How to Make a Job Offer:
1. Get any necessary approval for the hire.
You don't want to make an offer that, it turns out, you can't back up. Need help with that? We've got a great article on job requisition forms.
2. Send an email to set up a phone call.
Don't just try to send them a "yes or no" email or make an out-of-the-blue call asking them to make a decision. Send an email setting up a time to get their thoughts on an offer.
3. Call and make an informal offer.
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 2 weeks, you'll beat most competitors to the punch.
4. Send out your formal offer.
This will include detailed information, such as the job description and compensation package they're agreeing to. See our templates below for more help.
5. Give the news to the people you didn't hire quickly.
Don't overlook this part, it's an important part of employer branding - treat 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 them 3 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, and they may have smart 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 probably not be any legal issues, but consult an attorney before making a final decision.