Leading up to MOMENTUM’16, we’re highlighting the innovative businesses that help make our annual conference possible. Today we’re featuring Greenhouse, who provide companies with software to optimize the recruiting processes. This not only allows their customers to find better candidates, but to conduct more focused interviews, and make data-driven hiring decisions. Below, Melissa Suzuno, Content Marketing Manager for Greenhouse, shares her insights on how to secure talent with an exceptional offer letter experience. 

Speak to anyone who’s been through the job application process recently and you’ll most likely hear a host of horror stories. Interviewers who never showed up. Companies that “ghosted” after having a candidate come in for several rounds of onsite meetings. Offer letters that were promised but failed to materialize.

Luckily, that’s all changing. Whether it’s due to a shrinking pool of top talent, increased transparency through sites like Glassdoor and Quora, or HR teams that are empowered to become true business partners at their organizations, companies are beginning to realize that they can’t treat candidates and new hires thoughtlessly without experiencing some serious repercussions.

At Greenhouse, we spend a lot of time thinking about both the candidate and new hire experience. We know that each of these stages of the employee lifecycle is crucial to offer acceptance and retention rates. Providing a positive candidate experience is a key way that companies can differentiate themselves during the application process, and thoughtful and respectful onboarding programs set the tone for the rest of an employee’s tenure.

One key moment that can get overlooked is the point when someone transitions from a candidate to an employee: the moment when they sign their offer letter.

Signing the offer letter is more than just a bureaucratic necessity; it’s a symbolic moment when a person commits to leaving their current role and joining your organization.

So how can you give this moment the respect it deserves? Here are a few tips:

Be transparent 

When will you be sending over an offer letter? How long will the candidate have to review it? Who do they contact if they have any questions or find any errors? Make sure you communicate all this information clearly to candidates. And be sure to let them know what to expect after they complete the offer letter. Which steps will come next in the hiring process and when will they occur?

 Prioritize efficiency 

Most candidates are interviewing at several places at once. They can’t wait for companies that take too long to produce an offer letter, especially when they already have a few other offers in hand. Similarly, in our highly connected world, they may be opening an email with an offer letter on their cell phone or tablet, so they’re looking for a seamless experience no matter what type of device they’re using. Make sure that you’re able to create and share offer letters in a flexible, agile fashion.

 Optimize the process for the person managing it AND the person experiencing it

We’ve covered why a smooth offer letter process is important for the candidate, but it’s essential for this process to work for employers as well. Why? It’s easy for HR and People Ops professionals to get overwhelmed with a lot of paperwork, which can lead to oversights, duplicated work, and documents getting lost or misplaced. And if your HR team is feeling frustrated by all the details, this can translate into a lackluster candidate experience. Equip your HR team with the tools they need to manage offer letters efficiently and this can contribute to delivering a truly exceptional candidate experience. (BTW, Greenhouse and DocuSign integrate to make this a seamless experience for your HR team and new hires.)

The offer letter is the critical moment that bridges the gap from candidate to employee. Taking the time to make this experience as smooth and seamless as possible can be the key to helping you stand out from your competitors and set your new employees up for success. And who doesn’t want that?

Would you like to learn more about how forward-thinking companies are approaching candidate and employee experience and get some actionable tips to help you make a positive change at your organization? Stop by our booth at DocuSign MOMENTUM from April 5–7, or come join us at Greenhouse Open from May 25–27 in San Francisco.

Melissa Suzuno is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she’s made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.