Finding the right candidate for a position in your organization is worth celebrating. Once you've identified the right person, the next step is extending an offer of employment. This step is more than a mere formality; it bridges the successful recruitment and onboarding of a new team member. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the nuances of creating an offer of employment letter, providing semi-templated text/instructions for clauses that can be tailored to your organization's unique needs.
What is an Offer of Employment Letter?
An offer of employment letter is a written document (usually one to two pages long) warmly extending a formal job offer to a candidate. It's more detailed and official than a verbal offer, providing specific information about the role, salary, start date, and other details as described below. An offer of employment letter usually accompanies a lengthier Employment Contract, which contains more about the legal terms, conditions and expectations of employment that would not be appropriate for an offer of employment letter. Read more about the difference between offer letter and employment contract.
Why is an Offer of Employment Letter Important?
Formalizes the Offer: Puts the job offer into writing, adding professionalism and clarity.
Sets Expectations: Clearly outlines the job title (position), compensation and benefits.
Reflects Company Culture: The tone and content can mirror the organization's culture and brand. In addition, your organization can state its values in the offer of employment letter.
Reduces Risk: By clearly stating the offer's contingencies and attaching an employment contract, your organization can reduce legal liabilities and contract out of certain common law employee entitlements.
Key Components of an Offer of Employment Letter
The format of an offer letter is standard and mostly uniform; only the text is different based on the position, jurisdiction, size of the company, etc.
Almost all employment offer letters should include the following elements, divided into different paragraphs:
Congratulations: Warmly congratulate the employee and announce your excitement to present them with an offer of employment.
Job Title: Clearly state the position being offered.
- Include the salary and the payment schedule.
- If there is a bonus, define the bonus.
- If benefits are provided, state the benefits and the start date benefits kick in.
Start Date: Mention the agreed-upon start date.
Employment Contingencies: Outline any conditions such as background checks, drug screenings, etc.
Additional Information: You should also include details on direct supervisor information, remote vs hybrid vs on -site, vacation days and anything else pertinent, but not fringe. For example, if it is part-time, say that it is part-time. If the job has unusual hours, say the hours expected to be worked. For anything else that is not standard about the employment relationship, say so here.
Expiration: Add an expiration date of the offer near the end of the offer letter.
Closing: Thank the candidate for considering the offer, and provide contact details of someone at the company whom the employee can respond to with questions or to return a signed copy of their employment contract (Note: employees should not sign job offers – they should sign employment contracts).
Adapting the Tone to Your Company Culture
An offer of employment letter can be drafted in different tones to suit your organization:
Standard: Formal and detailed, suitable for most professional settings.
Simple: Concise, covering essential details for less complex roles or smaller organizations.
Casual: Friendly and engaging, fitting for startups or creative industries.
An offer letter is technically a legal document. However, that does not mean it protects your organization from common employment liabilities that employers prefer to contract out of. That is why your offer letter should always refer to an attached employment contract, which you must prepare separately and provide contemporaneously while making the job offer. An employment contract, not the offer letter, will be the lengthy document containing pages of terms and conditions and sophisticated language allowing for employer protections against common employment liabilities. Think of it this way. The job offer letter is a simple welcome note, while the employment contract is a complex formal agreement.
goHeather automates professional-grade HR documents, like an employment contract, affordably. We make it easy for employers to craft an employment contract from a local lawyer-made template. We also include job offer letters for free if you purchase an employment contract from us. Try making an employment contract for free here using our app.
Customizing Your Offer of Employment Letter
Your employment offer letter should reflect your company's values, culture, and niche specific needs. Customization is essential to make it relevant to the position and the candidate. That is why you shouldn't just copy and paste a template (in full) for a job offer letter online. Here's how you can create tailored employment letters yourself:
Use Your Company's Letterhead: This adds a professional touch.
Include Pertinent Details: Tailor the letter with the candidate's name, job title, start date, salary, etc.
Add Specific Benefits and Perks: Highlight the unique offerings that set your company apart, including your company's values and your fringe perks.
Consider the Tone: Align the language with your company's culture, whether formal, simple, or casual.
- Corporate Style: This provides for a traditional and professional tone.
- Startup Style: If you're part of a dynamic and innovative environment, opt for a style that mirrors the energy and creativity of a startup.
- Small Business Style: For small businesses or roles requiring a more direct and straightforward approach, use a simple style that communicate the essentials without overwhelming details.
Offer of Employment Letter Best Practices
Be Clear and Concise: Provide all necessary information without jargon or legalese.
Reflect Your Brand: The letter should be an extension of your brand's voice and values.
Include a Deadline: Set a clear timeline for the candidate to accept the offer.
Provide Contact Information: Allow candidates to contact a real person with questions.
Templates for a Job Offer Letter
goHeather automates sophisticated HR documents like an employment contract for a small fee. If you purchase an employment contract from us, we include a custom job offer letter for no extra fee as an email cover letter to your employment contract that you can send through our HR CRM dashboard tracking system. We even have free e-signatures and document storage on our cloud HR CRM dashboard. Plus, we offer a range of templates to suit different organizational needs.
Crafting the perfect offer of employment letter is more than just putting a verbal agreement into writing. It's an art that combines HR-style compliance, clear communication, and a reflection of your company's values and culture. With careful consideration of the role, candidate, and organizational ethos, an offer letter can become a welcoming first step into your company.
By leveraging our HR technology and law experience, we've crafted the perfect job offer letter and employment contract combo customizable in five minutes to meet your specific needs. Whether you're a small business, a bustling startup, or a growing large business, our templates are designed to speak to your unique identity. See a sample of our employment contracts here.