What is a Job Offer Letter?

A Job Offer Letter is a formal letter that is sent to a prospective employee whom you have been selected and decided to hire for the position in your organization.


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What is a Job Offer Letter?

What is a Job Offer Letter

Job Offer Letter is a formal letter that is sent to a prospective employee whom you have selected and decided to hire for the position in your organization.

Job Offer Letter contains clear terms and conditions of the job for both the employee and the employer. When signed, it indicates an agreement between the employer and the employee that the job has been offered by the employer and accepted by the employee under the outlined terms. It needs to specify everything that has already been discussed in writing. This can include the remuneration agreed upon, start date, entitled benefits, and others. Any other legal necessities such as an NDA or additional proof of work should be sent along with a Job Offer Letter.

Usually, a Job Offer Letter is followed by a detailed employment agreement that elaborates on the terms and conditions included in the letter.

What should be included in a Job Offer Letter?

If you want to get an offer out to a candidate fast but haven’t got sufficient details for the full employment contract, a job offer letter is a great way of summarizing the offer. These are the important things to include in a job offer letter:

Job title & description: the title of the offered position and description of the job should be clearly written in order to avoid any confusion. A well-written job description includes the basic duties and responsibilities of an employee, working hours, and the starting date of the job. It should also mention who the employee will be reporting to or working under. For example, a marketing manager will report to the Marketing head.

Work schedule and location: the workplace location from where the employee will work, for e.g.: company address, work from home, etc should be mentioned in the offer letter. The pandemic gave everyone a taste of what flexible ‘work from home’ feels like and so a lot of employees these days are very particular about the location of the jobs they are applying for and the type of schedule they will have. Further, this section also needs to clarify the hours the employee is expected to put in and the number of days they will have to work.

Probationary period (if any): the period of time after the joining date in which the company or employee may part ways without the standard notice period. Typically three months, during this period, the new employee is exempt from some contractual items.

Salary and benefits: base salary for the position offered, allowances and reimbursements (if any), medical insurance (if any), stock options, other employee benefits; pay period (monthly basis, weekly basis, etc.), bonuses if offered, paid time should be clearly written on a job offer letter. This section should also clarify how tax deductions will be made.

Leaves: this includes details of the offered annual leave, paid and unpaid leaves allowed, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, etc. It should clarify the number of leaves an employee is entitled to and how things will proceed if the employee exceeds the allocated number of leave days.

Confidentiality and intellectual property: Employers could require that employees sign certain other legal documents to ensure that confidential information shared with them is not shared.  The offer should mention the time period for which confidential information must not be disclosed, it should also clarify details of ownership of rights to intellectual property created during or while underemployment; Any special conditions of employment: separate non-disclosure agreement to be signed, employment visa to be maintained throughout employment, background check to be allowed, mandatory reference checks.

Conditions for termination: A clear detail about the Probation period, notice period, written resignation letter, or termination letter to be served.

Who drafts an offer letter for a company?

The HR department of a company or organization is responsible for the hiring process and a hiring manager usually has the final say about who is chosen and drafted, and sign the final job offer letter.

Is an employment letter the same as an offer letter?

An offer letter is the first step in recruiting a new employee if a company requirement matches the candidate’s profile. Once the offer letter is accepted by the candidate then they will be required to sign the appointment letter which has more details about the job like the position for which they are hired, job description, salary, location of the job, etc.

How long does an offer letter remain valid for acceptance?

Usually, a letter of employment has an expiration date, this is the deadline for the job offer acceptance by the candidate. If the candidate accepts and signs the offer letter on or before the expiration date, it is valid. So, always be careful to confirm your acceptance of the offer by signing and returning the letter before the deadline.

How long does an offer letter remain valid for acceptance?

Usually, a letter of employment has an expiration date, this is the deadline for the job offer acceptance by the candidate. If the candidate accepts and signs the offer letter on or before the expiration date, it is valid. So, always be careful to confirm your acceptance of the offer by signing and returning the letter before the deadline.

Is a letter of employment legally binding?

Yes, a letter of employment or an offer of employment letter is legally binding once the employee accepts the offered position by signing.

Can you E-sign Job offers to accept them?

Yes, it is generally acceptable to provide e-signatures to accept job offers. E-signatures will not be valid only in cases where the employer explicitly states that you need to be present to sign it. As an employer, e-signatures can be more beneficial to use as it is rather easy and quick.

How can you make your job offer more appealing to an applicant?

Here are a few tips to make your offer more enticing for applicants:

  • Let the letter reflect warmth and a genuine invitation to join your company.
  • Do express excitement to make the candidate feel special and welcome onboard.
  • Applicants are definitely looking for more than just short-term incentives. Candidates are interested in learning how they can grow in their careers. Let the applicants know that this is a priority for you too. Share your company goals and let them know how the role will help them.
  • Let them know that you want and need them at the company.

Can you make an informal job offer?

Yes, you can also send an informal job offer to a potential candidate you have selected for a position at your company. Informal offers are just as official as formal offers. It is simply less formal and generally briefer. Also, it is not legally binding and does not need to be in writing, and can simply be verbal. For instance, an employer may call up a candidate to let them know that they have been selected and offer the position, and ask if they would be willing to accept it. 

How to gracefully turn down a job offer?

The answer is not always yes. For times when it is not, you can politely decline and show your professionalism there too.

First and foremost, show appreciation. Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity offered and the time they’ve given you and make it heartfelt. Next, give a short and precise reason. Make sure that it is respectful but note that you do not have to dive into the details. Finally, try and stay in touch. The world is a small place and each industry is even smaller. It is highly likely that you’ll bounce into these people every once in a while. So, remember to end it on a good note.

Can a company reject someone after sending an offer letter?

Yes, if the job offer sent is a conditional offer where the candidate is required to meet certain requirements they can be rejected even after the job offer is sent if they do not meet the requirements. Further, the offers have a set time until when the candidate is expected to accept the offer. If the deadline is crossed and no reasonable explanation is provided, the offer can be withdrawn.

Conclusion

As an employer, when you find a great candidate, you want to make your offer stand out and so a job offer letter is provided by a company to potential candidates offering them employment. It basically helps a candidate to get more insight into the office profile, job description, responsibilities, remuneration, etc. It is the proof of job confirmation once accepted. Most job offer letters have deadlines to allow some time for candidates to make their decision. Always remember, a job offer letter in no way should exert pressure on the candidates, it should be professional and polite.

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