What you need to know about writing a job offer letter
Recruitment is time-consuming. There are job specs to write, interviews to hold, and you have to decide between candidates.
But once you’ve chosen your next employee, you’ll need to let them know. And how do you go about breaking the good news? One option is to send them a job offer letter. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do that.
Job offer letter from employer to employee
When you’re offering a role to a new employee, a letter acts as a formal written document.
It isn’t the only way you can let them know. You can make a verbal job offer over the phone, or send your offer by email—the decision depends on your business policy.
But whichever method you choose, you’ll still need to send a job offer letter from employer to employee. To confirm the details of your offer, you can include:
- The new starter’s job title.
- A basic job description outlining their daily duties.
- Starting dates, times, and information for their first day.
- Details about their induction.
- Their starting salary.
- Details about any employee benefits.
- How to accept the offer.
You can send your letter out by email if you want. Or you can hand it over in person. Sending it in the mail is the option most businesses use.
Accepting a job offer is down to your potential new starter. If they decline, you can always contact the individual and ask them why. If you’re keen on hiring them, you can revisit your offer to include new features (such as a wage increase) to make the role more appealing.
Job offer references
There are two types of offer you can make.
- Conditional job offer: If you have specific conditions for the new starter to meet (for example, a policy of references before a job offer), you can withdraw your offer if they fail to meet your requirements.
- Unconditional job offer: Once your employee accepts the offer, then you must put together a contract of employment. You can’t withdraw the offer afterwards.
Obviously, once you have the job references and you can verify them, then you can go ahead and make your unconditional offer.
Job offer letter template
When you write the letter, you can rely on an existing template to ensure you cover all of the essential points.
You can refer to the below sample to cover many of the common points. You can adapt this as you see fit for your business.
SAMPLE JOB OFFER LETTER
Dear [applicant’s name],
[Company name] is happy to offer you the role of [job title].
Please take the time to review our formal offer. It includes essential details about your compensation, benefits, and the terms and conditions of your employment with [Company Name].
[Company name] is offering a [full time, part time, contract etc.] position for you as [job title].
You will be reporting to [immediate manager/supervisor] starting on [proposed start date] at [workplace location]. Your expected hours of work are [days of week and hours of work].
In this position, [company name] is offering to start you at a pay rate of [wage amount] per [year, hour, annual salary, etc.]. Pay is on a [weekly, monthly, etc.] basis. This will start from the [date of next pay period].
As an employee of [company name] you will be eligible for [list any of the benefits you offer to your employees—this can include health insurance, pensions, holiday days etc.].
By signing and dating this agreement, you agree to the terms and accept our offer for employment. Please do this before [offer expiration date].
Disclaimer: Our sample job offer letter is a guideline and you should only use it as a reference point. For your official letter to a candidate, consider local laws and your recruitment procedures. BrightHR will not assume any legal liability if you use this template in an unaltered state.
You can also request a job offer acceptance letter. This is where your candidate responds in writing—in it, they’ll accept or decline the offer you’ve made to them.
Once you receive the letter, you should store this in your records for future reference.
Retracting a job offer
As a business, you can send out an offer and have the candidate accept it. But circumstances can change and you may wonder, “Can a job offer be withdrawn after acceptance?”
Again, the answer depends on whether you’ve made a conditional or unconditional offer.
- If it’s unconditional, your employee is already in a legally binding contract of employment. You can’t withdraw the offer.
- If it’s conditional, you can withdraw the offer. But only if the candidate fails to meet some of your expectations, such as reliable references from previous employers.
Do keep in mind that a candidate can take legal action against your business if you withdraw a job offer. They can do this if:
- The job candidate thinks you withdrew the offer due to discriminatory reasons. If this is the case, they can take you to an employment tribunal.
- You confirm it’s an unconditional job offer and the candidate met all of your expectations, but withdraw the offer anyway. This is a breach of contract.
What about changes of mind?
Finally, what happens if your new starter accepts an unconditional job offer but then changes their mind?
This isn’t an unusual scenario. For example, your new starter’s current employer may continue making ever-improving counter offers. This can tempt some employees back to their previous role.
If this happens, where do you stand? You can either:
- Ensure they work through any contractual part of their notice.
- Consider suing them over a breach of contract.
Need help securing new talent?
We’ll help you make the right offers to the right candidates, so you can grow your business with the best talent. Get in touch: 0800 783 2806.