How can hiring teams use automation to self-serve employment offer letters as the business continues to scale?
You’ve found a great candidate and you’re ready to send a letter offering them the job. But what should be an exciting moment for both sides is a bureaucratic nightmare, frustrating for company and candidate alike. This deep dive looks at how companies can use automation to create a self-serve workflow for employment offer letters. Use the navigation below to find out more, or explore our deep dives on other contracts, like NDAs and MSAs.
What’s an employment offer letter? | Who do offer letters affect? | What’s the non-self-serve process? | Why use a self-serve workflow? | How to achieve self-serve for offer letters | Useful features | Learn more
What's an employment offer letter?
After a long hiring and interview process, you’ve chosen your best candidate and it’s time to offer them the job. The offer letter gives the candidate basic information about the role, but it also includes details on the salary, terms and conditions, start date, and more. The offer letter is a touchpoint for negotiations between the candidate and the employer. You might follow up with further details in a separate, lengthier and more formal employment contract.
Who do offer letters affect?
The founders or leadership team might take responsibility for the offer letter process in the earlier stages of a business, until a people team is in place. For businesses that already have a hiring team, various people may be involved in the offer letter process:
People operations, HR or talent acquisition teams usually own hiring, and use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage their new hires and to streamline the onboarding process.
The hiring manager for the specific role is often involved in making changes to the offer letter and will need to agree the terms in the document.
Authorized signatories will need to sign the employment offer letter on behalf of the business.
And, of course, the candidates are crucial stakeholders in the workflow. Often, the employment offer letter will be the first written communication they have with their employers – and first impressions count!
What does a non-self-serve offer letter process look like?
Most businesses continue to manage their offer letters using manual processes that are clunky and inflexible and don’t allow hiring teams to self-serve. This is because many still use Word to produce contracts, which is part of a non-self-serve manual workflow. The process, which can often cause frustration on both sides, usually looks like this:
Legal and people teams create an offer letter template in Word, which talent acquisition, HR or people operations then need to find the template on a shared drive, download what is hopefully the latest version, input the candidate’s details and update the terms. This document is emailed to various stakeholders and undergoes several rounds of changes.
Once approved, the hiring teams convert the offer letter to PDF and send it to the candidate, at which point there may be some back-and-forth over email to negotiate and agree the contract terms. When everyone’s happy, the candidate signs the letter. This might happen in DocuSign – or worse, rely on a manual print-sign-scan-send process. The signed document is saved somewhere in a shared folder, on a local drive, or even as a hard copy in a filing cabinet.
If hiring teams have an applicant tracking system in place, then it can double up the time they spend on admin work; they end up inputting the same information into two different systems
Why use a self-serve workflow?
A successful self-serve process allows hiring teams to create beautiful, branded and error-free offer letters by themselves, without having to rely on legal or worry about templates being out of date.
It’s more efficient. Every offer letter is different, meaning that in a non-self-serve workflow, hiring teams have to manually input information into each one. This manual process increases the risk of human error and, if hiring teams use an applicant tracking system (ATS), also duplicates effort, as people have to enter data in both systems.
It saves time. In a manual non-self-serve workflow, back-and-forth on email clogs up inboxes and slows things down. Teams don’t have visibility of all the changes that might be made to the letter, and version control is hard to manage. When it comes to signing, the print-sign-scan-send process can be frustrating for the candidate, and you run the risk of losing them altogether.
It can ease friction within and between teams. The longer it takes to secure a new hire, the longer teams – and projects – have to wait for a new teammate. For example, an engineering team might be waiting for new developers to come on board before they kick-start a project. And it can be doubly frustrating if they don’t have sight of whether the candidate has signed or even been sent the letter yet.
Giving colleagues the ability to self-serve can streamline the offer letter process, reduce time-to-hire and free up the hiring team so that they can concentrate on the things that really matter. It puts them in the driving seat and means that when hold-ups happen, they can spot them and smooth things along.
Negotiating terms in Word documents, over email or on the phone defeats the point of a streamlined self-serve process … Find a solution that offers in-browser negotiation, internally and externally
Find out more about creating self-serve employment offer letters in our free eBook, 'Contract automation: start small, win big'.
How to achieve self-serve for offer letters
A self-serve workflow for offer letters might look something like the following:
A dynamic, user-friendly interface
To make your self-serve process as efficient as possible, all of the contract creators need to be able to navigate and use the contract collaboration platform intuitively. If the interface isn’t easy to adopt, it will be slow to implement and could reintroduce the friction between teams.
An accessible, up-to-date template
All the offer letters can be served by the same master template, so make sure that this template is up-to-date with the latest company terms, and stored in an accessible, centralized system. This will save hiring teams time hunting around for recent templates and will help you to manage version control.
The Q&A can streamline the offer letter process and make a massive difference in enabling teams to self-serve. The question and answer flow captures key data through a series of natural-language questions – such as “What is the candidate’s name?” or “What is the job title?” – and autopopulates the contract. This saves teams time manually adding information into the document, and additional conditional logic features can change terms on the contract according to the answers you provide.
Negotiating terms in Word documents, over email, or on the phone defeats the point of a streamlined self-serve process. Make sure you find a solution that offers in-browser negotiation, internally and externally; that way audit trails and version histories can live in one place and offer you complete visibility over your contracts.
Using an approval workflow means you can assign approval rights to the legal team before offer letters are shared with the candidate.
Useful features for self-serving offer letters
If you’re creating a self-serve workflow to take the friction out of offer letters, these features and integrations will be useful:
Mass generation. As your company continues to scale, you need processes that scale with it. Juro’s mass-generation feature can help HR users to create more than one offer letter at a time – meaning multiple candidates can be signing up to join your growing team.
Greenhouse integration. This integration can help high-growth scaleups to track their applicants and maintain reliable, synchronized data. Other providers are also available.
Electronic signature. eSignature features are essential, and give candidates the option to say “Yes” to a job offer on their mobile device, as they walk back from that great interview.
A rich, dynamic text editor. This is a must-have for branding – and to give your candidate a delightful offer experience. With a dynamic text editor that allows you to add images, GIFs, charts and tables, you can create visually engaging offer letters that excite your candidate for the journey ahead.
Is a poor offer letter process a pain point for your business, hurting your time-to-hire metrics and leading to a bad candidate experience?
Try Juro and see how you can benefit from a flexible DocuSign alternative that enables the business, reduces time-to-hire and gives your candidates the experience they deserve.