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How to Build an Offer Executive Candidates Can’t Refuse

Posted by Reed Flesher

It’s never a good idea to extend an executive offer until you know that the candidate will say “yes.” It’s best to build the most desirable offer package possible, and work closely with the hiring team to understand their limits and thoughtfully consider the candidate’s requirements. Here are some best practices for building an offer that executive candidates simply can’t refuse.

Address Non-Compensation Issues First

The best compensation package in the world may not be strong enough for an executive candidate to say “yes” if underlying issues are giving them reservations about taking the job. Some of these factors could include the work schedule, location, flexibility, title, or the specific responsibilities involved in the position.

Have you addressed their concerns? You and/or the hiring team should take their concerns into account and work together to resolve each one to the candidate’s satisfaction. Only then can you move forward to talk about the financial aspects of the offer and to expect a “yes.”

Take Time to Negotiate

The executive position is critical to the success of a company, so a quick negotiation is not usually possible (or advisable). Negotiation should take place over several face-to-face conversations, which will discuss compensation and other perks the candidate wants or requires.

Some parts of the compensation package that need to be discussed include the following:

  • Base salary
  • Bonus compensation, including the conditions under which bonuses will be paid
  • Health insurance, including what plan will be provided and what the cost to the executive will be
  • Stock options, time until vested, and loans to buy stock or buy a home
  • Retirement and 401K plans, including what will be matched or contributed by the company
  • What perks will be offered, such as a wardrobe allowance, housing allowance, moving cost reimbursement, tuition costs for the candidate and/or their children, club membership dues, and company cars or other transportation allowance
  • Termination provisions, such as whether stock must be sold and how much money will be paid if the candidate is terminated before the contract period is up

The base salary is but the tip of the iceberg for executive compensation, and you can use the supporting benefits and perks to balance out compensation if needed.

Toward the end of these negotiations, you may ask the candidate whether they would accept an offer under the terms discussed, but pay attention to their body language. If anything seems off, it’s time to probe more deeply to uncover their remaining reservations before putting that offer on the table.

Thrive TRM helps executive recruiters through the recruiting process from the initial contact with the corporate hiring team to the eventual offer. Schedule a demo to see all that Thrive TRM can do to help with your executive recruiting process.

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