11 Things to Include In Your Next Offer Letter


Congratulations! After countless hours spent reviewing resumes, and five interviews, three Predictive Index Assessments, and two reference checks later, you’ve finally found your ideal candidate. But before you look at background checks, pre-employment screens, and training schedules, you need the all-important signed offer letter. 

Here at PROXUS, we conduct many Human Resources Audits and provide HR Outsourcing to clients of all sizes and across all industries. Our HR consultants have seen everything from offers on napkins and post-it notes, to no official documented offer at all.  In 2019, we’re having more frequent conversations with clients around emailed, or even text messaged offers, now made simple and easily trackable through Applicant Tracking Systems, such as PROXUS’ ATS.  

But regardless of how you are sending the offer, it must include certain basic information in order to be effective.  Every good offer letter should, at a minimum, contain the following:

  1. Position Title.

  2. The Name and Position Title of the person to whom the role will report.

  3. Start Date.

  4. Whether the role is Full Time, Part Time, or Temporary in nature and the anticipated schedule and number of hours per week.

  5. FLSA Status (Exempt or Non-Exempt) and a statement on overtime eligibility, as appropriate. Note that this determination should be based on the actual job responsibilities of the role and determined by someone with expert knowledge in proper classification.  Improper classification can expose you to unnecessary and costly Wage and Hour Liability.

  6. Compensation stated as either an hourly rate or per pay amount.

  7. Normal pay periods and frequency of pay (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly). Keep in mind that certain states may mandate the minimum frequency with which you can pay your employees.

  8. Bonus and/or Commission Eligibility and Timing of Payments. Be specific to remove any ambiguity that may cause difficulties in the future.  When are these payments made?  Must the employee be actively employed to receive payment?

  9. A description of benefits eligibility.

  10. Contingencies. Is the offer contingent upon the candidate passing any post-offer, pre-hire screens?  Background, MVR, Physical, Drug Test?  Just be sure that the screen is relevant, consistent, and completed before the first day!

  11. At-Will Employment Statement.

While the above is certainly not an exhaustive list of information to include in an effective offer letter, it serves as a core baseline. Depending on the level of the role, the complexity of the relationship, and your organization’s unique needs and culture, you may wish to include additional items such as confidentiality and non-competition agreements, reference to an attached job description, etc. 

Reviewing your current templates with an eye on the above will help ensure that you have a solid start for this critical employment document. 

Matt Roessler MS HRD, Director of Business Development with PROXUS, has over 10 years of Human Resources experience, with six dedicated to supporting clients through PROXUS’ HR and HR Technology services. MRoessler@Proxushr.com or 215.654.9140 Ext. 409.

 This blog post is presented as part of PROXUS’ Employee Life Cycle campaign. 

Tags: Human Resources