Digital Offer Experiences: The Sudden Shift of Focus


It would be a major understatement to say that nearly every aspect of hiring has changed in the past two years. In-person roles are now fully remote or hybrid, benefits packages are expected to contain provisions for professional development and coaching, and even the way new candidates are discovered has become increasingly more about your network than on who a recruiter can headhunt.

But there’s one aspect that hasn’t changed: offer letters.

Even amid so much advancement in other areas of the hiring process, the offer letter remains static, stagnant and wholly uninspiring. In fact, it’s almost become a hindrance to the hiring process for a variety of reasons:

  • Outdated company brand or values: By the time the offer letter template is downloaded, filled in with the candidate’s information and sent, the company brand, values, structure, etc. may have undergone updates
  • Limited by the print-scan-sign process: Traditional offer letters often require an actual signature, meaning candidates have to print the letter, sign it, scan it and attach it to an email response
  • Versioning becomes a nightmare: When negotiations begin and the offer letter is changed, you might have several versions attached to emails circulating all at once
  • Higher chance for human error: More manual edits to the letter mean more chances for typos or other mistakes that could be detrimental to the hiring process

Combined, these things factor into what ends up being a terrible candidate experience, often causing prospective new hires to jump ship altogether and move on to the next offer.

With a sophisticated and shrinking talent pool, it’s time to pull out all the stops and deliver an offer letter experience that’s far superior to a static PDF. Even the digitized offer letter with its once-revolutionary e-signature upgrade can’t compare to a live, interactive web platform where candidates can view every facet of the employment offer.

A true digital offer experience would be a dynamic one that had real value – not only for the candidate but for the company that extended the offer in the first place. It would be a hub, tailored to each candidate, with detailed information on everything from the true value of their salary to health and wellness benefits to their projected career trajectory with the company.

On the back end, HR teams would gain real-time insights on the candidate’s browsing history, which tab of the offer did they stay on the longest, with which benefit did they interact with the most, and when did they leave their site so that a follow-up email could be perfectly timed down to the second.

Web-based digital offer experiences, like the kind companies can expect with CandidateRewards Xpress, are a boon to the hiring process because they:

  • Ensure consistent and up-to-date company branding: With a web-based hub, you can easily swap out any updated company branding and changes are incorporated globally
  • Eliminate versioning and chance for manual errors: No more emailed PDFs that need to be manually amended, edited or “saved as,” eliminating the opportunity for errors
  • Cut down negotiations: When candidates can see the full value of their employment offer spelled out in benefits, career milestones and salary, there is less need for back-and-forth negotiating
  • Speed up time-to-hire: Real-time analytics enable HR teams to follow up and close the loop faster on prime talent

Have a candidate in mind for a hard-to-fill role? Try CandidateRewards Xpress free right now and see how a digital offer experience can help you seal the deal.

The Standout Remote Offer


Remote work.

Even five years ago, the concept seemed a distant hope for the sleeping majority of the workforce. But after 2020 showed corporations of all sizes that remote work wasn’t just possible, but profitable, there’s no going back.

One by one, companies across the globe closed their offices and brought remote work from pipe dream to mainstream. A study by Growmotely (featured in Forbes) last year revealed that 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard. And with the precedent that’s been set by companies like Twitter, Slack and Salesforce, business leaders are running out of excuses not to offer fully remote positions.

But now that remote is becoming the norm and professionals on the hunt have had a year or more to narrow down their must-haves in a new remote position, how can companies ensure they land their dream candidate?

We’ve compiled the top three things your remote offer needs to land top talent in 2021.

1. Fully remote or hybrid work option

Professionals coming from fully in-person roles may prefer a hybrid work option to help transition to remote work. Meanwhile, those who have already been fully remote may find it jarring to have to return to in-office work. Offering one or a mix of these two models ensures you’re attracting the most (and best) talent.

2. In-demand benefits

Surveys conducted in the last year reveal an array of in-demand benefits that job seekers have their eye on. Topping the list are healthcare for prospective hires and any dependents, professional development to hone current skills and develop new ones and coaching from mentors within your company to learn leadership techniques. Other important benefits rising in popularity in 2021 include childcare, home office expenses and mental health support.

3. Flexible work model

People are looking for more flexibility in their workday to allow for hobbies, childcare and a better work/life balance. In fact, some industries have taken this flexibility to a whole new level (or what some would argue is the next level of the new normal) and begun implementing a four-day work week with alternating Mondays and Fridays each week to allow for more time to unwind.

If your business is looking to land that perfect candidate, the three key ingredients above are a necessity for your remote offer. Professionals seeking a new role in 2021 are expecting a seamless hiring experience and they’ll keep looking if their must-haves aren’t met.

