The Offer Letter - What to Include
When the interview and selection process is over, it is important for both parties to cement the deal by exchanging correspondence confirming the job offer and acceptance by the employee.
Whilst a hand shake, in theory, will suffice, both parties will feel more comfortable (and it is in the interests of certainty) if the basic terms - job title, pay, starting date etc., are put in an offer letter and if the employee returns a signed copy to indicate that he or she is taking the job and accepts the terms.
You may also want to make the offer subject to certain conditions (e.g. references, medical check-up, and the serving of a satisfactory probationary period) prior to making a final commitment.
Once it has been accepted by the applicant, the offer letter represents a binding commitment. Failure to honour the terms of such a commitment technically entitles the other party to sue for breach of contract.