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One of the most important steps in the hiring process, presenting a job offer letter requires careful inclusion (and exclusion) of certain information. Following are some tips to help you craft effective job offer letters, without opening your business up to possible liability down the road.

While you have some flexibility in the amount of information to include in the letter, there are some things you should be careful to include, and others to avoid.

What to include in a job offer letter:

A clear offer of employment.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but immediately establish that the intent of your letter is to offer a position of employment.

The name of your company and the exact title of the position being offered.
Ensure that you are being as specific as possible with the information in your letter to prevent any confusion or gray areas.

The pay rate.
Clearly designate the pay rate in your letter, but see below for more information on pay information.

What not to include:

Too much information – avoid too much detail about benefits, paperwork, and vacation policies.
While that information is useful for employees, refrain from bogging down the job offer letter with extra details. Save this information for the orientation package or follow-up communication.

Implication of long-term employment.
You may be excited to bring a new employee aboard, but refrain from implying any type of long-term guarantee. Phrases that imply an indefinite length of employment, and should be avoided, include “job security” or “in the future,” among others.

Annual salary amounts.
Avoid naming the offered salary in an annual amount. The inclusion of an annual salary could imply that the letter is actually a contract. Instead, give hourly, weekly or monthly terms.

Ultimately, a legal professional can review any job letter to ensure you are not exposing your organization to any liability issues down the road. But with these tips, you’re well on your way to an effective job offer letter.

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