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Thursday 12 August 2010

Offer Letters To Sales Employees – What Should They Include?

So you have found the perfect candidate for your sales vacancy. You were impressed enough to invite them to a face-to-face interview. You got to know them in the first round, grilled them in the second round and they’ve impressed everyone that they’ve met along the interview path. So, it’s time to offer them that all important job but you’re not sure on how to construct the offer letter.

A job offer letter confirms the details of an offer of employment and should try to contain the right mix of friendliness, optimism and of course disclaimers. It should further include details such as job description, reporting relationship, salary, bonus potential, benefits, vacation allowance, probation period, start date, notice period and more. The letter generally confirms the terms that the employer and the sales candidate (or via the sales recruitment agency) has negotiated and agreed for the candidate’s employment.

The job offer letter can be sent via email through conventional practise is to send by email and then follow this with a copy in the form of a letter via ‘snail mail’. Do ensure that you can confirm what you offered verbally in writing to ensure there are no unfortunate misunderstandings in the first few weeks of your new employee’s service.

Do make certain that you include as many details as possibly within the job offer letter – these can be as attachments or enclosures so the candidate has enough helpful information that will aid in helping them make an informed decision. It must never be forgotten that the candidate might receive other job offers (lucky them!) therefore you may be competing for their attention and employment.

Commonly, the candidate would have indicated if he or she will accept the position, under the stated terms (prior to the drafting of the letter) through a ‘verbal offer’ this will be done either directly or through your agency. Do regard the verbal acceptance as tentative until the offer letter, and the confidentiality agreement, if you use one, are signed. Your offer letter should be signed by the hiring manager, HR or a company director (or in some cases two or more of those detailed).

Decisions, Decisions When Writing A Job Offer Letter

No one resigns from their job until they have an offer of employment in writing (unless there are external factors such as redundancies). If you leave it too long before contacting the chosen candidate – your silence may act as a ‘no thanks’. It is suggested that a job offer in writing should be sent within 24 hours of the interview – worst case scenario would be 72 hours.

A punctual arrival of a job offer letter is a fantastic indication to a sales professional that you are decisive, keen and genuinely serious about the individual joining your team. Although none of these may be true – a delayed offer can suggest loss of interest, lack of urgency or simply poor organisation or a bureaucratic infrastructure where nobody takes responsibility!

If your communication is not clear, assumptions will invariably be made which much ultimately affect how the job seeker feels about the job which could potentially change their mind not only about the job but also your company.

Instructions On How To Write An Offering Letter

· Use a professional offer letter template as your starting point. These can be found online or through the Microsoft Office Word Template site. Remember to fill in the date, name and address as formatted in the template and adjust accordingly (usually the templates need anglicising!)

· Open with your intention to hire the candidate. Clearly state the title of the position that you’re offering and who they will report to (direct line manager)

· Continue by listing the basic bullet points of the duties that the candidate will complete while holding this job (and perhaps attach the job specification as an addendum)

· S-p-e-l-l out the pay rate and benefits of the package for the sales candidate. You must give an accurate salary number in the body of a job offer letter and to avoid confusion at a later date it is worth detailing the commission scheme if applicable.

· State the probationary period with the length and appraisal update milestones

· Explain that the offer is subject to references. Further clarify that if at any time prior to the new recruit joining you receive any reference or report that you consider to be unsatisfactory, make clear that you reserve the right to withdraw the offer of employment.

· If applicable clarify that the offer is subject to a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau check or medical.

· Give further information about the benefits package – this should include annual leave and could include your health insurance, life assurance and retirement plans

· End with a space ............................. for the person to sign. You’ll want the candidate to sign the job offer letter and return it to you for their HR file.

· Continue to explain that you hope ‘Mr X’ will accept your offer and ask them to confirm their acceptance by a deadline date. You can further mention that if you do not hear back from them by the deadline date that the offer will be automatically withdrawn

· Finish with a personal note for example ‘We are looking forward to you joining us and wish you every success in your new role with us’

· Remember there is often no need to draw up a job offer letter until you have received verbal acceptance from the candidate – this will save time and effort on your behalf.

· Ensure that both parties have a copy of the job offer letter with both signatures. Your chosen candidate will want to save it for personal references and in the case of any discrepancies with his or her salary/benefits package.


Never run the risk of failing to send something as simple as a well written offer letter with full and correct details. Job offer delay can potentially spoil what could be a very smooth recruitment process and your chances of the right person joining your team.

Once you deal has been done – don’t forget to enjoy your good earned fortune in securing the right candidate!

It could be valuable to have an experienced legal or HR advisor to help in constructing an offer Letter and employment contract. We advice seeking advice in constructing all Employment Contract Agreements – most trade bodies will help you with this very cost effectively and it should cost more than ‘tens of pounds’ to purchase a current and relevant template which you adjust accordingly.

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