How NOT to Write a Job Offer Letter

October 26th, 2012

If you’re a manager or HR pro for a large, established company, your job offer letters are probably standardized according to a template that’s been carefully reviewed by your legal team. But if you’re a small business, a start-up, or simply on our own when it comes to drafting offers, keep these tips in mind. The right offer letter can make a new employee feel welcome and excited about the prospect of joining your team. The wrong letter can give the candidate second thoughts and push her in the direction of a competing employer. At worst, a poorly worded offer letter can actually get your company into legal trouble.

Offer Letter Tips: Avoid These Risky Moves

1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Check and double check to make sure your letter is free of implied but false commitments. For example, if the offer is contingent on the completion of a successful background check or drug test, make this very clear.

2. Don’t send the offer too soon. If the position hasn’t yet been cleared by upper management or the budget resources for the job have been promised but haven’t yet materialized, wait for a few days. Express your interest to the employee over the phone, but don’t put the offer in writing until you’re ready to follow through.

3. Don’t go into detail about why you chose the candidate. Simply state that her credentials match the needs of the position and you’re looking forward to bringing her on board.

4. Keep your company’s brand and reputation in mind. Present your offer formally, neatly, and professionally. Have the letter reviewed by in-house or external editors and make sure it presents your company well. Until she signs on the dotted line, the candidate isn’t yours, and there’s still a chance that a small misstep could drive her away.

5. If you intend to offer benefits like comprehensive health insurance or a 401K plan, mention this in the letter, so the candidate can factor this into her final decision. But again, don’t list or suggest any additional facts that haven’t been verified. Send detailed, legally reviewed benefit information in a separate package.

6. Don’t forget to accompany the letter with a phone call. In both the letter and the call, make the employee feel welcome and wanted, and give her clear instructions regarding the next steps.

Your offer letter represents your final chance to showcase your company and win over a talented candidate. So make the right moves! For additional guidance regarding offer letters and any other form of professional communication, contact the NC staffing and employment experts at PSU.


When is it Time to Start Looking for Candidates?

September 21st, 2012

When managers calculate the best time to hire new employees, their decisions will depend on range of factors including available budget resources and the nature of the company’s business model. Here are three popular approaches to timed hiring and the kinds of companies that tend to embrace each one.

Just-In-Time Hiring

The leanest, meanest and most efficient way to time hiring decisions is typically known as just-in-time or last minute hiring. This model is based on the idea that companies rarely make money when there are too many people walking around in the office. To avoid even the slightest chance of a budget-busting overstaffing scenario, companies often wait until their current staff are overworked, over-burdened and teetering on the brink of total burnout before bringing on new employees. Only when current personnel resources are pushed to the limit and literally bursting at the seams will last-minute hiring managers publish a posting for a new position and begin screening applicants.

The economic advantages of this model are clear, but the risks may outweigh the benefits and can undercut the amount of money saved. If your business can’t afford a single extra dollar lost on staffing and your managers are great at navigating and calculating risk, this strategy offers a promising option.  

Long Range Planning Based on Sales and Other Data

Cyclical businesses and companies that can draw a clear line between sales data and staff size may benefit from long range planning based on careful predictions of company growth and future needs. To make this model work for your firm, you’ll have to find a way to gather data that’s accurate, clear, and directly tied to personnel requirements. Growing sales that are likely to keep rising at a steady rate may warrant the acquisition of two, six, or ten new employees during the coming year. But only adopt this model if past performance can be expected to align with future results.

High Potential Hiring

“High potential” hiring is a strategy often embraced by companies with flexible hiring budgets and those that need to compete aggressively for top talent. With this model in place, extremely skilled applicants who respond to a posting are contacted whether their skills match the posting or not. These candidates are then brought on board and positions are designed to match their talents, rather than vice versa.

The risk of overstaffing can be significant for companies that use this approach. But these tend to be organizations that embrace innovation and flexibility and they also tend to be firms that can afford higher risk as long as that risk comes with the potential for high reward. 

Are you interested in hiring new staff but uncertain about the timing of your decision? Temporary staffing can provide qualified help with minimal hiring risk. Contact the NC temporary staffing experts at PSU and find out what we can do to move your company forward.


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