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Using A Job Offer Letter to Get Off to a Good Start With an Employee

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

A job offer letter is an opportunity to start the employment relationship off on a positive note. In this letter, the employer has an opportunity to describe the job and its responsibilities. As with any type of letter, a job offer letter should be direct and positive. It is an opportunity to the candidate know that they were chosen specifically and that the employer recognizes the skills and experience the new employee can bring to your company. Doing this encourages new employees to feel confident, not only of a decision to accept your job offer, but in their ability to perform the job itself.


However, a job offer letters can also serve as a legal basis for employment. Because of this before the employer sends the job offer letter to the chosen candidate, the employer should make sure that it can stand behind everything set forth in the letter. The employer should be fully satisfied that the terms and conditions spelled out for the new employee are exactly what they should be.


The job offer letter should convey several basic facts to the new employee. These include the following:

1. Salary: The employer can state the starting salary, frequency of payment and method of payment, such as by check or direct deposit. If the employer offers performance bonuses or stock options, these can also be described;

2. Benefits: The employer can also briefly describe the benefits coverage provided by the employer such as dental, health and/or other types of insurance. Note that benefits information should be communicated in more detail upon orientation of the new employee;

3. Dates and Times: The employer should be explicit about deadlines and expectations. For instance, the employer should state when it requires the signed offer to be returned, the length of the probationary period (if any), the expectations of the new employee concerning hours of work per week, and the job start date and time; and

4. Name Relevant Documents: If the employer requires new employees to sign other documents, such as non-confidentiality or non-compete agreements, copies could be attached to the job offer letter.

If you are an employer and are interested in using job offer letters to begin the employment relationship with your employees, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Employment Law attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your Idaho Employment Law questions and will help you solve your Idaho Employment Law problems.

This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

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