How Fast Should You Make an Offer for a Project Manager Job?


Never Miss Out on a Top Candidate Again

You’ve interviewed a few candidates for the project manager job. There are a couple of candidates who are at the top of your list. You waited until you’d finished all interviews before getting the hiring team together to decide who to make the offer to.

You decide on the candidate who you interviewed two weeks ago. You send the offer letter. It’s rejected. The candidate has already accepted an offer elsewhere. It turns out the next two potential hires on your list have also accepted other offers.

You’ve wasted weeks of time and haven’t hired. Why? Because you took too long to make an offer.

How fast should you be to make an offer, and how can you speed up?

Candidates Want Fast Responses

A CareerBuilder survey found that candidates want to be given a clear timetable of your hiring process and are not willing to wait for an offer. If you become buried under a mountain of paperwork or can’t get your hiring team together to make a fast decision, you risk losing the most talented project manager to another offer. Here’s how fast an offer should be made:

  • More than half of candidates say they will move on if they haven’t heard within two weeks of their interview
  • 82% expect a clear timeline and to be continually updated

Many candidates are hired fast. In its 2019 Candidate Experience Review, TalentBoard found that 55% of candidates waited less than a week between interview and offer.

Hiring Project Managers Faster

Having established the need for speed, how do you hire faster? We’ve pinpointed the following ways that you can speed up your hiring process and avoid losing the project manager talent because of slow job offers.

·      Make Time to Interview

Getting everyone in the interview room can be a logistical nightmare. The key interviewers have busy schedules, and this slows down the whole process. It can be weeks between interviews. You must also coordinate with the candidate, who may have an equally busy schedule.

The first rule here is to prioritize the interview process over other work, and be more accommodative to the candidate.

Second, consider utilizing the power of technology and conducting interviews online. This can be an extremely effective strategy in the candidate screening process, saving time and ensuring convenience for all those involved.

·      Keep Candidates Informed

Candidates want to be kept informed of their progress. They want regular communication, and they make assumptions about what it will be like to work for you from their experiences during the hiring process.

In project manager jobs, candidates will expect clear communication and rapid responses. If your hiring process doesn’t do this, candidates will expect the role to run into communication difficulties quickly.

If you are slow to respond to queries or to give feedback following interviews, the best candidates take it as a sign of disinterest and become disinterested themselves.

How do you fix this? Set a clear timeline for your hiring process, and put in place procedures that must be followed at every step.

·      Offer the Project Manager Job Over the Phone

Letters get lost in the post. Emails become lost in an overflowing inbox. The way to make the offer first is always over the phone.

Speaking to the candidate directly helps you gauge the likelihood of acceptance. It also helps you to accelerate the hiring process. If the candidate declines over the phone, you can move to your second choice immediately. It can take days for a candidate to respond to an offer made by letter or email.

·      Send the Formal Offer Immediately

When your preferred candidate accepts the project management job over the phone, send the offer letter immediately. The way to do this is to use an offer letter template. Fill in the details in the placeholders, and the letter is good to go.

Another reason to be quick with the formal offer letter is that, even though you have made the offer, CareerBuilder’s survey found that more than half of candidates will continue their job search even after they have accepted an offer.

The deal is not done until the candidate has received, agreed, and signed the offer letter and been given a start date. Until the candidate receives all the details, they are likely to keep looking, just in case your offer falls through.

·      Be Prepared to Negotiate

Many candidates will want to negotiate on the first offer they receive. If you don’t have a negotiation plan in place, any negotiation becomes a new hurdle to the candidate. You should be ready with a pre-agreed set of parameters for your HR department to negotiate to – on elements such as pay, bonuses, and benefits.

The way in which you handle negotiations, and the speed with which you handle them, could be the difference between making the hire and missing an exceptional candidate to a competing offer.

Move Fast to Hire Fast

The key takeaway is that you must move fast to hire fast. The most talented project managers get hired quickly. They won’t wait around for your offer, and when you do make an offer the candidate may be weighing you up against a competing offer.

A fast, efficient hiring process during which you keep the candidate fully informed is key to hiring faster and hiring better.

If you are finding it hard to hire the project manager you need, contact us here at TotalTek. We’ll explain how we help our clients to fill their roles fast, with the talent they need for outstanding project management outcomes.