begin.

  1. Know what’s in it for them

Beyond compensation, most job seekers are primarily interested in advancing their careers.  Pay attention to their cover letters and their responses during the interview process.  If you can understand why they are leaving their current position and what they hoped to gain by joining your team, you can remind them of these reasons during negotiations. This is especially helpful when your compensation package is not the most robust offer on the table.

  1. Create excitement

Creating excitement around your company can be the most powerful tool you have.  Most candidates want to be a part of something. First and foremost, they absolutely want to advance their careers, but they also want to find meaning in what they do and be a part of something noteworthy.  Creating meaning and excitement for the future plans and ambitions of your company will up the desire factor for your company.  If you can build a sense of purpose for where the company is headed, and invite them to join you as a vital piece of your success, you have successfully differentiated yourself and given them an offer they almost certainly can’t refuse.

  1. Know what you’ll pay

Like it or not, money is a big part of a candidate’s decision to accept an offer.  You’ll want to create as much value outside of compensation to ensure yourself as a top contender, but at the very least,  your compensation package must take the money issue off the table.  Know how generous your compensation offer is within your industry and in relation to competing offers.  Also, make sure you have a clear understanding and approval for a maximum offer.  Having this information when speaking to your candidate will help you to understand how to navigate the conversation and set expectations.


  1. Follow up

Recruiting isn’t over until they show up for work.  Rescinding an application has become increasingly popular, even after a candidate has accepted an offer.  It is best to follow up with your candidate all throughout the onboarding process.  After they’ve accepted the offer, be sure to check in with them to make sure they are not having difficulty with human resources and have all of their paperwork in order.  You  might also send them a welcome gift or invite them to have lunch with their future team. They idea is to keep them engaged and excited about their decision to avoid a change of heart.


Closing the deal when there’s a competing offer can make or break a good start to the work relationship as well. Taking the time to seal the deal with your ideal candidate is a worthwhile investment.  Employees who report feeling content in the workplace have less call ins, lower turnover, higher productivity and produce much higher quality.

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