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The Complete Payroll Blog

The Dos and Don'ts of Job Offer Letters

Posted by Complete Payroll | May 14, 2014 2:52:13 PM

The dos and don'ts of job offer letters - Complete Payroll

If you've ever sought advice on how to write a job offer letter, you'll discover a lot of conflicting advice. If you're worried about what your current job offer letter does say, should say or shouldn't say, here are nine great tips, collected in one place.

DO include the following in your offer letter:

  • The name of the company and the name of the employee. Use company letterhead, and be sure to type in the date and the name and address of the employee.
  • The salary you will be paying the employee—but use an hourly, weekly or monthly rate instead of the annual rate. Using an annual rate can be interpreted as guaranteeing employment for a year.
  • The duties and responsibilities of the position, so that the employee knows exactly what he or will be expected to do. You should also state that these duties may expand and evolve over time, or add “other duties as assigned” in case you need this person to take on a few tasks that weren't in the original job description.
  • An “at-will” clause. This will prevent an employee from misconstruing the letter as a contract and taking you to court if you fire him or her.
  • Language that states how continued employment depends on following organizational policies and procedures and any contingencies, such as signing a nondisclosure agreement or taking a drug test.
  • A welcome. With all of the legalities and other facts you need to worry about, don't forget to mention that you’re happy to welcome new employees to the company or look forward to working with them.

DON'T include:

  • Language that makes the letter sound like a contract.
  • A place for the employee to sign the letter, which also makes it seem like a contract.
  • Language that implies job security or longevity, such as “You’ll be able to grow here” or “You will enjoy a long career here.”

Hiring a new employee is exciting and when you’ve chosen the right candidate, you look forward to working with them. You just want to be careful what you put into writing so it can't be misconstrued. To help with the hiring process, check out our New York State Employee Onboarding Kit by clicking the button below.

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If you're hiring an employee, or think you might be soon, check out our comprehensive resource page, Employee Onboarding - A Complete Guide. This is a handy, tightly-packaged outline that presents all the critical hiring and onboarding elements in simple, chronological order. 

Topics: Labor law, Employees, Human resources, Benefits

Written by Complete Payroll

We do payroll, HR, timekeeping and more for employers all over the country from a small, rural town in Upstate New York. And we're constantly publishing articles and other resources to help business owners, HR managers or anyone that helps manage a workforce. Welcome to Payroll Country!

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The materials and information available at this website and included in this blog are for informational purposes only, are not intended for the purpose of providing legal advice, and may not be relied upon as legal advice.  The employees of Complete Payroll are not licensed attorneys. This information and all of the information contained on this website are provided pursuant to and in compliance with federal and state statutes. It does not encompass other regulations that may exist, including, but not limited to, local ordinances. Complete Payroll makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of the information on this website and does not adopt any information contained on this website as its own. All information is provided on an as-is basis.  Please consult an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular question or issue.