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How to automate an Employment Offer Letter

Jeremy Huitson, 21 April 2020

Employment Offer Letters are serious, but that doesn’t mean they have to be difficult - nor does it mean they can’t be fun. How can an automated workflow give candidates the experience they deserve?

Hiring a new employee should be one of the happiest moments in the life of a company. But all too often, the legal document setting out the terms of your new relationship is a bureaucratic experience, with clunky process creating friction that disrupts your company’s hiring goals, as well as the candidate’s onboarding experience. 

This page looks at why businesses choose to automate Employment Offer Letters, how they do it, and what the benefits are. Use the navigation menu below to find out more, or explore other contracts, like NDAs and MSAs.

Without automation: who's involved? | What's the process? | What are the pain points?

With automation: who owns the templates? | Who creates the contracts? | Who are the approvers? | Who are the authorized signatories? | Useful features | Integrations you'll find useful | Benefits of automation | Achievable time savings | Manage Offer Letters with Juro

The old world: without automation

Who is involved?

The stakeholders in Offer Letters depend on the size of the business in question. For example, a small startup might not yet have a people team, in which case, founders might run the process. But once a company reaches a reasonable size, it’s likely to have a dedicated function looking after hiring.

  • HR, people operations or talent acquisition teams likely own the process, using applicant tracking systems to manage the onboarding of new hires

  • The hiring manager for a given role will also be involved in agreeing the terms of the offer and making any relevant changes

  • Authorized signatories internally will then need to sign

  • Candidates are also crucial stakeholders in this document’s workflow, of course. Often the Offer Letter will be the first written communication outside of email that the individual will receive from the company. First impressions are important

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Want to delight candidates with a frictionless contract workflow? Automate your Employment Offer Letters with Juro. It's free.

What’s the process?

The Offer Letter process exists from day one at a company that’s growing, which means that letters are often created when the company’s tech stack is at its most basic. It’s common for this to continue in the same way for some time. A typical non-automated process would be something like this:

Data on, and details of, the candidate are entered into the applicant tracking system (ATS) during the recruitment process. HR or people teams manually copy this data from the ATS into a Word template, which may or may not reflect the latest thinking from the people team. This is emailed to the hiring manager for approval, potentially involving a few rounds of amends.

Once approved, the Offer Letter is emailed as a Word document or PDF to a candidate. Often they print, sign, scan and send the document back. This is then manually scanned, and uploaded to a shared drive and to the ATS. An entirely manual process is still common too, where hard-copy contracts are posted around both internally to stakeholders and externally to the candidate.

This process is still typical, but companies with a richer tech stack may have made some small steps forward. The template might be a shareable Google document; versions might be sent internally using Slack; and once e-signed, details might be manually entered into a CRM system like Salesforce.

What are the pain points?

Offer Letters have their own specific pain points that frustrate hiring teams and candidates alike. These are some of the most commonplace:

  • Duplication of work: “I have to manually enter the same data in a Word document that I entered in our ATS - what a waste of time.”

  • Data integrity: “Despite all the repeated data entry, the data in our various systems still doesn’t seem to match. We risk making mistakes in our letters, which looks really unprofessional.”

  • Wasted time: “This manual process of printing, scanning, posting and so on takes too long. We’re missing out on talent because we can’t get offers out fast enough.”

  • Poor candidate experience: “We’re a tech company claiming to be disruptive and innovative, but our candidate experience is something from the 1970s. Our Offer Letters look just like everyone else’s do - we don’t stand out.”

 

The new world: with automation

Who owns the templates?

Offer letters are used in certain jurisdictions in conjunction with employment contracts. In other jurisdictions (like the US) there is typically no separate employment contract. As such they should still have oversight from the legal team. Typically they will own the wording of key provisions.

 

Templates often also have involvement from marketing and communications teams, as they represent a key touchpoint for the brand. An attractive, dynamic document with engaging branding can be the difference between an offer being accepted quickly or left unanswered.

