How to Get the Candidate (Even With the Lowest Offer)

When you’re courting a desirable candidate, it’s not always exclusive. While you may be a candidate’s first choice of employment, your offer may not be the candidate’s most lucrative.

Are you fated to lose your ideal candidate to another company with a bigger budget? Maybe not. While there will always be candidates who are motivated by salary goals above all else, the workforce is changing. Job seekers have new ways of communicating, new ways of communicating and new expectations of their work.

Here are three things to focus on to make sure you don’t lose your ideal candidate when they get a higher offer elsewhere:

Emphasize True Job Fit

Has the job candidate emphasized what a good fit this is for her skills? Or how this position takes on the exact responsibilities she is hoping to fulfill? If so, and if she receives a significantly higher offer for a different position, the position may not describe the same responsibilities. When you discuss your offer with the prospective candidate, emphasize the role she will play in your organization and what a good fit the position is for her current skills and the skills she wants to learn.

Clearly Define Your Culture

Money isn’t everything. Just ask someone who is transitioning from a toxic workplace or a micro-managing manager. Is this candidate a true culture fit for your organization? If so, emphasize that during the interview process. Think of images and conversations you can share with the candidate to let them see what an impact a positive company culture can have on their wellbeing and job satisfaction.  

Share Examples of Advancement

Many candidates will consider a job with a lower salary if it comes with clear opportunities for advancement. However, candidates who have been burned in the past may not trust companies to follow through on this promise. If promoting from within is one of your company’s strengths, share real life examples of advancement with prospective job candidates. Having evidence that the position comes with opportunities for advancement might make the candidate think twice about taking a job with a higher salary offer without them.

Spell Out Your Benefits

Don’t assume candidates will see the full value in your benefits, especially if the job candidate is young or entry-level. Spell it out. A job with excellent health coverage and a covered premium will be a significant financial consideration for a candidate with a family or ongoing medical issues. The same principle stands for life insurance and disability insurance. These benefits are often taken for granted when compared to salary, but they represent a significant investment on behalf of the company and significant savings and protection on behalf of the employee.

Don’t throw in the towel if you think your ideal candidate is getting a better offer from another company. Show off the unique assets your company brings to the table and know that the right fit for the right person often makes up the difference.