You may be asking yourself: why do I even need a written offer of employment? A written offer of employment may seem redundant. A verbal offer would seem sufficient, however there is much to be said about providing your new hire with a written offer.
The offer of employment does not provide all the nitty gritty details of the position’s responsibilities, but rather sets the stage for what to expect. What are the employees main duties? What benefits are they entitled too? What is the policy on vacations? How and when will they be paid? What are their hours? These are all crucial details that your new hire wants to know before accepting a position.
Many working relationships crumble due to misunderstood expectations on both the employee and employer parts. Here are three reasons why you may want to seriously consider including a written offer of employment in your hiring policy.
1. It Provides Transparency
A written offer of employment provides complete transparency, allowing your relationship to start out on a positive note. It is an opportunity to clearly list what is expected from the employee. Doing so prevents any miscommunication or misconceptions that may have arisen during the interview process. What the employee may remember you saying, and what you remember having said may be different. Providing a formal, written communication on exactly what the job entails is essential. You want to make sure the employee knows what they are accepting when they agree to join your team, and avoid any negative surprises after the fact.
The offer of employment can provide you with protection against misunderstandings. Your new hire may have a different interpretation of the role and expectations after the initial interview. Recruits are generally nervous, and memory of the details discussed can range from vague to completely incorrect. The offer of employment provides an opportunity for you to specify those details in black and white. It also provides an opportunity for the new hire to review and clarify the details of the position being offered prior to accepting it. A signed offer of employment should be one of the HR tools utilized to help protect yourself from a bad hiring decision and future conflicts.
3. Peace of mind
By providing transparency and protecting yourself and your business, you will also have peace of mind. Employee relations are built on trust and transparency, and by starting out your relationship on the right standing you build a solid foundation for your new working relationship. An employee entering a position without entirely understanding their role may lead them to take on something they either do not want to do or are not prepared for. Having a signed offer of employment that all parties can refer back to simplifies future conversations and avoids the “he said she said” game.
An offer of employment may be the crucial step you have been missing in your recruiting process. Providing your future hire, as well as yourself, with the comfort of knowing everyone is on the same page can make all the difference, setting the stage for a successful working relationship.
When it comes to a written offer, the pros outweigh the cons. It may add another step to your current process but the effort is definitely worth it.