The Job Offer

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The Job Offer Letter. In its simplest sense, the template for a job offer letter might be fairly generic. Hitting the right hot buttons for a job offer letter requires some thought and preparation. The same process that goes into composing a job offer letter is similar to that of selling a new home: The best sales counselors spend a great deal of time on the front end leaning what the buyer wan...

April 01, 2005

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User-Friendly Job-Offer Template

The Job Offer Letter.

In its simplest sense, the template for a job offer letter might be fairly generic. Hitting the right hot buttons for a job offer letter requires some thought and preparation. The same process that goes into composing a job offer letter is similar to that of selling a new home: The best sales counselors spend a great deal of time on the front end leaning what the buyer wants and needs, their budget, expectations, etc. while educating them on what to expect and when (i.e. establishing buyer expectations). Handled correctly, the close of the sale is natural — no surprises or 11th hour negotiations. This natural approach allows for a much less stressful close for all parties.

The Interview Process

Early in the interview process, it is important to learn the candidate's motivation to make a change, their current compensation, as well as their future expectations. I typically get this information during the brief screening phase of the process. If the candidate's expectations fail to match up with our opportunity — whether it be scope of duties, title or money — I let the candidate know right then that it won't fly. Failure to confront this issue early on leads to bigger problems at the time of an offer.

Assuming all is well on compensation, position expectations, etc. I move through the rest of the selection process. Remember: multiple interviews, multiple interviewers, structured discussion of each candidate and references yield the best results.

The Offer Letter

When my colleagues and I are ready to make an offer, we put pencil to paper and craft an offer letter. The offer letter should be consistent with your company's culture. It is fine to get your attorney's blessing, but don't let him or her draft the letter — it will sound too sterile. See the sidebar for a user-friendly template.

Ideally extending an offer letter should not be the beginning of a negotiation. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world.

So what happens when the candidate wants to play Let's Make a Deal, and how should you handle it? I will cover that next month in The Job Offer, Part 2.

 

User-Friendly Job-Offer Template

Dear Tom,

Gary, John and I have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few weeks. It is my pleasure to offer you an opportunity to join the XYZ team. I'm confident Sally and the boys will enjoy the area.

The following represents the details of the offer:

Position: Vice President Construction... responsible for all construction and warranty operations for the Phoenix division.

Reports To: John Doe, Division President

Start Date: On or before April 18, 2005

Base Salary: annual dollar amount & when paid (weekly, bi-weekly)

Bonus Potential: Notice the word "potential." Detail this out so there are no gray areas regarding dollar amount(s) or percentage of salary, commencing on X date, criteria, how and when paid, etc. If you are guaranteeing any bonus, it should be spelled out here as well.

Auto Allowance: Monthly amount (if applicable)

Benefits: Be as specific as possible or attach a benefit sheet that gives types, coverage and cost to employee and eligibility dates. Even better, have someone calculate in advance his monthly contribution based on adding Sally and the boys to his plan; don't make him do it on his own.

Relocation Assistance: What you will cover— house hunting, movement of goods, interim living, trips back home, realtor fees, home discount, etc. Best to use an "up to" amount. So, make sure you have good data.

Vacation: Again, be as specific as possible.

Tom, in order to comply with employment law requirements, we ask that you please understand that this offer does not constitute a contract of employment for any specified period of time but rather an "employment at will" relationship.

That pretty much covers the details of our offer. Feel free to call with any questions. We are really excited by the possibility of you joining our team and look forward to your favorable and timely reply.

Best regards,

Stan Johnson

Division President, Phoenix

XYZ Homes

Acknowledgement

I have read and understand the terms and conditions as outlined above.

_____

Tom Smith

_____

Date

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