• Sarah West Recruitment

Job offers – how to make sure yours stand out

Some context – the current employment market

Over the last few months, during our South West HR Network meetings, we’ve been sharing the changes that we’re seeing in the employment market here in the South West and how that fits in with the national context.

The ‘candidate market’ in the South West, as well as nationally, is now very much seeing a return to pre-March 2020 levels. Supporting what we’re seeing, comes the recent figures from The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Report On Jobs, published at the beginning of the month, that found:

  • Permanent recruitment grew at the fastest rate on record in May

  • The fastest vacancy growth since January 1998

  • Starting salaries for permanent hires hit the highest rate of growth for nearly three years – temps for two years

  • Candidate availability fell at its quickest rate for four years

  • Temp billings growth hit a 75-month high

This is of course great news for jobseekers, less welcome news for those organisations that are looking to hire and to retain the top talent in their team.

With that in mind, it’s now more important than ever to take another look at every step of your recruitment process - from candidate attraction, advertising, the number of interview stages, right through to onboarding.

A key stage, that can often be overlooked, is when making a job offer. Getting to that point itself can sometimes feel like quite an achievement - it’s an exciting time - and you’ll need to make sure you get this part right, or run the risk of your star candidate accepting a role elsewhere.

A good job offer is ultimately an opportunity to demonstrate all of the things you’ve been talking about during the hiring process, in terms of the role and your organisation being great a place to work. Getting it right can also enhance or reinforce your employer brand too. ​

What makes a good job offer?

In our experience, you do this by providing information that goes above and beyond salary and basic benefits information. Having comprehensive information at this stage can also answer questions that candidates tend to have and reduce the amount of time it takes to get a ‘yes’. And it also shows that you’re genuinely excited at the prospect of them joining your team too!​

From our point of view, plus the feedback we get from candidates – what type of information helps make a job offer super-attractive? ​


​Don’t be shy when it comes to explaining WHY you’d love someone to join your team. It’s pretty obvious at this stage that they have the skills, experience, values and personality you’re looking for however it’s great to reiterate that - candidates like to hear specifics. What impressed you? What made them stand out? If a candidate had interviews with different people within the organisation – what was the feedback from each?

​Be clear about the value they’ll bring to your organisation and the reasons why they’re such a good fit for the role or stood out from the competition. ​

Salary reviews

​Over and above the starting salary, it’s a good idea to have it in writing when there’ll be the opportunity for salary reviews. This might be linked to a probationary period or to other milestones associated with the ever-increasing value they'll bring to the role and your organisation. ​

Development opportunities

​The lack of clear development opportunities and the potential to progress are two of the key drivers people have for leaving a role. As part of the recruitment process, you’ll have more than likely explored your new hire’s future career aspirations and demonstrating how you’ll support those, can make all the difference. Whether that’s outlining training opportunities on offer or being clear what the typical progression routes are within your organisation, can all help. ​

Give a reminder about your organisation

​Great candidates may be in the process for more than just your role. At the job offer stage it’s worth reminding them of your future plans, the team and the environment they’ll be a part of.

​Culture and brand

​Anyone who’s got to the job offer stage, has no doubt done their homework when it comes to researching your organisation. Through the interview process, hiring managers will have also had the opportunity to sing about the things that make you a stand out place to work. Your job offer gives you the chance to reinforce this, for example showcasing the company socials, opportunities to support the local community or charities, or if you’re all about sustainability – highlight the ‘how’. ​


​Shout about anything over and above the usual perks that a candidate’s going to expect, particularly if it will give them the flexibility to tailor their package to their particular needs. For example, evidence suggests that Baby Boomers are more likely to be attracted by benefits related to health, whereas Gen Z place more emphasis on wellbeing and financial security. Or it might just be that you’re a dog-friendly employer, that’ll help your new employee save a few £££ on pet-sitting! ​

Working arrangements

​Now more than ever, you need to be clear what, if any, flexible working arrangements there are – including hours and home working – from the outset and for the long term. Expectations have shifted over the last few months and potential employees will want to be clear what, if any options there will be, as things open up. ​

Our top tip

The upshot is there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to making a job offer. However, our top tip would be to make it as personal/tailored as you can, based on what you’ve learned about the candidate during the recruitment process. The more excitement and enthusiasm you can generate for your role and organisation, the better - and to do this you’ll have to go beyond the salary and holiday entitlement.

Questions about hiring, generally?

If you’ve got any questions about the employment market and hiring in the area, the team at Sarah West Recruitment would love to hear from you!

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