Offer Letters For Medical Practices

HR 101: Creating Offer Letters For Medical Practices Without Contractual Implications (TEMPLATE)

When recruiting new employees, you might use the terms “offer letter” and “employment agreement” interchangeably. However, there is a big difference between the two. You generally create a verbal offer and follow up with an employment letter — but extending an initial verbal offer to your top candidate should never be a legally binding employment agreement.

Why? Offer letters are usually sent before some pretty serious legal stuff is taken care of — like a background check — and it gives more details about the open role and your practice to help your candidate decide whether or not to accept the offer. However, the offer letter is a totally different HR document than the employment agreement you send after the applicant goes through a few pre-hiring checks... and you don’t want to accidentally send an ​​offer letter that’s an employment contract, right?

Differences Between Offer Letters vs. Employment Contracts

An offer letter is used to give a job offer to a potential new hire. If accepted, they will then officially join the company by participating in your onboarding process. That’s where they typically select their benefits package and learn the ins and outs of your practice. 

On the other hand, an employment agreement (sometimes called an employment contract) can be a legally binding document that goes into more detail about the terms and conditions of your potential hire’s employment — meaning it’s more explicit and lists the full conditions of employment.

Frequent Mistakes

An offer letter should never include:

  • The duration of a job (unless it's a fixed-period or temp position.)
  • Grounds for resignation or termination. 
  • Full requirements and duties of the job position.

Writing an Offer Letter That Avoids Employment Contracts

Give Basic Information at the Start

  • Start with basic information regarding the position. This should include the start date, shift status, and whether the placement is full or part-time, and other basics.
  • Many healthcare practices include provisions allowing them to remove or alter statements in the letter at a later time.

Provide Information Regarding the Job

  • Provide job-specific information without making promises. Make sure to include pay periods, wages or salary, probationary periods, and supervisor information.

List Paid Leave and Benefits

  • Include information regarding paid time off, sick/personal time, paid holidays, and any other benefits (e.g., life insurance, health insurance, etc.) that employees will receive.

Offer Terms of Employment 

  • Include any conditions of employment. Whether the pharmacy coordinator position requires a drug test or you want all employees to sign confidentiality agreements, this is the time to mention it.

Make It Clear That This Is “At-Will Employment”

  • This will not necessarily negate promises made during the interview or onboarding process, but it’s an important part of ensuring any offer letter doesn’t turn into an employment contract. 


  • Close strong by letting the applicant know you’re excited to have them on board. Provide contact information if they have questions as well. We recommend reaching out for an HR consultation for a quick review, though, before sending this out to any applicants. 

The most important thing to keep in mind?

Keep Your Offer Letters Simple. 

When reaching out to your potential hire, you want to stand out and remind them why they chose your practice to apply with. It’s pretty likely that they applied for a lot of other positions by the time you’ve interviewed with them. In your excitement to snag an amazing, new employee, though, it’s important that you don’t turn your offer letter into any kind of binding contract. 

Remember, An Offer Letter:

  • Isn’t a legally binding contract.
  • Includes basic information.
  • Includes that all-important “at-will” statement.
  • Does not have any promises of future employment or wages.

Interested in a Template for your practice to use?

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