Offering a successful candidate a job would seem like an easy task, yes? And for some it is. But when you want to formalise the offer with a written letter of offer, how many of you find yourself in foreign territory?
A letter of offer is the perfect opportunity for an employer to develop a strong, healthy relationship with their new recruit. And setting a positive tone can be as simple as stating that the candidate was chosen because their skills and experience will add great value to the company. Instilling a level of confidence in the recruit will provide a positive outlook as to their long term future within the organisation, and I don’t think any of you can argue, that’s a great start…for both parties.
At a minimum a letter of offer will include the following details:
- Job title,
- Employment classification such as full-time, casual etc,
- Payment rate such as salary or hourly rate,
- Payment frequency,
- The start date,
- Work location,
- Work schedule,
- Reporting relationships,
- Any benefits offered,
- Conditions of employment such as a Police Check,
- Disclosures that must be signed such as non-confidentiality or non-compete agreements,
- Exemptions or non-exemptions such as overtime, and
- The expiration date of the offer.
One should also include the key responsibilities and competencies expected of the new recruit. Itemising the job facts can serve as a critical reference point later on should there be any discrepancies between the parties.
At the very least a formalised job offer can facilitate communication between the applicant and the hiring company. If the letter discussed items not previously mentioned, clarification can be sought before the position is officially accepted. Likewise if aspects of the job offer are not included, such as bonuses, this again can be rectified before the role is accepted. Elements that are not understood by the candidate can also be explained. One may also want to include some pertinent details about the company to further compel a candidate to accept the offer. Everyone wants to be proud of the employer they are representing, thus encouraging a candidate to feel assured about a bright future with an organisation can only work in one’s favour.
A written job offer can be simplistic in nature or quite detailed. Without a doubt, the more detailed and formal, the more daunting it can appear to the favoured candidate. However as you would expect, the more senior the role, the more complex the letter of offer may be. Many companies have a standard letter of offer, only altering the job title, salary range and reporting relationships. This is typical for early to middle level job roles. But don’t feel you have to present something worthy of a literary award, you just need to ensure that you can deliver on the content. The letter may serve as a legal document. There are many, many job offer templates and samples online if you need some guidance. Alternatively, seek legal advice.
Many of us simply receive a phone call and/or email detailing the basic elements of our new job role. Yet having a written and signed formal letter of offer is important as it officially seals the deal and welcomes in the new recruit. It also ensures all parties are operating on the same page. The initial phone call to verbally offer the role often leaves a candidate with only a ‘sense’ of the role. So while I know in this day and age it seems old school to write and sign a letter of agreeance, it is common practice in the business world. It may also be your safety net, whichever side of the fence you may be sitting upon.