Once you decide which person you want to recruit, you complete the process with an employment offer.
You normally do this over the phone, initially. However, it is always recommended to follow up any verbal offer or agreement with a written one.
Like any contract, an employment offer letter becomes a legally binding agreement when certain factors are present, so you need to be sure it’s correctly drafted.
Let’s look at what an offer letter is, the surrounding legalities, and how you can use it to better your recruitment process.
What is an offer of employment letter?
It is a letter your company sends out to a candidate offering a position of employment.
A job offer letter start your relationship off on a positive note. The offer letter is where you celebrate their skills and experience with a job.
While it’s common practice to do this through a letter, you can verbally do it.
The job offer may be dependent upon the new employee completing additional steps, such as passing a background or reference check or undergoing a pre-employment drug test.
Job offer letters also serve as the legal basis for employment. Before you send the job offer letter to the chosen candidate, make sure that you can stand behind its contents.
Why use a job offer letter?
Using a written offer allows you to have things documented and itemised. This will allow you to easily cite things if there were any legal disputes.
A job offer letter allows you to itemise the facts of the offer, outline the job’s responsibilities and highlight relevant details about the company.
Most job offer letters will include a deadline if the candidate hasn’t already accepted the job verbally. As the recruiter, you have done everything possible to fill your position. Now you must wait for the candidate to accept.
If the candidate accepts the offer, the letter serves to promote communication and to help orientate the new employee to the business environment before they actually start their first day of work.
Even if you don’t plan to use letters as a part of your recruitment process, candidates may still request to have the job offer letter as written proof, especially if they are relocating. So, it’s worth understanding how to create one.
What to include in an employment offer letter
These are legally binding documents, signed by yourself and the employee. Therefore, it should contain the legally required information, so you ensure it is compliant.
If it isn’t, an employee could back out of the job at the last minute and there could be no ramifications , as the document isn’t valid. This leaves you in the lurch when trying to recruit someone, as well as wasting time and resource.
It is as much to protect yourself as well as inform the new employee of their responsibilities.
Here are the things you need to include:
- Employee and employer details: name and contact information.
- Job position details: job title, start date, type of employment (full-time or part-time), and term (permanent or temporary).
- Compensation: annual salary or wage, frequency of pay periods, allotted holiday time, and benefits plans.
- Probation period: if needed, specify how long (typically between one and six months).
- Job conditions: if applicable, specify whether the candidate must show proof of work eligibility, pass a criminal record check, supply work references, or meet other conditions.
- Contacts: the name of the person to contact, with their contact details, in case of questions.
It's a good idea to ask the applicant to confirm in writing they've accepted the job, ensuring the job offer letter is a binding document.
If you change your mind, you can withdraw the job offer if the applicant did not meet the offer's conditions. For example:
- Suitable references.
- Criminal record checks.
- Drug testing.
It's a good idea to tell applicants your reasons for withdrawing the offer.
If you did not include any conditions as part of the job offer, it's known as an unconditional job offer. Withdrawing it could be against the law and lead to employment tribunals for unfair dismissal.
Download your job offer template today
To make sure your offer is legally compliant, we have created a sample job offer letter for you to use in your business.
These documents are the start of your professional relationship together, so it’s the perfect chance to show them you are a company they want to join.
This template is provided ‘as is’ and Croner Group Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Croner Group Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.
Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.Download
About the Author
- Business Advice
- Contracts & Documentation
- Culture & Performance
- Disciplinary & Grievances
- Dismissals & Conduct
- Employee Conduct
- Employment Law
- End of Contract
- Equality & Discrimination
- Health & Safety
- Hiring & Managing
- Leave & Absence
- Managing Health & Safety
- Occupational Health
- Pay & Benefits
- Risk & Welfare