What is a job offer letter?
While the right people have the power to propel a company forward, the difficulty of hiring can’t be overstated. Great candidates are in high demand, and it can be a tricky task to secure the best of the best when trying to establish your place in the industry.
At Docue we’re committed to helping early-stage startups grow into global superstars, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate job offer letter guide that can be used alongside our job offer letter template. So, what exactly is a job offer letter?
Let’s start with the basics: in simple terms, a job offer letter is sent from an employer to a prospective candidate, laying out the main terms on which a job offer is being made. A job offer letter template normally includes things like:
rate of pay; and
and holiday entitlements.
A job offer letter differs from an employment contract, in that there is no legal requirement to send an offer letter. As a result, it’s entirely up to the employer as to what they put in. However, if an employer sends an offer letter to an employee who then responds and accepts, a contractual relationship has been formed, even if a formal contract of employment is never provided. As a result, there are a number of best practices when it comes to creating a job offer letter that stand the test of time.
It’s important here to note that an employment contract takes precedence over a job offer letter as long as the contract appropriately reflects the situation. So, if the salary or hours are different in the contract compared to the offer letter, the contract will stand.
What should you include in a job offer letter?
While a job offer letter is at the discretion of an employer, there are some best practices for creating a compelling letter and can be included by using a job offer letter template. If you want your offer letter to secure the candidate you should consider including:
Job description: Here you’ll want to include the position title, the scope of responsibilities, and what the employee can expect in their day-to-day work.
Job type: Is this position full-time, part-time, or seasonal? Make sure your employee is clear on what’s expected. For more information about full-time and part-time roles, read these FAQs.
Start date: Be sure to put the start date on your offer letter, to ensure the candidate is ready to start when you need them.
Working schedule: Does your business work 9 to 5, or do you operate flexible hours? Do you have core hours? Do you need staff in the office five days a week? Or are you happy with working from home? Here you should outline what’s expected on a daily and weekly basis.
Salary: Simple stuff, be sure to include the salary on all job offer letters and make it clear if this is to be pro-rated for part-time staff.
Company benefits: It can be helpful to remind a new candidate of all the benefits that come with working with your business. Often, a great benefits package can be the deciding factor in whether a new hire decides to join you on your mission.
Supervisor: Depending on the role, it’s likely your employee will be reporting to an existing member of staff. What’s their name? What’s their title? This can help your hire get started on the right foot.
Different types of offers
In the course of researching job offer letters, you may have come across terms like “formal job offer letter”, or “internal job offer letter”. Let’s break these down briefly.
Formal offer letter
Many startups don’t realise that regardless of how an offer is made if it is accepted, a contractual relationship has been made. For that reason, an employment offer letter should always be treated as a formal document.
So, when might you use a “formal job offer letter”? Well, the answer is in the name! When offering a job to a prospective employee, you would use a formal job offer letter. That means that this document wouldn’t be suitable for proposing terms of engagement for a self-employed contractor, for example.
Docue's job offer letter template can be used to create a fully customised letter - all you need to do is answer a series of simple questions and within minutes your lawyer-grade job offer letter is ready to send.
If you want to try out our handy job offer letter plus many more premium templates, simply sign up for a free trial today.
Informal job offer letter
As we’ve discussed, contrary to popular belief, there is no legal requirement to provide a job offer letter. As a result, it’s down to the employer as to how they would like to make an offer. This extends to an “informal offer letter”, which would function in the same way as a “formal offer letter”.
The likelihood, however, is that an informal employment offer letter would include less information. The informality of an offer letter can even include a verbal offer, which is just as binding as an offer letter, as long as a candidate accepts the offer. However, an offer of this kind might lack the level of detail required to truly secure the candidate long-term.
Please remember that if a candidate accepts an informal offer or verbal offer then that could still create a legally binding contractual employment relationship between the employer and the candidate. In other words, believe it or not, being more informal doesn’t necessarily translate into something which is any less binding than a formal job offer letter or a comprehensive employment contract.
Internal job offer letter
Let’s say you’re offering a role to a candidate that already works as part of your business. They’ve gone above and beyond, and you feel they’re ready for a bigger challenge. Here you might see the need for an internal job offer letter.
This letter largely mimics a formal job offer letter, but likely requires less detail. At this point, it's highly likely that your candidate is already invested in the business, so there’s less of a burden to make your case.
Transitionary job offer letter
There may come a time when an existing candidate’s role temporarily transitions from one mode of working to another. Let’s say a member of staff is going on maternity leave, and a colleague steps up to cover their role. To appropriately record this, you may want to use a transitionary job offer letter.
This type of job offer letter would again mimic a formal job offer letter but include information on this change.
Docue's ready-to-use job offer letter template
It’s fair to say that hiring is a pretty pivotal time for businesses. It involves a huge investment of time and often requires financial input. That investment of time and money can be a particularly bitter pill to swallow when a candidate turns down a job offer as a result of a vague or non-existent job offer letter.
That’s why many companies opt to use a job offer letter template. Given its importance, how can you ensure that your job offer letter guarantees the best possible chance of securing the candidate? And can you rely on your job offer letter to cover the legal basics?
At Docue we provide a lawyer-made job offer letter template, customisable to all kinds of job offers. Whether you’re engaging with a new hire, or acknowledging an internal step-up, we ensure startups put their best foot forward with a legal template designed to succeed. Sign up to the Docue platform today to see just how quick and easy to use our job offer letter template really is.
Tips for making a job offer
Perhaps one of the most important parts of making a job offer, comes down to providing a candidate with an honest description of what can be expected. This includes the good… the bad… and the ugly. While it can be tempting to promise someone the world, it’s a very quick way of losing great talent, and tarnishing the name of your business. Your employment contract should echo the brief you’ve given to your new hire, and expand on the terms set out in your job offer letter. The Docue platform has you covered on the employment contract front too, so sign up today and gain access to our lawyer-grade employment contract templates.
How to improve your offer acceptance rates
As an employer you’re up against it, with candidates experiencing a conveyor belt of opportunities. That’s why it’s up to you to create a transparent, communicative, and user-friendly recruitment process. This includes creating job adverts true to the role, ensuring hiring managers remain communicative throughout the process and providing feedback to unsuccessful interviewees.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your job offer letter avoids typos, inaccurate statements, or offensive language. You’ve got the candidate to this point, ensure your offer letter doesn’t undo all your hard work. Using a job offer template can be a key way to ensure this.
Job offer letter templates 2.0
Building your team is one of the great parts of growing a business, but it’s not without its challenges. When facing the competition, it’s important to stand out from the crowd, and make joining your business a no-brainer for candidates.
At Docue we’re pretty passionate about supporting the next generation of startups to go further. That’s why we’ve built a platform that allows companies to create, customise, sign, manage and store all the contracts a business might need… and you guessed it, that includes a job offer letter template.
Ready to grow your team? Let us help you get it right. Sign up today!
Tags: job offer letter template, job appointment letter, job confirmation letter, employment offer letter
Docue is trusted by so many growth companies – from sole traders to listed companies.