The contents of a job offer letter can vary depending on factors such as the company, role expectations, and candidate details. However, it can be beneficial to consider recommendations on what to include in your job offer letter. Below are the essential elements that are smart to incorporate in a job offer letter regardless of the specific position being offered.
Job Title and Description
Specify the official job title that the candidate will assume upon employment, along with a comprehensive job description that highlights the primary responsibilities. Keep in mind that you do not need to go into depth on every task. Instead, provide a brief overview of the most essential duties. It’s important to make sure you clearly indicate that the listed responsibilities don’t encompass all the responsibilities of the position.
Specify the expected date the candidate will begin working for your company. You can also include other key dates like the new-hire orientation or an expiration date for the offer letter. This expiration date serves the purpose of allowing for potential negotiations with the candidate or the opportunity to extend the job offer to another candidate in case the initial offer is declined.
List the name and job title of the individual to whom the candidate will directly report to. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with a designated contact person within the company whom they can go to with questions or concerns.
Schedule and Location
Indicate whether the position is a full-time, part-time, or contract role. Include the work schedule the candidate will be expected to follow, such as a start time of 8 a.m. and an end time of 5 p.m. Additionally, specify the work location, whether it’s a remote, in-office, or hybrid position. In the case of hybrid work arrangements, clearly outline the specific days the employee will be expected to work from the office and the days designated for telecommuting. It’s also important to mention if these conditions are subject to changes.
It’s necessary to accurately classify the new hire as either exempt or nonexempt, as mandated by federal or state laws. In the case of an exempt position, the offer letter should specify that the employee is not eligible for overtime pay. Conversely, for a nonexempt position, the offer letter should state that the employee will be eligible for overtime compensation if it’s a benefit provided by the company. Candidates applying for nonexempt positions should also be informed that they’ll be required to record their work hours using the company’s designated timekeeping system.
State the employee will receive and whether they’ll be paid an hourly wage or an annual salary. Also include pay frequency, which is typically weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly. For salaried employees, you can provide both the annualized and pay period salary amounts within the job offer letter. Mention that the pay is subject to change based on various factors, such as performance evaluation results. Furthermore, outline the benefits the employee will be eligible for, such as health insurance, a 401(k) plan, and paid time off. You can also include any applicable bonuses and commissions that may be part of the compensation package.
Incorporate an at-will employment clause into the job offer letter to underscore that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any lawful reason.
Outline any contingencies surrounding the offer. These may include things like the requirement for the candidate to successfully complete a background screening, drug test, reference check, and employment authorization verification. The offer letter should also mention any confidentiality or employment agreements the new hire will need to sign before their official employment with the company begins. Finally, be sure to consider state and federal regulations that may affect what can and cannot be said in a job offer letter.