Employers conduct several rounds of screening to hire the best candidate. Yet, the process of hiring does not end with candidate selection. It also includes offering the job to the most suitable candidate.
Calling and letting the selected candidate know does not mean offering the job! The letter of employment detailing the role they’re filling in fulfills the process.
Usually, employment offer letters can be of two types: conditional and unconditional. It depends on whether the candidates need to meet any conditions or not.
This guide sheds light on the whats and whys of the conditional offer of employment.
What is a Conditional Offer of Employment?
A job offer that entails some conditions to be fulfilled by the candidate before being hired by the employer is called a conditional or conditional offer of employment.
These conditions or contingencies are the only things that stand between your chosen employee and their onboarding. You can view them as the final round of screening before you can finally let the candidate through your gates.
Why Should Employers Prefer a Conditional Offer of Employment?
While it does involve a few more steps in the hiring process, it is still better to offer contingent offers.
Lets get it straight:
The conditional offer letters provide in detail the terms and conditions of the offer and what is expected of the candidate. It leaves no room for doubt.
On the other hand, non-contingent offers are considered as incomplete wherein you, the employer, cannot be sure if the candidate understood those conditions. Also, you might skip some essential aspects of the role leading to miscommunications and dissatisfaction.
Conditional offers stand compliant to the prevailing labor laws as the role of the candidate is clearly specified. You cannot be sure if the same is clear in a non-contingent offer letter.
Not only does that lead to chaos but it can also brew complexities on the legal front. Non-compliance to the labor laws is seen as a severe offense and you might end up facing litigation.
We strongly recommend you choose conditional offer letters to ensure clarity in communication and to stay compliant with local labor laws.
Key components of a conditional offer of employment letter
Like any usual offer letter, a conditional employment offer letter contains all the essential details of the role being offered. Adding to those details will be a section of contingencies that the candidate must satisfy.
Let us see the essentials you should enclose in a conditional employment offer letter.
Job title and description
Start with the basics. Enclose everything that communicates what the candidate is up for. Leave no room for doubts.
Be sure to include:
- Job title
- Job nature specifying the role: whether full-time or part-time/remote or hybrid
- Brief job summary stating the duties and responsibilities
- Reporting official: name and designation
Finally, be sure to include that the offer letter and their duties are subjected to change. Also, throw in a disclaimer that it only holds good when the contingencies are cleared.
Mere verbal confirmation of crucial dates is as good as no communication. Hence, ensure you include and highlight them in your offer letter.
The important dates would be:
- Last date for accepting your conditional employment offer letter
- Date of verification of the contingencies
- Last date for submission of verification details (physical examination reports, documents, drug tests, etc.)
- Date of joining
It is best practice to tabulate them in the offer letter. Tabulation highlights the dates and ensures that the candidate remembers them.
Their salary is the best compensation the employee gets.
Enclose their complete annual package, their gross and net monthly incomes detailing the salary breakups. For part-timers, it is best to include hourly rates and when the payments will be done (after completion of projects or after fixed timespan).
Compensation company provide the employees
The candidate must be aware of the perks of becoming your employee. Benefits get them more interested in joining your company and motivate them to work harder after becoming a part of your team.
Some common benefits covered by employers include:
- Annual incentives and bonuses
- Stocks in your company
- Paid Holidays
- Paid-time offs
- Team trip allocations
Remember to mention that compensation (and benefits) might be subjected to modification and is at your company’s discretion.
The offer letter must describe the core values of the company, and how it functions together as a single entity. The company’s policies and culture give them a headstart on those.
It is easy to muddle it up by including all your policies. But that isn’t the goal.
By explaining the company’s culture and policies, you are unfolding the company’s vision to the new joiners. This section is to help them identify and relate to you in terms of goals and if their goals align with yours. Creating numbered lists of the policies that pillar the working of your organization can help you keep things crisp and to the point.
Again, be sure to disclose that the policies are subjected to revisions and are at your discretion.
Your company culture defines you who you are and what you stand for as an employer. Highlighting your work environment and culture prepares employees to embrace and get acquainted with it earlier.
You can also add a few words on how excited you are to get them on board and work with them. Including this section makes them feel welcome. After all, excitement is contagious.
Sliding through what they can expect of you, we finally arrive at what you should enclose to let them know your terms and conditions.
Statements regarding at-will employment, contract-based employment, and other offboarding processes gives the employee better insights on the terms of terminating the employment.
Having a clear understanding can help relieve any uncertainty regarding the job.
It is normal for employees to gain access to all the insider information about your company. Data leakage is a real threat that can cause legal complexities and severe damage to the business and company reputation.
Thus, the confidentiality agreement is one of the must-have sections in the contingent employment offer letter. It prohibits them from using privileged information for their personal benefit.
The list of contingencies that employees need to fulfill differentiates the contingent employment offer letter from the rest.
