A job offer letter is a crucial document that outlines the terms and conditions of employment between an employer and a prospective employee. So, what exactly should it include?
Once you’ve identified your chosen candidate, you’ll most likely want to verbally offer them the job. On the back of this, it’s vital to follow up with a written offer. We outline some of the key points when it comes to preparing a job offer letter.
One of the most important considerations when preparing a job offer letter is to ensure it complies with legal requirements. This includes providing certain information, such as the job title, salary, hours of work, and a start date, as well as a written statement of employment within two months of an employee starting the role.
Other legal requirements to consider include following guidance surrounding equality and discrimination. It’s important to ensure your job offer letter does not contain any discriminatory language and complies with the Equality Act 2010. This means avoiding any statements or requirements that could be seen as discriminatory on the grounds of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, alongside openly stating the offer is due to the candidate having protected characteristics.
Another consideration when creating an offer letter is to make sure it’s compliant with company policies and procedures. This includes any policies relating to recruitment standards, such as equal opportunities and diversity.
Company policies related to terms and conditions of employment should also be outlined within the offer letter to inform the candidate, so they are better equipped to respond. Policies in relation to salaries, benefits, and working hours should be clearly stated, but the finer detail can be provided separately in the contract. A summary of the benefits can add strength to your offer and increase its appeal, so consider listing some the most popular available perks from healthcare to pension contributions.
Speaking with candidates over the phone
To gauge how your prospective candidate is feeling, try contacting them by phone or video call, if possible, before sending any written communication.
This gives you the opportunity to personalise the message and show your eagerness in offering them the role, and allow the candidate the chance to verbally accept your offer or respectfully decline if they’ve had a change of heart or received another offer.
Communication is key when it comes to offering a job to a candidate, keeping all applicants informed and engaged throughout the process. While language is always changing, formal written communication retains traditional standards in business.
Remember these tips for your offer letters:
Clear and concise language
Any offer letter should use clear and concise language to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. Try not to include too much industry jargon – keep the letter simple and brief. The finer details can be ironed out in the terms of employment which comes on the back of the offer letter.
Where possible, try to personalise the wording where you can. Along with their name and the usual formalities, try mentioning the candidate’s application or interview and what made them stand out. This can make the candidate feel valued before starting their role.
It’s also worth looking at the tone of the letter and seeing where you can reflect the company’s ethos and values. This not only creates a good first impression but enhances employee engagement, making the candidate feel welcome.
In a candidate-driven market, it’s important not to take too long in sending out the offer letter to your desired candidate, in case they are tempted by a counteroffer. Writing to them within a few days of the final round of interviews being completed can help to avoid delays and maintain the candidate’s interest in the position.
Other considerations to make
The offer letter may also request a candidate’s proof of their right to work in the country, as well as various other terms and conditions:
Immigration requirements: If the prospective employee is not a UK citizen, it may be necessary to provide information about immigration requirements and any necessary visas or permits needed for the role.
Probationary periods: The job offer letter should specify any probationary periods that apply to the prospective employee's employment. This can help to manage expectations and ensure they understands the requirements of their new role.
Confidentiality agreements: If the role involves working with confidential information, it may be necessary to mention a confidentiality agreement in the offer letter.
Conditions of employment: The job offer letter should specify any conditions of employment, such as satisfactory references or background checks, that must be met before starting work.