When a business decides to offer a job to an individual, it often sends an offer letter. This document confirms the job duties and compensation amounts initially discussed during the interview or application process, and give the new employee a clear understanding about the job before they commit.
An employment offer letter could also be called any of the following:
- letter of offer
- job offer letter
- offer of employment
Who should use this form?
If you are interested in hiring an individual to work for you or your small business, you can send them a customized offer letter. This document allows you to formally offer a job or contract position to a potential employee or contractor. You'll sign the letter before you mail or hand it to the candidate.
What to include in an employee offer letter
An employment offer letter is typically written like a formal business letter. In the body of the letter, the employer invites the recipient to work for the company and provides details about the position on offer, such as the job title, job description, department, and direct superior.
The other details are largely up to the employer, but in most cases, an employment offer letter should summarize:
- Job title and primary duties
- Starting salary and employee benefits
- Confidentiality agreements
- At-will employment relationship
You may also mention if there is a probationary period. During this time, the employee might not have access to the full range of benefits. Alternatively, if the employer is offering a contract position, the employment offer letter form might be amended to include the full dates of employment with a start and end date.
At the end of the letter, you can invite the employee to contact you with any questions. You can also leave a space for the candidate to sign and date the letter, which will signify acceptance to the terms.
After an employer submits an offer letter, the candidate can accept or decline. In most cases, the employer will want a signature on the employment offer letter form, at which point the supervisor will prepare an employment agreement or contract. Employers must keep these documents in their human resources files and should make copies for the employee.
If the employee doesn't agree to the terms on the employment offer letter, some employers are open to negotiation. It depends on the candidate's skills and experience. After the employee signs the offer letter, however, the employer can assume that the terms are agreeable.
An employment offer letter won't serve as an employment contract. It doesn't include an offer an acceptance, as contract law requires, so it shouldn't constitute the last piece of documentation that both parties sign. An employment agreement is essential in many states to protect the rights of everyone involved.