When hiring a new employee, a company may send a number of correspondences before the role is actually filled. Two of the most important pre-employment letters a business may send out are the offer letter and the appointment letter. The offer letter offers a position to the applicant, sets out the compensation and what the company needs from the new employee. A job appointment letter goes into additional details about the job and the company itself to ease the employee into the new position.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Offer letters notify applicants that they have a job and detail what they should do next, while appointment letters detail more particulars about the job after the offer has been accepted.
What Is an Offer Letter?
When a company decides to hire a job candidate, it often sends an offer letter to let him or her know that they got the position. Each company formats their letters differently, but the letter generally includes information about the promised position and compensation. It may also include details about other benefits the employee could expect, as well as a start date. The time frame should give the employee time to resign from their current position. If the company needs further information from the employee before the start date, such as a birth certificate, Social Security number or professional licenses, the letter may detail this as well.
The letter will also generally state if the employee needs to submit to any background checks or drug tests before it is official. The offer letter will usually state a deadline for the employee to respond to the offer, and if there is no response before that date, the company may choose to hire another applicant instead.
What Is an Appointment Letter?
Not all companies issue appointment letters, but those that do will not send the letter until after the offer letter has been accepted because these letters detail specifics about the job that someone only needs to know if they have accepted a job appointment. The appointment letter usually includes details on where the employee should show up for work, the start date of the position, the expected work schedule and the employee's agreed-upon salary, which could be different than that stated in the offer letter if the two parties negotiated the final salary after the offer letter was sent.
In most cases, a business will just be reiterating information already discussed with a job applicant during interviews and in the offer letter. The appointment letter is considered more formal than the offer letter and can often be used as a contract or proof of employment for loan applications and other purposes.