Does your employment contract help or hinder your ability to hire?
The final interview went swimmingly, the offer has been made and accepted, and all that’s left now is to send them out the contract and await its glorious return. So why do so many offers fall down once paperwork has gone out? Well, let’s grab a big red pen and go through the small print.
There are two kinds of contracts and they elicit very different reactions from potential employees. Which one are you sending out the door?
- A clear summary of what was explained throughout the interview process.
- The numbers are consistent with what was offered and bonus schemes and benefits details are easy to find and calculate.
- The language is the right balance of formal, congratulatory and human.
- There’s a friendly contact number and email on there for any last minute questions or clarifications.
- The tone is one of excitement at someone choosing to join your company.
- Details of onboarding are included, as well as key dates for potential coffee and lunch meetings with the teams, so that the gap between accepting and starting feels more like awarm welcome and less like waiting in line in a bus queue.
- The small print is not small at all, but the same size as the rest of the contract and is laid out with confidence. After all, you’ve got nothing to hide.
- There is an accompanying offer letter, reconfirming how excited you are that they have agreed to join.
The Bad and The Ugly
- Similar to the above, but totally opposite!
- Details are buried in dense legalese.
- Numbers are vague or totally absent.
- The language is so formal that it reeks of suspicion and mistrust, as if the star candidate you had hoped would accept the role has now morphed into a corporate spy sent to steal all your best kept secrets.
- There’s no option for them to call you to ask for clarification on anything, and there’s no welcoming details about what they can expect next and when to expect it.
- The small print is so intimidatingly small that sounds alarm bells before they’ve even reached for the magnifying glass.
- There’s no personalised offer letter, it’s just straight into reams and reams of rules and regulations.
Striking the right balance
Every document that you sign off on should reflect your company’s brand, style and values. Just because this is a detailed contract that needs to lay out some rules and areas that, although may never come up, need to be covered off, doesn’t mean you can’t retain a human aspect to how you communicate. Take the time to read through one of the contracts and put yourself in the shoes of a new employee. How does it make you feel? Are you excited? Or are you left feeling anxious, confused and even a little intimidated?
This is still a nervy time for any new potential starter, and if you can make every part of the interview and onboarding process – including the contract – more enjoyable and personable, then they will feel confident that they have made the correct decision in saying yes to the offer.