After several rounds of interviews, the hiring manager has made a decision. It’s time to put together an offer letter for your top candidate and let them know you would like to hire them for the position.
Even though you can (and should!) call, an official job letter will confirm the finer points and details. A verbal offer and acknowledgement is nice and convenient, but it makes everyone feel better when it’s in writing.
Because fast-growing companies are trying to shorten the time to hire, from first posting an application to notifying candidates of their status, it’s important to have a job offer letter template ready to go to use at a moment’s notice. Yes, you will have to edit the letter with specific details, but you can still have a few examples at the ready.
Though most of the big points of the employment agreement will be covered in the phone call, the job offer will provide specific such as:
1. Start date and time of employment
This may have already been discussed over the phone with the candidate, but it is essential that you are on the same page with the hiring manager and the rest of the team for when they can accommodate a new hire. The new employee may also need to relocate.
2. Job responsibilities and role
One of the main points of the job offer letter is to detail the main responsibilities that the candidate will have to complete. This provides clarity from all parties--and provides another reference point for candidates when they are deciding between multiple job offers or positions.
And if there are any future disagreements, each party can refer back to the letter.
3. Base salary & compensation
Usually base salary may also be done in the negotiation phase, but it can be confirmed in the job offer letter. This is also the area to note a bonus structure, the amount of those bonuses and how it can be achieved.
4. Health benefits & other perks
What is your company offering? An extra gym membership? Extended parental leave? Free books? These extra perks may not always be in the offer letter, but they should be clear from the application. If it’s comprehensive, you can link or send the employee onboarding packet with more detail.
If there is anything specific or different that the candidate has negotiated or mentioned, this is the place in the letter to include that.
5. Work schedule
Most office jobs will have pretty standard work hours, but if there is travel or weekend work where the employee is required, then list that in the job offer letter. Or if the schedule is non-conventional, such as on-call or second shift, then explicitly state those requirements in the job offer letter.
6. Organizational structure
Defining the organizational or division structure within the job letter will help the new employee clarify who and what they are responsible for. Along with the job duties, this provides direction and ownership. Detail who the employee will report to and any positions that the new employee will be responsible for.
7. Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
Include any confidentiality and required NDAs within the job offer letter, especially if you’re dealing with confidential and proprietary information that could be competitive. NDAs have increased in recent years, especially as competition has also increased.
For the same reason, you may need to include a non-compete clause. This will stop your talent from fleeing and going to your competitor down the road or across the street. Often there are time limits on non-competes and this may be a negotiating angle for a candidate.
8. Employment background check
Depending on the position, this could be formal or informal. Calling a few references may be enough of a background check; a position that cares directly for people will need a more formalized background investigation. Some of the language in the job offer letter may indicate that it’s dependent on a background check.
9. Letter Basics
Of course, do not forget to include the basics of a letter: such as the date, a salutation, your contact information, a signature and any pertinent information that goes along with it. Put the letter on your company letterhead (even if it’s a PDF) to emphasize the official nature of your correspondence.
Once you have the answers to those parts, you are ready to send a job letter out to the candidate. Consider these examples when crafting your next letter:
Formal Job Offer Letter Template
Mr./Ms. Last Name
City, State Zip Code
[COMPANY NAME] is pleased to offer you the position of [JOB TITLE].
As discussed, your starting date will be [START DATE]. The beginning compensation will be [SALARY] per year and is paid on a weekly basis. Direct deposit is available.
We are pleased to offer you full medical coverage through [INSURANCE PROVIDER] and will take effect on [DATE]
Full family medical coverage will be provided through our company's employee benefit plan and will be effective on March 1.
[COMPANY NAME] offers a flexible paid time-off plan which includes vacation, personal, and sick leave. [DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY’S VACATION AND SICK DAY POLICY, AND ITS ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, SUCH AS: “Time off begins after the first 90 days”. ]
If you decide to accept this job offer, please sign this letter and return it to me at your earliest convenience. Your offer is contingent on successfully passing a pre-employment background check.
Once you return your letter, we will send employee benefit enrollment forms and an employee handbook which details our benefit plans and retirement plan.
We look forward to welcoming you to [Company Name].
Please let me know if you have any questions or I can provide any additional information.
First Name Last Name
Director, Human Resources
I hereby accept the [JOB TITLE] position.
Informal Job Letter Template
Dear [Applicant Name],
Congratulations! [COMPANY NAME] is excited to welcome you to the team as a [JOB TITLE].
We think you will excel in this role. We really admire your [DETAILS AND EXPERIENCE ON WHY YOU CHOSE THEM].
[COMPANY] is offering a [FT/PT] position for you as [JOB TITLE], reporting to [SUPERVISOR NAME] starting on [DATE] at [INCLUDE OFFICE LOCATION IF MULTIPLE].
Your base salary will be [PAY RATE] per [HOUR, MONTH, YEAR] starting on [PAY PERIOD DATE].
As part of your package, we're also enthusiastic to offer these special perks: [LIST TIME OFF, COMMISSIONS, BONUSES, STOCK OPTIONS OR OTHER BENEFITS]
As part of [COMPANY], you will be eligible to enroll in [HEALTHCARE BENEFITS, DENTAL, ETC.].
We are excited for you to join us! What do you think? Your offer is contingent on successfully passing a pre-employment background check. Let us know if you accept and then we can get that process started.
More questions? Call or email me right away and then I can send over rest of the paperwork.
Conclusion: Job Offer Letter Takeaways
Writing a job offer letter is fairly straightforward, especially since the hard part is done: deciding who to hire! But as a reminder, here are the nine points that will need to be addressed:
Role and responsibilities
Benefits and perks
Employment background check