You have been through the drudgery of conducting employee interviews. All the candidates have been screened and background checks are now complete. After that, the second round of interviews. Now, you’ve found the perfect candidate for the position. Finally, it’s time to draft a job offer letter that’s so good that the applicant can’t refuse. But how?
The candidate needs to know that they have been successful. Normally there is an informal phone call, where the job is offered and hopefully accepted. This is a nice touch to ending the interview process. However, another step is needed before transitioning to onboarding. Following the phone call, the candidate should be sent an official letter to offer them the position and seal the deal.
In this blog post, you’ll find out how to craft the perfect job offer letter. Furthermore, we will include an offer letter template for you to easily adapt and use.
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What is a job offer letter?
A job offer letter marks the end of the recruitment and selection process. More formal than offering a job over the phone, an offer acceptance letter assures candidates that the job is theirs. It is their official invitation to the company. To help in securing the potential candidate, the employment acceptance letter requires some forward thinking.
The letter of acceptance should be professional, informative, and maybe give a little extra push for the candidate to accept the offer. You may be asking, “Is a job acceptance letter a binding employment contract”? The answer is no.
Whilst the job offer letter from employer to employee shares similarities to an employment contract, it is fundamentally different. It is simply a communication of a company expressing interest in a candidate. It may give more information regarding the position title, pay periods and starting date. Yet, it is not a legally binding contract.
Offer letter format: How to write a job offer letter
As this is not a contract, there is no one specific job offer letter format. That being said, there are some guidelines that may be useful to follow. To keep things simple, a letter of employment should be set out like any other letter (company watermarks, etc). Remember that this is still a written document of employment with the company. Therefore, it should meet your standard, professional requirements.
To help, we have included a job offer acceptance letter checklist. This will ensure the new employee receives all the necessary information before choosing to accept. By including this in your hiring letter, you are developing a trusting relationship with the new employee, as well as maintaining professionalism. This checklist includes:
A new hire should be made aware from the start if the position is full-time or part-time. Ideally, you should include the number of hours the employee will be working.
Often, companies have more than one workplace location. Similarly, some offer the option to work from home. Including this saves time answering questions later.
Salary and pay schedule
Stating financial details, such as salary and pay schedule, is particularly important to put in writing. This is vital information for all positions, whether entry-level or CEO.
Employment start date
Candidates need to know when they will begin, so a start date needs to be decided. Working hours and timetables should also be included. Transparency here will prevent new employees from taking advantage of unclear wording.
This can be useful to new employees, especially if they haven’t firmly committed to the position yet. Highlight the benefits of why working for you is the best choice for them. Let them know if there is an insurance program, compensation package, or pension scheme they will be eligible for.
Basic job requirements
New employees should already have a general idea of what the role involves. For instance, role summary, qualifications and skills. However, it is good to have these things clear and in writing.
Outline general expectations
Before potential employees get stuck into the employee handbook (or better yet, a fantastic onboarding program!), give them a rough framework of what will be expected of them. This should include their duties and responsibilities.
Job offer expiration date
Perhaps the most important piece of information is when the offer will end. You must think of your company’s timetable, but also allow time for a potential hire to think things over.
Offer letter template sample
It may seem like a lot, but in actual fact writing the letter is relatively straightforward. Below is a simple job offer letter sample for recruiting managers to use. Feel free to use and adapt it in any way you see fit.
Here at [company name], we are delighted to inform you that you have been selected for the role of [job title], from [start date], contingent upon the approval of [insert mandatory criminal background checks, drug tests here].
Should you accept this offer, your duties will include [insert job responsibilities and expectations].
You will report to [insert manager’s name] at [work location]. Your working hours will be from [start time] until [end time], from [start day] until [last day] each week.
Salary will start at [gross] per annum, coming out at [insert amount] per month. This will be paid [monthly, weekly, annually] into the employee’s bank account [insert bank details here if given]. On top of this, you will be eligible to earn [insert a compensation/rewards scheme here] dependent on [insert more requirements of the scheme].
Upon accepting this position, you will also be entitled to [insert any company insurance, pension scheme or benefit here] for the duration of your contract.
Your employment with [company name] will be [permanent or temporary]. In order to terminate employment, an advanced period of [insert duration] must be given. This letter is not a contract indicating employment terms or duration.
Please indicate your acceptance by printing and signing your name at the bottom. Once complete, please return the letter before [insert expiration date] to begin proceedings.
Offer letter template conditions
There are some conditions that must be taken into account when sending this letter. For example, it is standard practice to insert an expiration date on the letter. This will indicate until when the potential employee has to sign it. Additionally, think about other important times. For example, when does health insurance kick in? For how long does it last? Likewise, consider whether one of the conditions is a probationary period. Often, a new job comes with a six month probation period. If this is the case, make sure it is explicitly stated in the offer acceptance letter, to avoid headaches further down the line.
Final thoughts on employment offer letters
A perfectly crafted employment offer can be the icing on the cake when securing new employees. Feel free to use the offer letter template above. Likewise, you can easily use the checklist to craft your own job offer template. This letter is vital in making sure the employment relationship starts off on the right foot.
Many companies use recruitment software in order to optimize the candidate experience throughout the hiring process. An applicant tracking system will allow hiring managers to keep tabs on every step of the hiring process. Further, integrations with LinkedIn and Indeed make it easy to post job listings to attract potential candidates.
What’s next? After the offer letter has been signed, you need to onboard your new recruit. Check out how other companies are making the onboarding experience of new employees an unforgettable one.
Contributed by Charlotte Stace; Edited by Tanya Lesiuk
This post is also available in: English UK