The section must start with a disclosure that the offer holds good if and only if these contingencies are satisfied. Spell out the terms to give clarity and prevent any misconception.
This brings us to the next question – what contingent conditions can employers include?
There is no predefined set of conditions to include directly.
There is no rulebook!
As an employer, you need to frame contingencies based on the company policies and the job position in consideration. It can also be determined by cross checking with the specific requirements of the country you are hiring from, to ensure you cover all the bases.
Some generic contingent conditions to include are:
- Successful verification of the authenticity of the documents provided
- Satisfactory results on physical examination
- Valid reference checks, etc.
Apart from these, some roles require the fulfillment of some role-specific conditions.
A role that requires the employee to travel around would require a license and passport verifications. A job role requiring physical strength and fitness, like that of a pilot, might mandate a physical fitness examination.
You must include a space for signature to confirm that the candidate has read all of the above contingencies and provides consent to let you verify.
Can an Employer Withdraw a Conditional Offer Employment?
A conditional offer of employment offers employers the leverage to revoke the offer letter, the edge your hiring strategy needs.
The first case is when the conditions in the offer aren’t met. The purpose of contingency offer letters is to ensure the candidate satisfies them. Thus, in such cases, withdrawal of a conditional offer of employment letter only seems logical.
The at-will statement provided earlier comes useful here as the candidate is aware that if they fail to satisfy the conditions, the offer becomes invalid.
You also have the right to revoke the offer for any non-discriminatory reasons. A best practice is to disclose the reason for rejection.
However, make sure that you do not contradict any labor laws or that your reasons seem discriminatory. Gender discrimination and marital discrimination are not tolerated in several countries and are considered severe offenses.
Advantages of a Conditional Job Offer
Hiring talents who bring in more value is the goal. The conditional offer of employment scouts out several advantages to help you onboard the best fit.
Gives you consent to verify the essential details
People are fighting against non-consent every day. Consent has waxed out to be an elementary clause in any agreement.
Indeed, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to regulate customer consent. According to the act, employers can perform background verifications, validation of candidate details only after they give the nod.
Including the contingencies as clauses in your conditional offer of employment is the best approach. This lets them know that these conditions are essential for the role and gives them the option to accept or reject the conditional offer.
Confirm a candidates qualification
In hiring, compromising on quality is a big no. The background and other morale checks help you assess if they are completely qualified and fit perfectly with your company culture.
Further, if the job role requires a physical examination, the test lets you know if the candidate is fit enough for the job role.
Assess their work attitude
You have selected the candidate based on several factors. However, checking with their previous employers and other contacts will let you ensure they have a healthy attitude towards work. Eventually, healthy work only comes from a healthy attitude.
Pre-determine the risks involved
Know what you’re getting onto.
Hiring a candidate is accepting to partner with them for a substantial amount of time. Thus, verifications help you assess the risks the candidate brings along with them. You can then make decisions based on that.
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Disadvantages of a Conditional Job Offer
A few drawbacks might arise if the candidate is not expecting a conditional employment offer letter.
Failing to meet the conditions
The main downside of the conditional employment offer letter is that the chosen candidates fail to meet the conditions. In that case, the entire process becomes futile and you have to start again from scratch.
Sometimes, you might have to let go of even the most fitting candidate because they fail to fulfill not all, but some conditions. In such cases, you might want to revisit your conditions, re-evaluate if they are trivial, might not affect your work, and then decide accordingly.
Unwilling to join the organization
On the other side, despite fulfilling all the conditions, the candidate might not be willing to join your company. Again, this drains you of both time and money.
Risk of discrimination
Some conditions might come across as discriminating or affect the sentiments of a few. You need to steer clear of such controversial contingencies. They have the potential to cause severe legal actions against you.
Be meticulous while constructing your conditions. Ensure that they are strictly framed around the job role and the values of your company.
Staying cautious and getting their consent is thus crucial.
Legal Considerations for Conditional Offers of Employment
When an employer makes a conditional offer of employment, there are legal considerations to take into account. Here are a few key points:
Conditions should relate to job requirements. It should not discriminate against employees based on race, ethnicity, color, or gender.
Employers need to keep the conditional offer of employment consistent among all candidates.
Employers must have transparent communications to the candidate.
Employers must look into any changes to the conditions and communicate it to candidates timely.
Employers must consider the candidate’s privacy and collect only necessary information.
Employers reserve the right to withdraw employment if the candidate fails to fulfill the conditions.
Employers must ensure to follow legal requirements in making the conditional offer of employment. It will ensure fair and equal treatment of the candidates.
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The contingent offer of employment adds extra screening steps to hiring. But it helps you confirm if the selected candidates fit with your work culture and values.
For that, you need to ensure the terms and conditions are clearly communicated.
Drafting holistic, all-inclusive agreements and contracts is a requisite. However, this requires you to spend an ample amount of time, money, and labor, a luxury for most.
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