You’ve found the perfect candidate for the job, and now it’s time to make it official with a written job offer. While a written letter is vital for this industry, there are several things that you’ll want to avoid putting in your engineering job offer letter in order to protect your company and make sure your best interests are being served. In today’s litigious society, you simply cannot be too careful.
Let’s look at a few things that should never go into a job offer letter.
1. Putting At-Will at Risk. You are hiring employees on an at-will basis and this needs to be abundantly clear in your letter. State that they are indeed “at-will” and avoid language that specifies certain lengths of employment, “yearly” salary or any terminology that could put their “at-will” status in jeopardy.
2. Overly vague language. You must be clear in your job offer letter. Vagaries are what get companies in trouble. You must be completely specific about your expectations and what the employee must do to remain employed by your company.
3. Failing to specify conditions of employment appropriately. Your job offer letter should never detail job duties, this is should be referenced that a complete job description will be provided to the employee upon their actual acceptance of the offer. Instead, you must detail what your conditions of employment are, and these must be clear statements. If an employee will void their at-will status with your firm by doing something, this must be included here.
4. Actual salary or compensation figures. Another thing to avoid your job offer letter is the actual amount of their proposed compensation. This should be avoided because it can jeopardize their at-will status (see the above “yearly” salary) and it can create expectations that your company must fulfill. You can reference compensation just like you would the job description, that they will be furnished with a salary or compensation package upon their acceptance of the offer.
5. Security statements. Avoid any statements that imply job security, such as the ability to advance within your organization, actual set terms of employment, etc… The bottom line is, they may seem like the right candidate now, but in three months, they may be your worst nightmare. Never put anything in their offer letter that could be construed as offering them a set term of employment or security within their position.