You spent weeks—maybe even months—searching for the right candidate. Then it happened. Finally, you found your firm’s dream hire. All that’s left is to extend the offer and seal the deal.
An effective offer letter can speed up the hiring process. It might even curb costs. Companies already spend up to $4,000 to fill one open position. The longer a position remains vacant, the more expensive it is for your company.
Fortunately, investing in crafting the right job offer letter will help you persuade high potential candidates to join your team.
How to Write the Best Offer Letter
If you’re putting together an offer letter, there are some good practices to follow.
It’s a jobseekers market. High competition for skilled workers means talented candidates - the ones you’re after - can afford to be picky. A survey by Clutch found most new hires applied for fewer than 5 jobs in their latest job search.
So, to land the best people for the job, you have to move fast.
Leading recruiters recommend acting immediately when you find the right candidate. Try calling the potential hire shortly after their final interview.
In some cases, you might need to evaluate your processes. How many people need to approve the hire? Will the offer be delayed by a back or forth on the salary?
One way to speed things up is to agree to compensation package ranges ahead of time. That way when the time comes to make an offer, all you need to do is draw from the relevant salary band.
Even massive corporations like Google know a drawn-out hiring process isn’t worth the time and money. The company, which receives about 2 million applications each year, cut the number of interviews from 12 to four.
And we’ve already mentioned the costs of lengthy time to hire. If you’re not sure how your organization stacks up, the global average for time to hire for jobs in marketing and engineering is 29 days.
Use Offer Letter Templates
To act fast, you need the right tools. Here’s where document management makes all the difference.
One answer is to use templates for HR paperwork. The upside of templates is all the key information is already prefilled. So, as soon as the hiring team has made their decision, you send the offer letter. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of less documents to process manually.
We’ll dig into the details below, but here are some of the important points to include in your template:
- Core responsibilities of the position
- Start date
- Work schedule
Once your template is approved, save it online using a tool like eversign. After you send the letter, you’ll be able to track its progress from your account dashboard.
An offer letter is a formal piece of communication. But, it doesn’t need to be dull.
You may even find it easier to recruit top talent if you inject a little personality into your offer letter. Recently, there’s been a gradual shift towards companies showing more of their values and culture. That’s especially important for millennials, who now make up the majority of the workforce. More and more modern employees are motivated by a compelling mission and purpose.
Use your offer letter to market your organization’s culture. You could also tap into perks like the in-house barista and home office allowance to sweeten the deal.
What to Include in the Offer Letter
When it comes to writing your offer letter, here are some points to include.
Convey your excitement the very first line. Your want the candidate to feel welcome.
And hopefully, they share in your enthusiasm.
At any rate, a good place to begin is by congratulating the candidate. The tone depends on your company, but it doesn’t need to be elaborate. A short, sincere note will do. Here’s an example:
“Congratulations! We are thrilled to offer you the XXXX position at XXXX.”
Why do you think the candidate will succeed in the job? What impressed the hiring team most?
Touch on the traits and skills that will help your organization grow. Tie the candidate’s strengths to your vision and the important role they will play in the company’s journey.
Here’s another opportunity to communicate your company’s mission. What are you building? Why does it matter?
People want to be part of something deeper than just a job. That’s what researchers at BetterUp found. Most people were even willing to take a pay cut if it meant they got to do meaningful work.
Position Title and Responsibilities
You’ve already discussed the position title and everything it involves. Follow through with a written description of the core responsibilities. It’s important that the duties match the candidates expectations.
Add their immediate focus areas. Perhaps they’ll be working on an exciting project right off the bat? Here’s an ideal opportunity to drum up excitement about the role. Include who they’ll be reporting to. The opportunity to work with an industry mentor may be a powerful motivator.
You’ll want to detail all the logistics related to the candidate’s new routine.
The offer letter should include:
- Start date
- Office location
If remote work is an option, mention that. A study from MRI Network found more than half of the candidates said working from home was “extremely important”. So, flexible work may woo top talent.
Compensation and Pay Structure
Let’s get straight to the point: low pay is the most common reason people turn down jobs. For instance, 55% of tech workers say compensation and benefits are the top factors they consider when applying for a new job.
If what you’re offering isn’t market-related, you’ll lose your dream candidate. Some HR experts recommend the 10% rule - offering 10% more than the candidates current salary. It’s rare that an employee will leave their job for the same, or less, money. Check industry reports and resources like Glassdoor to make sure your compensation package is competitive enough.
Beyond compensation, discuss pay periods and dates. Most companies pay biweekly or monthly.
Here’s a quick overview of the details to include:
- Annual salary
- Pay periods
Be prepared to negotiate before the employment contract is finalized.
From a wellness allowance that covers gym memberships to $4 000 cash for new parents and onsite medical care, there’s no denying that Facebook looks after its employees.
And these days, companies use attractive rewards like these to tempt talented candidates.
That’s why benefits account for as much as 30.5% of employees total compensation, according to statistics from the U.S Department of Labor.
So what are the most attractive employee benefits?
Research from Gallup shows modern employees value flexible working, retirement plans, profit sharing, and bonuses.
Other perks to include:
- Medical insurance and dental coverage
- Unlimited paid time off
- Education allowance for courses and degrees
- In-house employee training
- 401(k) plan
- Hardware allowance
- Stipend for a coworking space
Even if your organization doesn’t have Facebook’s budget, you can still show you care about employees well-being and personal growth. You can, for example, suggest remote work to management. If it’s a new concept, consider test driving partial remote work with existing employees.
In some cases, your offer may be conditional. This means the job offer is contingent on background and reference checks. Some pre-employment processes include drug tests and criminal history reports. Mention every step of the process so the candidate is prepared.
In the U.S, labor law includes an at-will clause. What this means is that the employer or employee can terminate the agreement at anytime for no reason.
While there is debate around whether this is bad for business, it is something you may want to mention in the offer letter.
Make it easy for the candidate to take the next step in the process.
When completing this section of the offer letter, there’s a few questions to consider:
- Is there a deadline for when they need to decide?
- Who do they contact if they have any questions?
- How do they accept the offer?
For inspiration on how to bring it all together, check this template from Hire by Google.
Use a tool like eversign so they can sign and return the offer letter easily. Electronic signatures are legally binding, secure, and simple. Best of all, you help to create a better onboarding experience. Your candidate won’t need to print, scan, and fax documents.
Win Over Potential Employees With an Engaging Offer Letter and eversign
Your offer letter is your last opportunity to make an impression before the candidate decides. Think of it as a final pitch to your perfect hire. Ideally, the feeling is mutual, and they sign the offer on the spot. That’s all possible with a tool like eversign.
By taking the hassle out of the process, you have more time to devote to onboarding your dream candidate.
If you want to start automating your HR paperwork today, give eversign a try for free.