We are always looking for ways to improve the employee journey. Lucky for us, we get to guinea pig lots of our ideas on ourselves. We recently noticed a small breakdown in the branding experience for candidates at the offer letter stage. What a missed opportunity!
The offer letter represents a key milestone in the employee journey. But we were still stuck in a rut of celebrating this milestone with a black and white, boring, legal document that required a magnifying glass and a full team of lawyers to read. Okay, it wasn’t that bad – but you get the idea. It got us thinking – how can we use the offer letter as a tool to build engagement with new employees, instead of just another hoop to jump through?
It’s A Candidate’s World
With the job market being candidate-driven, it’s more important than ever to convince top talent that your organization and job opportunity are the right next step in their career. Standing out as an employer who cares about your people will set the stage for a strong relationship with new employees. (Interested in learning more about creating a great candidate experience from the start? Read our recent blog post on developing an effective interview process here.)
Offer letters are an opportunity to showcase your brand and build excitement around a very exciting milestone with your newest team member! A few small details can make a lasting impression. You might be surprised to hear that some offer letters don’t even have a company logo on them! So, how did we go about giving our offer letter a facelift?
1. Start to Shine With an Outline
First, we made an outline of the critical information we wanted (and *cough* needed) to include. We focused more on employee experience than little legalities, because we knew the employment contract would be signed along with the offer.
2. Give Them What They Want (What They Really, Really Want)
A personalized letter from senior leadership sets the tone, with the reader feeling valued. To determine the order of information, we asked ourselves what information would be most important to our new employee. Compensation, of course! Position, location, and start date were also a good place to start. We also wanted to highlight what it’s like in the office by sharing about our benefits and our culture.
The main thing to remember when creating the offer letter is to think about your audience. Consider: What would they like to know right away? What would excite them the most? How can you accurately reflect your employer brand to them?
3. Add Some Sparkle to Your Offer Letter
We included pictures of our team and images of our workspace to support the written content. Adding colour and on brand messaging keeps things consistent – and a lot more fun to read. If rainbow unicorn tape and jars of candy don’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!
4. Keep The Lawyers Happy
Make sure to keep your offer letter compliant and your lawyers happy by including important legal information. We navigated this by adding a section with important legal information, including referencing that the Offer of Employment is contingent on reviewing and agreeing to the full terms of employment outlined in our Employment Agreement. (Full Disclosure: our Employment Agreement is still a legal document that keeps our lawyers sleeping soundly.)
The offer letter is a great tool to engage and excite, but don’t get caught up in the sparkle and glitter and forget to protect yourself from liabilities down the road.