5 Elements of a Strong Offer Letter

You have found the person with whom you want to spend a great deal more time and collaborate on ambitious and great things. You should probably make it official with an offer letter. This is not an offer of marriage, but rather the offer letter you give to the person you want to hire. Considering that this may be a mutually beneficial long-term relationship, it is worth the effort and investment to do it right at the outset.

1) Name the job. A job title is not just given to make people feel important. Depending upon the company or organization, a job title can be tied to many other benefits such as set salaries, set amounts of vacation time, and overall job duties. Including the job title also ensures that there is no confusion as to the position that the person will in fact be hired for.

2) The first day. Wires get crossed and emails go unread all of which can result in your new employee not knowing when they are actually supposed to show up. Again, a clear and straightforward paragraph noting the date, time, and location of where the person needs to be for that first day will save everyone a great deal of stress.

3) The pay. Ideally, the parties will have negotiated the matter of pay before reaching the offer stage. In this case, the offer letter is an excellent place to set out each and every element including wages, form of compensation (stock options are not unheard of), and when they will be paid. Even if there has not been a negotiation of pay, the offer letter is still a great place to start off from especially if it puts forth the information in a clear and concise manner.

4) Benefits. Benefits to be discussed in this section include health insurance (vision, dental, too?), vacation time, retirement plans, and incentive plans. Make absolutely clear what the new employee can and cannot participate in when they start. For example, they may not be able to participate in the retirement plan until they have reached the six month mark. The offer letter is a perfect place to explain this.

5) Other expectations. If the position is one that requires some contingency to be met before the person can officially be hired, explicitly state this in the letter. For example, if drug testing is required, indicate that this is the case as well as the type of testing that would be required (hair and urine?). If the position is one that is at-will, meaning the employer does have not have valid cause to terminate the employment, also include this language. If a condition of employment is that the employee must sign a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement, again, this is relevant information to put in the offer letter.

Remember that the offer letter is your last best chance to give as much pertinent and relevant information to a potential new employee that allows them to make an informed decision. If you need help drafting an offer letter or want to understand more of what goes into a successful offer letter, contact the attorneys at Trembly Law Firm who can guide you through the process with knowledge and efficiency. Give us a call today to see how we can help at (305) 431-5678.

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Written by Brett Trembly

Brett Trembly

In the South Florida legal community, Brett sits on the Board of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association, the Florida Bar 11th Circuit Grievance Committee, volunteers on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Mentoring Program, the Dade-County Bar Associations Rainmakers Committee, and annually volunteers for Miami-Dade County’s Ethical Governance Day.