The Employment Offer Letter and its Importance

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Welcoming a new Employee
I decided to look into What the Employment Offer Letter is because of its relevance in the employer/ employee relationship as it defines the relationship- be it contract, temporal or permanent.

An employment offer letter is a formal document provided by a Company (employer) to a candidate (employee) selected for a job position. It is of great importance at the point of employment and thereafter. It is a legal document and must be treated as such.

The Employment Offer Letter is expected to contain:

– The Name of Company making the offer;
– Names and address of the Employee;
– Nature of Employment (Contract, temporary, permanent etc);
– Job designation;
– Job description
– Remuneration/ Salary
– Probationary period
– Notice period (with reference to Section 11 of the Labour Act)
– Annual Leave (Leave days and allowances)
– Days of duty / Hours of Work etc
– Date of Expiration (if Contract)

Please note that some of the conditions that apply generally to staff may be found in the Staff Handbook when there is one.

As a young man, I had accepted an oral employment offer because I was desperate or over-eager to have a job! Know that this is not an agreement. At the final job interview, after all negotiations, I was told that the Human Resources Manager would give me an offer letter on resumption. When I resumed duty, I requested for this and was told it would be printed out. I spent years there and could not get the offer letter. Even after the probationary period of six (6) months, it was not given. I pursued same until I was tired and exhausted. This is not supposed to be so. The rest is history.

The Nigerian Labour Law is clear on that and says that when a hire is made, the Employer is required to provide an employment contract setting out the terms and conditions of employment within three months of the commencement of employment.

You needn’t mistake the Employment Offer Letter for Appointment Letter. The two appear to be the same but they are not. The Appointment Letter is a proof of appointment that the Employee has accepted the terms and conditions of employment as specified by the Company and he/ she is willing to be engaged. To the Employee, the document contains the legal deeds transferring some rights and obligations to the organization. Moreso, to the Employer, she believes that they are spending money and time in the executive search activities and therefore she must have her ROI.

My Opinion:

You must be careful in accepting and signing the Offer Letter as it should be well scrutinised and verified. On having an Offer Letter from a Company, you should have a quiet time with yourself so as to critically analyze the content therein. Some offer letters can be demanding and life-frustrating. I remember one accepted by one of our footballers to travel abroad to further his footballing career. Out of inexperience, desperation and haste to travel out as a professional, he got it all wrong! In the end, what was supposed to be something joyful, turned out sorrowful as the offer was more of an enslavement.

Where issues are not clear, the employee is expected to ask questions for clarifications, and where and when it is not satisfactory, consult a Lawyer.

First, you must be able to look at and visualize the reward(s) therein should you accept the offer. What are the benefits both in the short and long term? What is in there for you – what is the reward system like?

Secondly, are there risks/ hazards involved? If yes, is there insurance cover for this? Do not say, I was most particular about this because I never wanted to be out of a job. This is where you must be extra objective and careful: should anything happen, for one reason or the other and you lose the job, what happens? Will there be terminal benefits? How stable is the Company and what is the internal politics like? What is the public perception about the Company, corporate image like? Who are the board members? Most of the answers to these questions can be researched and found out.

Thirdly, what will be the responsibilities inherent in the position on offer? Will you be provided with the right conditions and atmosphere to do the job? Will the Company provide you with the right tools for the job? What is the reporting line like? What would you learn therein and will you be better off than when you came if you accept the offer? Before responding to the employment offer and accepting same, these are facts that should be objectively verified and confirmed right.

I am sure with these, you now understand what the Employment Offer Letter is and criteria to be met before accepting an offer. I wouldn’t advise you to take up a job without first having and holding on to the Offer Letter – be it temporal, permanent or contract. Don’t make that mistake at all because of the dire consequences. The Offer Letter is a critical factor in accepting an employment.

This piece was contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene+George Consulting Limited (

The Employment Offer Letter and its Importance
Agolo Uzorka Eugene

Agolo Uzorka
the authorAgolo Uzorka

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