It’s been a long and grueling search to find the perfect candidate who’s not only qualified for the job opening, but also fits your company culture, embodies your Core Values, is within your salary range, and is ready to hit the ground running. So, what’s next? Making them an offer of course!
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Most people will call a candidate on the phone and share the good news with them. It’s the perfect time to lay out what the initial offer will be and allow them to ask any immediate questions. Since you already know the candidate’s salary requirements, and most companies address the benefits of the job beforehand – there really should be any sticker shock on either end.
A simple, and easy way to follow up the conversation is to then let the candidate know that you will be sending a formal offer letter via email. This allows the candidate time to process all the information, review it with a spouse or trusted friend, and not be pressured to make an immediate decision.
While a handshake may have been the preferred method of acceptance in the past, you should require your new hire, upon final negotiations, to sign and return the offer letter back to you. Here’s a few items that we suggest you include in any offer letter:
• Congratulatory/celebratory comments. Express your excitement about them joining the team.
• The company/organization. Include the specific company name or department that the new hire will be working for along with their official title.
• The job requirements. Briefly touch on the key requirements again for the position.
• The supervisor. Who will the person report to, and what is their title.
• Conditions of employment. If your company performs any drug or background checks be sure to indicate that employment is contingent upon the results of these checks.
• The pay and benefits available. Is the position full time or part time, temporary or regular, and exempt or non-exempt? Make sure to clearly list these along with the hourly or weekly pay. Also include any guaranteed bonuses, overtime eligibility, and what benefits the employee may qualify for.
• Hours and where to report. Clearly lay out the expected working hours and where the employee should report to for their first day of work.
• At Will Employment. Probably the most important thing to include in your letter is a statement of “At Will”. You do not want the employee to believe that your offer letter is a contract for employment.
• Conclusion: Let the candidate know what to do next. List the start date of employment and when you require the candidate to accept the offer by. Also provide them with instructions on where to return the signed letter and any next steps.
A job offer letter allows you to itemize the facts about the offer, outline the job’s responsibilities and highlight relevant details about the company. Candidates may be uneasy without an offer letter and might wonder about the organization’s commitment to them in the long run if they are not even willing to commit at the beginning.
Creating an offer letter doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Simply create a template so that each time you want to make an offer of employment you can easily fill in the specific/unique pieces for the candidate. By using an offer letter, you can convey to your new employee that they are joining a professional organization.