After going through a series of interviews and the employer has identified a suitable candidate for the available position, an offer of employment is sent to the successful candidate. In many instances, there is delight and excitement when a successful candidate receives an offer of employment.

At this stage, the employer has identified that the successful candidate has various attributes beneficial to its organisation. Some of these attributes are the candidate’s experience, a positive attitude, and compatibility, to name a few. Other categories are important for most employers when deciding on a suitable candidate, such as dress code, punctuality, the ability to work independently and work ethic.

An employment offer is an invitation for a successful candidate to accept an offer to work in the position advertised by the employer. An employment offer will typically contain the details of the employment offer, salary, benefits, responsibilities, and the reporting manager’s name and title. Some offers of employment include the expected working hours, the start date, and additional information that is important for the successful candidate to familiarise themselves with. Some offers of employment are verbal and informal in nature. However, it is advisable that the employer make the employment offer in writing and give the successful candidate a reasonable time to respond to the offer.

What is expected from the successful candidate is to either accept or reject the offer. Depending on the position, a successful candidate may negotiate the offer according to their circumstances at the time. Some employment opportunities are flexible in terms of pay range and other benefits to attract possible employees. In some instances, both parties will negotiate the terms of the offer of employment in order to reach a consensus, depending on how flexible the parties are. If the successful candidate accepts the offer of employment, the candidate must sign and return the offer of employment letter as a formal acceptance of the position. A contract of employment with all the terms and conditions will be provided to the successful candidate, usually on the first day of reporting for duty.

Whether the offer of employment is verbal or in writing, the successful candidate should be afforded a reasonable time to review the offer and revert to the employer with a response. When the offer of employment is accepted by the candidate, an employment relationship forms, meaning both the employer and the successful candidate have certain duties and responsibilities to comply with. Both parties are contractually bound by these duties and responsibilities, which are, amongst others, providing a service by the employee and payment of wages by the employer.

Once a successful candidate has been identified, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • The offer of employment typically contains the details of the advertised position, including the salary and all the benefits.
  • Some offers of employment may be verbal and informal, but it’s advisable to have the offer of employment in writing to ensure both parties agree to the agreement’s content.
  • A successful candidate should be given a reasonable amount of time to review the offer of employment before accepting or rejecting the offer.
  • The offer of employment may be negotiable, depending on the position of the vacancy.

There is always a risk taken by the employer when employing a new employee in its organisation, and equally so can be said about the successful candidate who accepts the offer of employment. However, some appointments tend to create lengthy and healthy relationships once done correctly.

Article By: Tshepang Makhetha
Dispute Resolution Official – CEO Pretoria