Who creates the contracts?

 

Talent acquisition teams usually work with hiring managers and senior leadership (depending on the role being hired) to nail down the specific details of the contract. They’ll use a Q&A flow to quickly enter data in smartfields like candidate name, contact details, remuneration, bonus, equity, start date and so on. This data will autopopulate the generated contract, and be searchable afterwards.

Who are the approvers?

 

Unless there’s a culture of departing significantly from templates, legal may not need to approve every Offer Letter that goes out. Senior hires like a VP or C-suite role might require more scrutiny, both from legal and the leadership team, but hiring managers are usually empowered to approve Offer Letters for the majority of roles.

Who are the authorized signatories?

It’s still commonplace for CEOs to be the ultimate signatory for employment contracts. It’s good for both branding and candidate experience. However, depending on company size and structure, department or function heads may be empowered to sign Offer Letters. In a high-growth environment, if a business is adding dozens of employees each month, an eSignature flow is common to make sure signatories can speed through their backlog.

 

Useful features

Automating contracts and documents that relate to employment requires a specific set of features from a contract management platform. These include:

  • Rich, dynamic editor: to include images and GIFs for branding, as well as tables and charts to codify remuneration, pension, stock options and so on, you’ll need a dynamic text editor

  • Internal commenting: this feature is useful for people teams and hiring managers to make changes before sending the letter out. External negotiation is less common on offer letters; typically this is done through recruiters or over the phone

  • eSignature: to decrease time-to-hire, a secure, mobile-responsive eSignature solution is more or less essential. Let your candidates accept your job offer on their phones as they walk back from a successful interview

  • Mass generation: a related feature for HR users is the ability to create letters varying employment terms at scale. This is relevant in the context of, for example, high-growth scaleups with hundreds of employees receiving a new equity award: you can use a contracts platform like Juro to mass-generate those variation letters and have them signed


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Integrations you’ll find useful

  • Greenhouse: to ensure reliable, synchronized data across your ATS and your contract management system, an integration is helpful. High-growth tech businesses often use Greenhouse to track applicants, although other legacy providers are of course available

  • Slack: aside from the obvious collaboration benefits of integrating with Slack, it’s great for company culture if team members have visibility and are notified when new joiners sign their contracts

 

What benefits do automators report?

Automating your Offer Letters brings benefits to all stakeholders and the company itself. They include:

  • Data integrity: by integrating your ATS with your automated contract workflow, you can remove the risk of discrepancies and errors across your Offer Letters

  • Less admin work: an automated workflow means never having to copy and paste text from an old template in Word, nor having to print, post, sign and scan hard copies of documents. Spend more time finding great candidates instead

  • Faster time-to-hire: if you can send offer letters out within minutes of making a decision, and have candidates eSign on any device, it’s likely to decrease your time to hire and give you an edge in the war for talent

  • Employer branding: if your offer letters are attractive, dynamic, digital and branded, they reflect well on your company and stand out from the crowd

 

Achievable time savings

With an automated workflow, a feasible end-to-end time for generating, issuing and securing signature on an Offer Letter is less than one hour. Juro customers typically report saving upwards of 75 per cent of time on admin and paperwork with regard to Offer Letters.

 

A representative customer reported that they were able to generate, send and agree 1400 such documents, with more than 300 amendments, across 13 jurisdictions, inside two weeks. Such time savings have a significant impact on people teams’ ability to move quickly, secure the best talent and help their companies to grow.

Manage Offer Letters with Juro

“From 5-6 days per contract to half a day - our ROI from Juro is definitely in the six figures. I’d recommend it to anyone”

- Client Services Manager, Give a Grad a Go (read more)

Join the HR teams delighting candidates through Juro. Our customers typically get to value within weeks - not months. To find out more, get in touch, or explore our case studies with customers like Deliveroo, Tempo and Curve.

Don't forget to download our eBook, 'Contract automation: start small, win big'. Click above to download the eBook and explore the quickest wins in document automation.

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