5 Essentials for a Successful Job Offer

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Congratulations in finding the right person for your open position! It’s now time to make an attractive and timely job offer. If not done swiftly, you jeopardize losing the candidate’s interest.  And when done correctly, the new employee relationship starts on a positive note. Make this process easy and repeatable with a basic template and adapt it to each position.

Because it’s a legally binding document, make sure you can stand behind the terms and conditions. Consult with a colleague or lawyer if you have questions.

Start with a verbal offer. This will save time in making revisions and questions or concerns can be immediately addressed. Salary expectations, bonus eligibility, any relocation assistance should be establish in your conversation. The offer should be competitive and reflective of the level of responsibility and experience.

Following a verbal agreement, follow up with a written offer (PDF attachment) in an email within 24 hours. This written offer is your opportunity to make a lasting impression and on-board an enthusiastic new employee.

Here are essential components to making a successful offer.

  1. Give a warm and personal welcome – Welcome to the team!!

Open and close your offer letter with this message. The tone should be positive and direct. Recognize the candidates skills and experience and that they were specifically chosen. Their confidence in their ability to perform the job is important in their acceptance and a strong start.

  1. Include their title, direct report and title, standard work hours, start date, and salary.

The title should clearly match the description and level of responsibility as well as align with the structure of the organization.

Include any dotted line reports.

Lay out the expectations for location – onsite or remote, work hours and any on-call responsibility.

Include the pay amount per pay cycle along with and pay schedule. If it qualifies for a bonus, include the percentage and the terms and conditions for the payout. These goals are typically not guaranteed and are prorated based on date of hire.

Relocation or sign-on bonuses have certain guidelines such as reimbursement obligation if employee leaves within certain time frames specified of hire and should be spelled out.

  1. Benefits, number of vacation days, holidays, personal and/or sick time

Highlight benefits offered with details in an attached company benefit package. The details will include employee out of pocket cost, employer contributions and date of eligibility.

Any other special considerations regarding pay should be noted.

Specify company recognized holidays, optional floaters and time off accrual policy (include in Benefits package).

  1. Conditions for hire (physical, drug tests, references, background check)

Mention that the offer is contingent upon these checks, including employee’s right to work in the U.S. Check your states specific requirements.

  1. Acceptance deadline date, a statement of at-will employment, and attach other important documents (i.e. benefit package, confidentiality agreement, non disclosure)

The “at-will” law is the contractual agreement allowing employers to terminate the employment relationship at anytime for any reason. For obvious legal reasons, make this part of your agreement and avoid language that implies a fixed time period of employment.

You want to provide enough information necessary for your prospective hire to make an informed decision.

A compelling job offer letter ensures clarification of employment terms and sets the stage for a strong start in the right direction.

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