Step Ten: Presenting an Offer

Presenting the Job Offer

You have gone through all of the interview steps, called at least three work-related references, considered any assessment processes you used, and conducted additional background checks (if needed). There is now one candidate who stands out above the rest. Hopefully you also have a candidate who is a close second,  so that if your first candidate does not accept the offer, you have a solid “Plan B.”  There is more to making a job offer than simply calling the candidate and saying “You have the job!”  Here are  a few standard steps you should go through to ensure that your offer is attractive and made in a professional manner, that clearly establishes and confirms your working relationship:

The Preliminary Verbal Offer: Before you go to the trouble of preparing an offer package, you do want to touch base with the candidate to ensure that they are still available and interested in the position. Remember that you might be catching the candidate off guard — assure him or her that you do not expect an answer from them  until they have had a chance  to review the offer letter. Let the candidate know when he/she can expect to receive

Put it in Writing: It is very important to put all  details of the offer in a letter that will later be  included in their Human Resources file (and you  must have an HR file for all of your hires and staff!). You may want to consider having this letter crafted by an employment lawyer or a qualified HR expert at least initially, to establish a solid precedent. A good offer letter should include the following:

  • Confirm salary or hourly wage, and whether or not the role will involve;
  • Confirm previously discussed benefits of the job. This may include information on the vacation policy, benefits and any other programs offered by the organization;
  • State the length of the probationary period (this is typically 3 months);
  • Mention what the candidate is to expect on their first day at the new position;
  • State the date and time that they are expected to start;
  • Provide the candidate with their supervisor’s name and the name of their department;
  • The job description, which started our process, should be included as an appendix;
  • If there is an employee handbook, this should be referenced with the offer letter, and reviewed  and acknowledged upon;
  • A knowledgeable employment lawyer or  qualified HR consultant will also recommend other prudent terms, such as confidentiality requirements, and it is recommended that you invest in the development of at least an initial template that you can thereafter adapt for additional new

Give the Candidate a Deadline: It is reasonable for a candidate to want to take some time to think about the offer, but be sure you establish a deadline for acceptance (no more than one week is recommended). This is to ensure your offer doesn’t remain “open” indefinitely should you need to move forward with an alternate candidate.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Ontario