There is nothing more exciting than ending your candidate search and bringing on a new hire.
Recruitment, after all, is one of the toughest parts of running a business. With the shift in the recruitment process becoming more candidate-driven there is an increase in pressure to find qualified candidates without compromising time-to-hire and cost-to-hire.
So… when you find the right person, not only should you celebrate but you should make sure you and your new employee are on the same page from day one.
I hate to say it but first impressions are everything. After you have extended your informal verbal offer, it is time to write a formal official job offer letter. This letter is intended to confirm the terms of employment so that your new hire knows exactly what they are getting when they come onto your team. Even though you may have given your new hire a feel for basics during the verbal offer, chances are you didn’t outline everything in detail.
Now I know writing an offer letter can seem daunting. You want to make sure you present all the necessary information clearly and cover all your bases. Being vague or missing crucial details regarding benefits, responsibilities, probationary periods, etc. can put you at risk for confusing your candidate.
Here is a breakdown of what you should cover when writing an offer letter. Be as descriptive as possible, you should include details that pertain to the role.
Start off with a warm welcome! You want to make your new hire feel the excitement you feel because they are joining your organization.
Write out their official title along with a brief description of the role and its expectations.
This should follow your welcome and the position they are being offered. Include things like the state date, location of work, work schedule, type of employee they are whether hourly or sales (exempt or non-exempt) and if there is a probationary period. You can also include who their direct manager will be and whether they will be part of an existing team.
This is a big one. Who doesn’t want to know how much they are going to get paid? Since courts view an offer letter as a legally binding contract you want to be sure you don’t miss touching on everything to be as clear as you can with this one. Break down how much they are getting paid, if there is an opportunity for bonuses, pay raise structures and criteria, and any other information you deem important for them to understand.
TIP: When it comes to hourly employees, it is best to give the hourly rate rather than their annualized rate. For salary employees, you will want to show them their annual salary along with how much they are making per (your company) pay period.
Since not all companies are the same, be clear on your company’s pay frequency. Not only do you want to know when to expect a paycheck but you will want them to acclimate to their new pay schedule so that they can adjust any of their personal expenses.
List out any benefits they will be eligible for.
Some of the most common are:
- 401(k) (include whether or not there is an employer contribution)
- Health Insurance (include the percentage the employer covers if any)\
- Life Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Retirement Benefits
- PTO (sick days/ vacation time)
- Healthcare spending or reimbursement accounts (HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs)
- The list goes on…
If your company offers paid lunches, cell phone allowance, or car allowance you can include those here.
Most companies these days require that you pass a background/ drug test. Some even have you sign nondisclosure agreements in order for the offer to stand. If any of those are things the candidate must pass/ do, you want to make sure you clearly state it.
To conclude your offer letter state how long they have to accept the offer before it expires along with who they should reach out to if they have any questions. Be sure to include a signature section that outlines the agreement to the terms outlined in the offer letter. Then have them send it back your way upon completion.