How to Make a Job Offer:
An easy, step-by-step guide to making a job offer. Includes useful tips and examples.
Get the necessary approval for the hire.
Review the job requisition.
Revisit the details of the job requisition and double-check that it has been approved. You don't want to make an offer that, it turns out, you can't back up.
Be clear on the details.
Before you contact your chosen candidate, be sure to know the details of what you are offering and whether there is room for negotiation.
Contact the candidate.
Send an email to set up a phone call.
It is not advisable to send a "yes or no" email or make an out-of-the-blue call asking your chosen candidate to make a decision. Rather, send an email setting up a time to speak with them about the offer you want to make and to get their thoughts on it.
Call and make an informal offer.
During your scheduled call with the candidate, make them an informal offer, detailing what it entails, and answer any questions they may have. Before ending the call, let the candidate know when they can expect to receive the formal job offer letter.
You'll want to get to this point fairly quickly. Don't go so fast that it makes you seem desperate, but if you can get them from application to offer in two weeks, you'll beat most competitors to the punch.
Send a formal job offer.
Write a formal job offer letter.
Having discussed the particulars of the offer with the candidate over the phone, you can now draw up a formal job offer containing detailed information, such as the job description and compensation package they're agreeing to.
Send the formal offer.
Be sure to send the letter or email containing the formal job offer within the timeframe you indicated to the candidate.
Inform the other applicants.
Give the news to the people you didn't hire quickly.
Inform all applicants that the position has been filled. Don't overlook this part as it's an important part of employer branding. Treat the candidates you passed over well and you may be able to tap them again when the right position does open, or get referrals from them in the future.
Job Offer Letter Examples:
Here are some examples from big companies, including the offer Marissa Mayer received to become the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo:
How long should you wait for a job offer response?
We recommend giving candidates three days to think about it, ideally with the offer made on Friday and the expiration on Monday.
What if your offer of employment is rejected?
Find out why. It's information you can use to help improve future offers. Also, keep things cordial, even if you're disappointed. The applicant may come back or they may have friends they'll recommend if they've had a good experience. Send a nice response thanking them for their time and asking if there was anything you could have done better.
What if you change your mind?
The candidate will be understandably upset — it's possible they've turned down other offers by now. Let them know what happened as soon as possible and explain your reasons in detail.
If it is an at-will position, there will probably not be any legal issues, but consult an attorney before making a final decision.