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Celebrating 50 years of Building High Performance Corporate Teams - 1971 to 2021

Hiring doesn’t have to be an uncertain process!

You may recall that I promised to help you answer the following 6 questions in 2012:

  1. Who am I REALLY looking for?
  2. Where am I going to find him/her?
  3. How am I going to evaluate him/her?
  4. How am I actually going to hire him/her?
  5. How am I going to successfully “on-board” him/her?
  6. How am I going to retain him/her?

This time we are looking at how to construct an offer that meets both party’s needs, i.e. yours as well as the candidate’s. The easiest part of the offer is often the money.


The compensation you offer will need to be a compromise based on 4 factors:

  1. Internal equity with similar positions in your own firm;
  2. Industry averages for similar positions generally;
  3. The current compensation of your chosen candidate;
  4. The “premium” the candidate places on your opportunity, based on their assessment of the challenges, responsibilities, travel, risk etc. associated with it.

Other Considerations

Other factors that are important to the candidate (opportunities for learning, career growth potential, lifestyle factors, travel requirements, corporate culture and team environment, benefits, vacation, RRSP/pension/stock option plans, etc.) should be discussed and agreed upon, even if they will not appear in the actual offer letter.

The Offer Letter

The offer letter should clearly outline the major elements of the offer, including title, start date, and compensation, and may have attachments if they form part of the employment contract. For instance, a job description and company policies such as computer/software/internet use, harassment etc. which form part of the employment contract should be signed off as part of the offer, and not left as paperwork to be completed on Day 1.

The offer letter should also have an expiry date, and not be open ended. The candidate should have an opportunity to review the offer, and perhaps seek legal input; a few days should be sufficient. If a candidate cannot make a sound business decision in this time then you should have concerns about motivation or genuine interest.