I've made this mistake many times. Here's to hopes this post will keep some of you from making it as well.
After finding decent candidates and putting them through my favorite 3's (3 interviews at 3 different times while considering 3 other candidates) I prepare a written offer only to have snags come up like counteroffers or some story about why the start can't happen.
It's a rookie mistake to be sure and one that internal recruiters and inexperienced HR managers make all the time.
Good third party recruiters (TPRs), however, know better and are worth every penny. The subject came up on Recruiters Online which is quickly becoming the go-to place for recruitment chat. I've copied some of the most salient comments on why you should ALWAYS MAKE THE VERBAL OFFER FIRST.
Tammy ColsonIf im the recruiter, I want to make the offer. Ive only had one client who had HM do it. Made me nuts. (Lost a few that way) BG/references done by 3rd party company for the last 10 years or so.
Nanette Ault Foster I am TPR [...and] state from the beginning of a search that I want to make the offer. Most of the time the company agrees with me. After all a candidate will tell me much more than they will the company. I also get a 95% acceptance rate. Often I also do references but let's be honest...if the company doesn't ask for them...well you see where I am going.
Amy AlaCorporate, I make the offer. Third party company does BG check
Nanette Ault FosterI will add even my companies that insist on making the offer...I INSIST on making a verbal offer first to ensure that there are no "red flags". I never want the offer to go out in writing and allow the candidate to run back to their company and get a pay raise. It happens but rarely...I usually have the close before the offer ever goes out...that is the difference of a TPR making the offer and the company IMO.