When you are ready to offer a job to a prospective employee, you want to do it right. You’ve invested a great deal of time in finding the perfect candidate, and a well-formed employment offer letter may make the difference in getting the acceptance you want. You want your offer letter to stand out, be professional, and outline exactly what you want it to say.
Below you will find information on how to build and customize an employment offer letter template to fit your unique needs. This important part of the hiring stage can be made much easier when you utilize a well-drafted letter.
What is an Employment Offer Letter?
Once you have found the right candidate for the job, an employment offer letter invites the candidate to be a part of your team. This is an announcement that they have been selected for the job and makes them an official offer. While some employers will use a verbal offer as well, a written employer job offer letter will help outline exactly what is presented to the potential employee. Including the details of what is offered in a clear manner helps the prospective employee make an informed decision with no misunderstandings.
The general purpose of the letter is to:
- Extend an invitation to join the employer
- Summarize primary terms and conditions of the offer
- Provide necessary details about the job
- Begin the onboarding and negotiation process for employment
These and many other details of employment might be included in an employment offer letter. Each position may require its own offer letter with all of the appropriate details. A template builder can be a useful tool in making sure you draft a complete and accurate offer to your employees.
As a reference, employment offer letters may also be known as:
- employer job offer
- offer letter of employment
How to Write an Employment Offer Letter
When it is time to write an offer letter to a potential new employee, you should follow guidelines that help ensure you include important details. This helps prevent any confusion as to what is being offered and helps the potential employee make an informed decision. It is easier to structure an employment offer letter with the use of a template and we at Legal Templates can help.
Step 1: Basic Information
The letter should begin with general information important to the offer. This may include:
- The job title and general description
- Start date of employment
- Orientation date and details
- Full or part-time status
This introductory information helps to set the tone for the rest of the offer letter. It gives the prospective employee the global details of their employment and prepares them for the rest of the details in the remainder of the letter.
Step 2: Job-Specific Details
This part of the letter should get more specific about what the employee is being presented. This will include salary or hourly rate compensation. It may also provide details about when and how payment is made and any limitations on payments. For some jobs, it may include details about a probationary rate of pay that may change based on certain conditions. It may also include the supervisor’s name or the reporting structure for the position.
Step 3: Information on Benefits
An employment offer letter should outline the benefits the employee is offered with their job. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Health care insurance
- 401(K) or other retirement plan options
- Life insurance
- Educational assistance
- Flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA)
These benefits and any others you wish to include should be spelled out in detail so the employee can make an informed choice. This also protects your business from any misunderstandings or disputes.
Step 4: Information on Paid Leave
Whatever leave is granted as part of the employment should be covered in the offer letter. Sick leave, vacation leave, and other forms of paid or unpaid leave should be clearly outlined. Different companies handle their paid time off differently, and a template employment letter gives you the flexibility to form a prepared document to fit what your company offers its employees.
Step 5: Employment Terms
This part of the offer letter should include any other terms necessary for successful employment. This section could include:
- Completion of a Form I-9
- Confidentiality or non-compete agreements
- Background checks
- Drug screenings
- At-will employee information
These and other requirements you wish to include may be handled at this early stage. They should not make any promises about employment in this offer letter, but instead, outline what is expected if the employee would move forward with the process.
Step 6: Closing Statement
The closing section of a letter offering employment to the successful candidate should provide useful information, such as contact information for questions or to accept the offer. It can include statements about your excitement to bring them aboard and any information about the company’s culture or goals. This closing section should include an area where the potential employee can sign and date the document to accept the offer. It is often advisable to include a statement that the letter is for informational purposes only and is not a legally binding contract.
Tips to Help Write an Employment Offer Letter
When writing your offer letter, consider the tone of voice you are using. This is not an employment contract, but an initial invitation to join your team. You do not want to legally bind yourself improperly by what is included in the letter. Using a template can help you avoid many of the common pitfalls employers fall into when drafting these offer letters.
Make sure to include all of the important information the employee needs to know in order to accept. A clear offer can make the difference when you are competing for quality talent. Your offer can set itself apart with an engaging and definitive employment offer letter.
What is the Difference Between an Employment Offer Letter and an Employment Contract?
An employment offer letter extends the invitation to join you and your team but does not bind either party to any of the offered terms. An employment contract—on the other hand—is a legally binding agreement between the employer and the employee. It outlines all details of employment in great detail and binds each party to all of the terms listed in that agreement.
Unlike an offer letter, which often includes a disclaimer that it is not a legally binding contract, the purpose of an employment contract is to outline and bind the parties to the details listed in it. Contractual agreements are subject to contract law and are enforceable between the parties.