It's a match made in business heaven. You've found the ideal professional to fill a critical position within your organization. You've discussed the job terms, made a verbal offer, and this person has moved from potential candidate to "The One." Now what?
According to Dallas Employment Attorney, Keith Clouse at Clouse Dunn, it's time to officially seal the deal with an offer letter. Even in this age of technology and innovation, old school business best practices apply when hiring new employees. An offer letter that describes specific job duties, and can even include the actual job description, will help nip that complaint in the bud. State that the company reserves the right to modify the compensation plan at the company's discretion and check out agreements with competitors. If the company is hiring an employee from a competitor, the letter should ask the employee to confirm that he or she isn't bound by any non-compete or non-solicit agreements that could prohibit or limit the proposed employment. In the interview process, a verbal offer is the start of the employment phase. If any terms have changed after the verbal agreement, the formal offer letter should contain language that it supersedes any verbal conversations or employment terms that may have been discussed. The offer letter should also stick to the facts of the job and not make any projections for the future. To that end, be sure to include an at-will statement. Most of the time, an offer letter mentions an annual salary, but without the at-will disclaimer employees often take the position that their employment is guaranteed for at least one year. This assumption can have serious implications if there is a separation of employment. And, to ensure your offer letter includes all of the necessary components, start with a checklist. A template also creates consistency and can help avoid a claim that employees are being treated differently, which is often a key element in a discrimination claim. A good offer letter then keeps everyone on the same page.