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How To Write The Perfect Offer Letter to A Potential Job Candidate

A company’s hiring process is a crucial part of the employee lifecycle that requires thoughtful consideration and effort to land the right candidate. Writing an employment offer letter plays a major role in that process. It can be the difference between gaining a valuable employee and continuing the search. With many industries feeling the effects of the labor shortage, it is more important now to stay competitive and really tighten up all aspects of your hiring process.

Offer Letter

An offer letter is a formal document that is sent to a candidate to officially offer them the position that they will be performing. This letter should contain basic information about the position, and written confirmation that the employer is officially choosing the candidate. It often includes the following details:

  • Full or part-time status
  • Start date
  • Job title
  • Job responsibilities
  • Compensation (salary or hourly amount)
  • Benefits when applicable
  • Paid time off policy
  • Onboarding and first-day instructions
  • Signature line for the candidate to sign
  • A time frame in which to return the letter by

The letter is typically sent AFTER a job offer has been made either verbally or through e-mail. The offer, however, may still not be set in stone as many companies do impose contingencies before employment begins. This can include background checks and drug testing results.

Once a candidate signs and returns the offer letter, they have confirmed that they are accepting the position. Yet, you must keep in mind the way in which the letter is written, especially when mentioning any form of benefits or compensation, so it is not implied that they are now entitled to these benefits even if they leave the position shortly after.

Legal Considerations

Avoid using any vague verbiage that implies an indefinite future of employment. Include wording that conveys the idea that your company can rescind or alter any information included in the offer letter if necessary. It is important to understand that offer letters are formal documents but not set in stone. Offer letters unlike employment contracts can be vague in wording about future statements.

To avoid this confusion, the offer letter should include a statement that the employment is at will. This means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without incurring legal liability. All states, excluding Montana, presume at-will employment. It also allows an employee to leave for any reason without running into legal consequences.

Writing The Letter

offer letter

It is important to understand that you can sell your organization with this letter and position yourself competitively. Use the offer letter to paint a picture of why a candidate should accept the position and provide important details about the position. Moreover, you just need to be mindful about the verbiage you include and not over-promising anything your company can’t deliver on.

Similarly, share the offer letter with your HR department prior to sending it out to ensure it meets the correct standards. Having a pre-approved template is the ideal route to avoid any confusion.

You deserve a recruitment process that is highly efficient and agile. Payroll Systems’ ATS is the tool you need to empower your company with top-notch talent.

Contact us to learn more about our HR and payroll solutions to complement ATS— from timekeeping systems with companion mobile app, physical clocks, and customized job costing and labor distribution reporting.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.