Verbal Job Offers are employment offers made verbally instead of through a written letter or contract. Since verbal conversations are informal and often cannot be replayed or displayed like written offers, they are a sensitive topic.
It is essential to understand what a verbal offer means and what you should be careful of to avoid miscommunication. In addition, you should always consider the circumstances and features of the said offer to make sure that you get the job.
What are Verbal Offers?
Verbal offers refer to job or investment offers made verbally. These offers can make during calls, meetings, interviews, etc. They can also be accepted or declined in the same manner. However, unlike regular written letters or contracts, there is a minor detail and little proof to prove its authenticity.
These offers often follow up by offer letters or contracts to bind the employees and employers legally. The written version may change the details mentioned in verbal recommendations regarding the payment, workload, timings, etc. Since these offers are informal and often unrecorded, it is best to weigh the pros and cons and decide ahead.
Why Do Employers Make Verbal Offers?
You must be curious why employers need to repeat the offer twice when they can just hand the employee the contract. Well, the process of hiring is quite complicated, and there are multiple factors to consider throughout. In addition, all the details of the work and regulations need to be gone repeatedly.
While making or modifying an employment contract takes much time and effort as well as the workforce. On the other hand, making verbal offers is a relatively quick and straightforward process. Before creating a contract and going through every minor detail, employers prefer sharing the job details with the candidate.
They let the candidate decide if they feel like they are cut out for the job and then the contract. If they create a contract and the candidate refuses, so much time and energy go to waste. Verbal offers clear out the doubts roughly, and there is a higher chance of the candidate accepting the final contract.
Are Verbal Offers Legally Binding for Both Parties?
Another essential feature of these contracts is that they are legally binding for both parties. If there is a verbal agreement between the employee and employer, it is legally binding. The employer is required to offer the job, and the employee is required to fulfill it too. However, there is a limitation.
Unlike written offers, verbal offers may or may not be able to be recovered. Since verbal conversations happen between two parties, it is hard to decide. However, if there is a recording or witnesses of the conversation, it is legally binding to both.
Even though verbal letters are legally binding, it is best to ask for a written offer letter whenever you can. A written note is so much more precise and accurate for multiple reasons. First, it includes all the minor details left not discussed in prior conversations.
How to Respond To a Verbal Offer?
While there is no set method to replying to verbal offers, there are a few steps you can keep in mind. These steps will help you ensure that you get the job without any problems. They will also ensure that you can confirm your hiring status officially.
Take Your Time in responding.
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make rushing things and responding yes to the verbal offer. If you do not consider all the demerits and merits of your position, you will end up in a job you may not love fully.
It is essential to take your time and think things over before you agree to any of them. Replay all of the job details in your mind to get a rough idea of your work. Think about the timings, payment structure, and goals regarding the work, and then get back to the employer about your standpoint.
To do this, you can simply state that you need some time to think over the offer. It is normal to ask for time to ponder, and you can politely request your employer to do so. Make sure to thank them for the offer and ask them for some time to think about it.
Don’t Hesitate, Negotiate.
Many new or even experienced workers feel uncomfortable negotiating their pay or workload. However, there is no reason to avoid negotiation during a verbal offer. It is the best timing for it. Dealing is a very understandable action that is necessary while talking about a job offer.
Though people think it’s rude to do so, it is acceptable to negotiate your pay. You provide your employer services and skills, so you get to decide (partly) what you receive in return.
No matter what, you must negotiate your pay, especially if you feel that the offer is not convincing enough. Accept the request altogether; just try to reason with your employer about the salary structure. Remember that you are not asking for a bit of raise; you are just negotiating the price of your skills and expertise.
Make Sure to Receive a Written Offer
It is the crucial step after accepting or listening to a verbal letter. A contract or offer letter legally binds you and your employer together. It is necessary not only for legal reasons but because of all the minute details in the written contract.
A written offer, by its nature, is more detailed and precise about all the features of the job. It helps you understand all the tiny details about your timings, payment structure, workload, bonus patterns, etc. It is also the best option in case of a breach of contract because you can present the contract as evidence.
After you have listened to the verbal offer and come to an agreement, relay it to the employers to provide you with an offer letter. You can politely message or verbally request the offer letter or contract and receive it.
Why Verbal Offers May Be Risky
Verbal offers are the perfect method to save time and make the hiring process convenient for both individuals. The exchange of relevant information and job details is much faster and easier than written methods. But you must remember that a verbal offer is only one part of it.
A verbal job offer is ideal to discuss the job details. But it needs to come with a written contract. Here are a few scenarios that might play out if you accept a verbal offer as an employer or an employee:
- The employee might go back on their words and not give you the job opportunity as discussed verbally. Even though you have examined the details and agreed to work together, the employee might find a better position elsewhere and go back on their words.
Unless you have a recording of the verbal conversation or witnesses, what would you do to manage the loss that will cause? Similar to employees, the employer might go back on their words too.
If they find a candidate more qualified than you, even after you both have verbally agreed to the job, they might change their statement. Since there might not be any way to prove the contract, you may be left hanging. And if you canceled further interviews or offer for this position, it will harm you.
- The details regarding the workload, payment, or timings may differ. If you discuss the details of the work verbally and do not back them with a properly written letter, they may change.
This change might be from either the employer or the employee’s side. But, again, since there is no crucial evidence regarding such details, the conflict would only escalate.
- You would also be at risk of losing your job/employee. Since you do not have a contract binding your employee/employer with you, the work timing becomes flexible. The employer/employee can terminate the verbal agreement whenever they want.
Contracts have a fixed period during which both parties get bound to one another. In any case of modifications, the responsible party has to pay for the damages caused. But it isn’t the same for verbal contracts.
Verbal agreements or job offers are significant preliminary steps in accepting a job. They agree upon it as long as they follow by a detailed written offer letter or contract. However, you should be careful while receiving such offers.
Though they are legally binding, they might not be enough to prove an employer-employee relationship. However, you can follow some steps to ensure that your verbal agreement becomes critical to your employer or employee.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a verbal offer be contractually binding?
Yes, a verbal offer is also contractually binding for both agreeing parties. The only issue is that it isn’t necessarily a record, so it might not hold up as evidence.
- Should I accept a verbal offer?
It depends on if the offer gets followed by an official recruitment letter or offer letter. If you receive a verbal request, make sure to ask for the written one afterward.
- Is a written offer necessary too?
It isn’t necessary, as a verbal agreement is also legally binding, but it is preferred. You should ask for a written contract to be on the safe side.