A job offer letter starts the employment relationship off in a positive way. Learn some basics to include and to leave out the next time you extend a job offer to a candidate.

Include These Details

Describe the job and its responsibilities as clearly as possible. Keep your tone positive and direct. Let the candidate know they were chosen for their skills and experience that will benefit your company. Encourage a feeling of confidence in the candidate’s decision to accept the job offer and in their ability to perform the work.

Include the starting salary along with frequency and method of payment, such as check or direct deposit. If your company offers performance bonuses or stock options, state them clearly and completely. Briefly describe the benefits coverage your company provides, such as health, dental, or other types of insurance. Note that further information will be given in more detail during orientation. Be clear on when the signed offer must be returned, the length of any applicable probationary period, expected weekly work hours, and the start date and time. If the new hire must sign other documents, such as a confidentiality or non-compete agreement, attach them with the letter and note when they must be returned by.

Colorado is an “employment at will state. This means that employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish “just cause” for termination), and without warning. When an employee is acknowledged as being hired “at will”, courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal. The rule is justified by its proponents on the basis that an employee may be similarly entitled to leave his or her job without reason or warning.

Many employers that we have worked with will specifically include a statement in the offer letter that Colorado is an “employment at will state. “

If the candidate requests negotiations for salary or vacation time, ensure you stand behind what is stated. If the candidate accepts the offer, the letter will promote communication and help orient the new hire to the business environment before starting work.

Ensure you stand behind what is stated before you send the letter to the candidate. You should be completely satisfied with the terms and conditions spelled out for the new employee. Check with colleagues or consult an attorney if you have questions.     

Avoid These Details

Avoid implying a long-term or infinite guarantee of employment through phrases such as “permanent position,” “in the future,” or “annual review.” State the salary in weekly or monthly terms rather than an annual amount so that you don’t appear to commit your company to a year of employment. Do not imply that bonuses, raises, or advancement are guaranteed.

Draft the job offer letter as carefully as you would an employment contract. If the employee does not work out in the future, you can point out areas in the letter spelling out expectations and state how they’re not being met. This helps protect your company from future issues.

Finding the right candidate for your open positions is critical to your company’s success. For additional assistance filling your next role, get in touch with the professional staff at Trimble and Associates today!


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