How To Write An Effective Offer Letter And Secure Top Candidates

Posted on February 6, 2020 by .

When we partner with our clients, we play a significant supporting role in helping them prepare for hiring, guiding, and answering any questions along the way. Supporting the hiring manager in forming an attractive and comprehensive offer letter is an essential aspect of bringing our candidates’ full circle and ensuring satisfaction on both sides.

While most companies are quite familiar with developing an outstanding offer letter and package, we thought this checklist could help ensure you’re covering all the bases. Our goal is to provide extensive coverage of everything that should be included in an offer and why each aspect is significant. Let’s get started. 

Why An Offer Letter Is Important

Outside of outlining the roles and benefits of the job, an offer letter is a binding agreement. According to Legal Zoom, once both parties sign an offer letter, they are considered legal documents. They can be used to resolve any disputes that might come up relating to employment terms. 

Creating An Effective Offer Letter That Appeals To Top Candidates

Complete offer packages entice a candidate and make them feel as though all of their questions and concerns have been met. Checking off these key aspects when writing your offer letter can help increase your rate of acceptance. Aside from the basics, which SHRM lays out here, we are diving into more details based on our experience working through the hiring process

Items to Include in an Offer Letter:

  • Salary 

A salary might be stating the obvious, but you’ll always want to include their starting salary along with any bonus potential. If you’re adding bonus potential, ensure that you state how the bonus will be determined (based on individual performance, company goals, profitability, etc.). 

Also important to note, starting in 2020 in Colorado, it’s illegal for employers to ask about previous compensation at other jobs. This law helps ensure that compensation is based on skills, experience, and performance in the interview, not based on prior salaries.

  • Start Date

Be clear about the agreed-upon start date. Give them ample time to provide notice to their previous employer, as well. Out of respect, you’d expect a two-week notice from them. Communication is key to onboarding a new member of your team, setting a start date is an important feature of being on the same page as your candidate.

  • Benefits

Be sure to outline the full benefit plan, including:

    • Medical, vision, and dental coverage, and what the company covers
    • Vacation policy and sick days
    • 401K policy 
    • Parental leave
    • Any other unique benefits provided by your organization, which is increasingly important in today’s competitive market
  • Background Checks and Drug Test Information

Background checks are a common way for an employer to verify a new hire’s background and ensure full transparency during the offer process.  Other companies chose to drug test, and these checks are a part of the professional process and often happen towards the end of the offer stage, before onboarding begins.

One recommendation — Be upfront with your account manager about your companies’ requirements for new hires as we must pass on this information to all candidates and prepare them for your process.

  • Offer Expiration Date

A common addition to an offer letter is an expiration date. Many employers need a firm answer sooner rather than later, given the competitiveness and speed at which the market moves today. Give one to two weeks for a candidate to respond, based on your needs. That will give them time to think but not overwhelm them with needing an answer the next day. 

We hope this list of helpful tips for creating an offer letter helps you with your hiring process. Spending time creating a full-fledged offer letter helps indicate the seriousness and thoughtfulness of asking an individual to join your company. It can also help ease communication when sorting out the details of making a hire.

If you need help with your hiring process or creating an offer letter, reach out for more information and we hope you’ve find this resource a comprehensive start to writing an offer letter.


Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!

 

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