It’s all about the candidate!
While salary and benefits are certainly key factors affecting a candidate’s decision to take a job there are personal reasons that can be equally compelling. There could be a strained relationship or uncomfortable environment at the candidate’s present company. He could be seeking an environment that is more family friendly, enabling him time to help care for a new baby or sick parent. He may require a more flexible schedule to work out daycare situations. Job location, commute time, ability to work from home and other such personal factors all enter into the decision-making process, and what’s most important will vary from candidate to candidate.
Again from the candidate’s perspective what’s in it for him is more important at the moment than what’s in it for you and your company. Consider the complete package- salary benefits and any personal considerations you may be aware of – as objectively as possible from the point of view of the candidate and take this into account when making the offer.
Finally don’t underestimate the power of personal rapport you are looking to build a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. You and other members of your company who have been involved in the interview process will likely have positive feelings toward your top candidate, and, if everything went according to plan, he will have an equally positive perception of you and your company. This will also have an impact on his decision when contemplating your offer I know of one case in which the candidate’s new position would require him to travel a lot. The hiring manager sent a gift basket to the candidate’s spouse essentially thanking her for her support. This cemented the relationship between the spouse and the hiring manager, and made the candidate feel good about his decision to take the new position.