How to write an offer letter

Are you looking to write an employment offer letter encouraging your chosen candidates to accept? Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an offer letter that conveys your company culture and will help to create a smooth onboarding process, which is vital in today’s competitive employment marketplace.

What is an offer letter?

A job offer letter helps you secure your potential candidates as employees. It’s a formal offering of the job position that should outline the role you are offering within the company, job title, and salary, as well as outlining the entire offer package. 

A good offer letter will help give your candidate confidence to accept. It’s a crucial document that can demonstrate your company culture and set the tone for a successful relationship with your new employee.

Best practices: What should be included in an offer letter? 

Crafting a comprehensive and well-structured offer letter is essential for attracting top talent within your company and ensuring a smooth onboarding process. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what to include when you create an employee offer letter:

Step 1: Clearly State the Job Position and Start Date  Provide a clear description of the job position being offered. Include the title, department, and reporting structure. Mention the proposed start date of the job to set expectations for the candidate's availability. This ensures your organisation and the employee are aligned with the start date.

Step 2: Emphasise Company Culture and Values The job market is competitive, and you should take the opportunity to highlight your company's culture and values as a point of difference. You should outline your organisation’s story, mission, and vision. You can also explain to employees how they will contribute to your organisation to create a sense of belonging. If you are able, you can link to video or web content highlighting what it’s like to work at your company.

Step 3: Job Responsibilities and Role A key purpose of the offer letter is to outline the responsibilities the candidate has as part of their role. This provides clarity for the potential employee.

Step 4: Outline Compensation and Benefits Clearly state the compensation package, including salary, bonuses, and other applicable benefits. It’s important to be transparent about specific perks, such as performance-based incentives. 

You should also showcase the other main benefits included for employees, such as flexible working, health insurance, pensions, paid time off or other key benefits like extended maternity or paternity paid leave. If your package is substantial - you may want to add a link for potential employees to find out more. In a competitive candidate market, benefits can give you the edge.

Step 5: Detail Employment Terms and Conditions: Provide a section that outlines the terms and conditions of employment. Cover essential details such as employment status (full-time, part-time, or contract), working hours, and any probationary period. You should also include information on confidentiality or non-compete agreements. You can include required NDAs within the job offer letter. 

Step 6: Contingencies If the job offer is subject to a candidate completing certain documents such as proof of identity or residence or reference checks, this should be outlined within the offer letter.

Step 6: Expiration Date An offer letter needs to be agreed upon by a specific date that should be included within the letter. Adding this ensures you don’t miss out on other candidates by having a firm deadline.

Step 7: Request a Signed Acceptance End the offer letter by requesting the candidate's signature to acknowledge their acceptance of the job offer and the terms outlined in the letter. If you use DocuSign eSignature, your potential employee could accept your offer within minutes. You can also use this opportunity to encourage the candidate to reach out if they have questions or require further clarification.

Job Offer Letter Template

As the market for candidates is very competitive and as recruiting new employees can take a lot of time, it’s important to have a job offer letter template ready to go to use at a moment’s notice so your candidates accept your offer quickly. When choosing an electronic signature provider, choose one with pre-built templates like DocuSign eSignature. It makes it quicker and easier to work with candidates remotely, too. You can specify who has to sign each document and in which order. 

How to send an offer letter with DocuSign?

Here are seven simple steps to sending an offer letter with DocuSign eSignature.

  1. Go to the templates page, select ‘New’, then ‘Create Template’.
  2. You can scan & upload your existing offer letter into DocuSign eSignature as a template.
  3. Add the recipient that you would like to complete the form. If you have multiple recipients that you need to send this to, import a ‘bulk list’.
  4. Do you need your recipients to validate their IDs? Add in the appropriate authentication methods to make sure this happens.
  5. Write in detail the instructions to go with the form or send a private message to a specific recipient.
  6. Tag the fields on the form the recipient needs to complete; it’s best to indicate which are ‘required’ fields and which are ‘optional’. This can save time in following up on incorrect incompletions in the future.
  7. Lastly, send the employee offer letter for signature.

Is an offer letter legally binding?

A signed offer letter is not the same as an employment contract; therefore, it isn’t necessarily a legally binding agreement for employment. The offer is often subject to getting good references. Getting a legal professional to check over the agreement is a good idea. You may wish to include a disclaimer in the letter that states it’s informational to avoid confusion. 

Creating an effective employee offer letter requires you to give the employee an appealing offer, ensure you pay attention to detail and provide clarity. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a professional and engaging offer letter to attract top talent and get job acceptance letters. Ready to get started? Find out more about DocuSign for HR today.

Elsa Kesler
Demand and Content Marketing Manager
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