One of the easiest ways to deliver on that seamless hiring experience and sign those perfect candidates faster is by extending offers through an applicant tracking platform like CandidateRewards Xpress. This enables employers to send prospective new hires an offer letter experience that’s far and away better than the outdated, static PDF attachment.

On a dynamic candidate tracking platform, the employment offers candidates a way to view not only their salary, but the full value of your offer. From health benefits to 401k matching, even career path models, it’s an immersive, interactive experience for candidates.

And that experience isn’t only an improvement for the candidate – it also provides a wealth of invaluable data and analytical insights for the HR team. With real-time information on when the candidate visited their personalized offer letter on the platform and detailed stats on what they interacted with most, HR teams can perfectly time follow-up responses and seal the deal faster on prime candidates.

The talent pool in 2021 is sophisticated and shrinking. Don’t miss out on your perfect candidate because of a lackluster offer.

Ray O’Donnell is the founder and CEO of TotalRewards Software. To learn more about effectively marketing total rewards to employees, executives and candidates, get a free trial of TotalRewards Software today.

How Total Rewards Marketing Affects Recruiting

total rewards

If you didn’t happen to catch part one of my series, the basic gist is that companies need to be thinking about total rewards as a marketing effort that helps convert employees into happy, engaged, lasting team members.

But what does that mean for someone who’s not even on the team yet?

Total Rewards marketing is the next step in the evolution of total compensation—and especially important during the offer stage. Let’s be honest: a static PDF offer is pretty lackluster. After all, it usually isn’t very personalized to your candidate, and it can do your company a disservice by not fully communicating all that your offer has to, well, offer.

When you engage candidates as though they are customers and make benefits the focus of your marketing approach, candidates see the full value of your offer and you end up with higher quality hires who don’t drop off right at the last moment or join the team feeling less than excited. Win-win.

Competition for Talent Is Fierce

A Hiring Tsunami. The 2021 Rush. The War for Talent. No matter how you describe it, there’s no question that the competition to attract and close top talent is fiercely raging on.

If you want to stand out, you need to create an experience from the very beginning. Apply your total rewards marketing efforts to recruiting and draw parallels between the customer experience and the candidate experience. Think about it this way: If you have a bad experience at a store, what are the chances you’ll buy anything or much less be a repeat customer? A recent Forbes article summed it up nicely: The companies that prioritize their candidates and do everything in their power to make them happy and motivated will be the winners in this new era of hiring.

Positive, customized total rewards marketing experiences can help you attract, engage and delight candidates through the entire recruitment process, ensuring they convert to employees at the end.

Candidates Have Developed an Eye for Branding

Sleek and shiny Apple products, streamlined user interfaces, branding and good design are everywhere. Chances are your candidates have noticed. If you’ve put your company’s image on the backburner, especially as it relates to your candidate recruitment, let this be a call to arms to move it up to the front of the queue.


Because good branding shows candidates that you care about your business and your mission, which in turn means you’ll care about them. A rich, web-based total rewards experience that enlightens candidates to your values, mission and culture—bolstered by good branding—can be a game-changer for your recruiting efforts.

Employer branding is typically discussed at the ‘attract’ stage of recruitment (thanks to sites like Glassdoor and others). However, applying that same level of attention during all steps of the hiring process can ensure a smooth transition from one stage to the next.

Total Rewards Marketing for Candidates

Bringing all these concepts together—treating candidates as key constituents, approaching total rewards as a marketing effort, and doing it all with good branding—those are just some of the reasons why I’m so excited about CandidateRewards, our purpose-built recruitment software that allows you to bring real value to your candidate offers (which you can try for free now with our new CandidateRewards Xpress).

When you send a static offer, your only strategy is hope. Send it to an email and cross your fingers they don’t miss it, dismiss it or counter because they can’t see the full value. But with a hyper-personalized offer through a dynamic offer platform, you can send offers that stand out and see where candidates have spent time browsing. Using metrics and tracking, you can tailor your follow-up messages.

Did they spend time on the career paths page? Talk about how your company fosters growth. Were they enamored with the culture section? Be prepared to share stories and ask questions about how your values align. Did they drill down on the personalized total compensation page? Be ready to discuss the details of their comp package.

With CandidateRewards, you can easily show, not tell, your total value. Turn a boring (but vital) stage of the hiring process from a PDF email attachment into a fully customized experience that goes above and beyond to sell your company to future team members. Track metrics and tailor conversations so you can spend less time creating and sending offers and more time welcoming new hires.

The bottom line is that when you treat your total rewards efforts and offer letters as a dynamic, tailored marketing outreach that links to an online offer experience, you provide an engagement opportunity along with the analytics to transform the hiring process and get the right people for your business.

Ray O’Donnell is the founder and CEO of TotalRewards Software. To learn more about effectively marketing total rewards to employees, executives and candidates, get a free trial of TotalRewards Software today.