should you make job offers by phone or email?

A reader writes:

I lead a team and just sent an email to a candidate making a job offer. After I sent the email (my typical practice), I was curious, and I googled “email job offers,” which led me to articles declaring the practice a bad idea and recommending phone calls instead. I was wondering if you agree. To me, these days, non-pre-arranged phone calls seem rarer and rarer. I can’t remember the last time I called someone in a professional context without setting up a time to talk first. And emailing someone to set up a call to make an offer- well, that just seems like torture to make someone wait to hear what you have to say.

What do you think of a personal email from the hiring manager, expressing excitement and laying out the basic terms (salary, reporting structure) and offering to chat by phone to follow up if the candidate has questions or wants to talk more?

I answer this question — and three others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • My employee over-thanks the coworkers she’s friends with
  • Pumping etiquette in an office with a culture of opening doors
  • What do I say to networking contacts who I don’t have much connection with?

{ 90 comments… read them below }

  1. UKgreen*

    I would (personally) not like an email ‘asking if I had 15 minutes to chat’ – even if good news is implied that’s a pretty anxiety-inducing thing to endure. Just tell me already in the email, and then give me the opportunity to call and discuss later.

    (Having the offer by email also means I have the offer in writing.)

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Alison is pretty clear you should still follow up with the offer in writing

    2. Antilles*

      Would it be better if the email instead directly said “We’d like to make you an offer, do you have 15 minutes to chat about it”? That still gets the interviewer the ability to chat about it and express enthusiasm and answer any questions and etc as Alison mentioned, but would that help to address the anxiety since you know exactly what the call is about?
      Then after the call, they send you the formal offer in writing as a follow-up.

      1. PurplePartridge*

        I think this is the best solution. When I was interviewing for my current role, the recruiter emailed me on a Friday to ask if I was free for a Zoom call with him and the hiring manager on Monday, with no hints as to the content of the call. It turned out to be an offer, but I was anxious all weekend it was going to be a face-to-face rejection.

        1. Elenna*

          Agreed – I also got my current job offer via an email only saying “we’d like to talk at such-and-such a time” and I definitely spent the time between email and call worrying about “this is *probably* an offer… but what if??”

          I suspect part of it, in my case, was that we hadn’t discussed salary, vacation, etc yet, so they couldn’t give me an actual offer until that was finalized. But I would have preferred for the email to say “we’re interested in giving you an offer, let’s set up a call to discuss salary and benefits”.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            Yeah, this is ideal. I do NOT want to put on pants and makeup for a 2-minute Zoom if you’re rejecting me.

        2. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

          Or the reverse – last week I was invited to a 30 minute zoom meeting with the hiring manager that I thought (based on the process they laid out) would be an offer, but was actually a final final interview. It was hard not to show disappointment in the moment and focus on making the best possible impression!

      2. Coenobita*

        If I’m remembering correctly, this is more or less how I was offered my current job. I think it’s a great way to reduce anxiety and ensure the person actually has time to talk while still getting the benefits of real-time verbal communication. I do think it’s important to make every effort to have that follow-up phone conversation soon after that email. Spending a week in limbo thinking “will I be able to accept this offer?” is way better than spending it anxious about a possible rejection, but it’s still not ideal.

    3. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

      I agree about the anxiety. I got offered a job a few weeks ago. My two interviews went very well and while you can’t ever know, but I felt my chance of getting an offer we’re very good. M

      Still, when I got the email from the recruiter asking to set up 15 min to chat the next day, my anxiety kicked into full gear. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a rejection call, but what if there was a hiring freeze? Or the position was being bumped down to a lower level? So yeah, no sleep that night for sure. But it was just a straight forward offer call at a very good salary.

      An email stating they would like to set up a call to go over the details of my offer, just to eliminate the anxiety would have been better. Although, I do recognize that my anxiety is not theirs to manage.

    4. CatCat*

      I got a chat message (it was an application to an internal position) asking for a video call a couple weeks ago. Then they rejected me over the video call. Sigh.

      1. TrainerGirl*

        I had one of those about a month ago. Really…I had to fix my face and sit there trying to make small talk with a recruiter who “thought I would appreciate hearing the rejection face to face”. Really???

        That said, when I got the job offer for my new position, I got an email asking for a quick chat, with no hint of whether it would be an offer or a rejection. After the rejection video call, I was very anxious, but the recruiter did lead off with them wanting to make me an offer as soon as we started talking, which I appreciated.

    5. starfox*

      Same, I would be so anxious. I do get Allison’s point about not knowing if people get the emailed job offer but I still wish emailing could be the norm. Phones give me so much anxiety! I’ve overcome so much of my social anxiety but phones still do it to me.

      Also, if I don’t have the number saved in my phone, the likelihood of me answering an unknown number is slim to none because I get so many spam calls. Granted, I’d probably save the main number of the companies I apply to, but so many people have extensions or use cell phones, etc.

    6. Chikka*

      I’ve never received a job offer over the phone in my life, every job offer I’ve ever had has been via email.

      I assume Alison is speaking solely about corporate office culture because sending job offers by email is absolutely standard in certain industries.

  2. KSharp*

    I want the offer in writing as soon as possible. I like the phone call “We’re going to offer you X at Y rate with Blah Benefits” and then get the email after to treasure it.

    1. LTR FTW*

      I absolutely insist on it, and I tell the hiring manager that explicitly — “This is great, I’m so excited. Can you please send over the official job description, the full compensation offer, and the proposed start date ASAP? Once I have that in hand, I’ll review it in detail and give you my response ASAP. Thank you so much!”

      I also love getting the email, because then I can do the *negotiating* via email, which is much easier for me. “Thanks for this offer! I was hoping it would come in closer to $X, do you have any wiggle room on your end?” — I’ve done this on my last five jobs and it’s always resulted in a better offer. I think it’s because it gives the hiring manager time to respond deliberately instead of in the moment.

    2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      My usual experience with any organization large enough to have HR is that the managers calls with a verbal offer, then if you verbally accept she triggers the formal HR generated written offer. That way the manager gets to generate excitement and judge enthusiasm, but isn’t on the hook for a lot specific question about the details of benefits and whatnot.

      1. Anon For This One*

        That’s how my org did it- I got the phone call saying they wanted to hire/promote me, I called them back to confirm, and then they sent the email with the formal reply. The hiring manager was really sweet and remembered me from my hiring on, so it was much more informal and fun. I think she could hear me bouncing with glee on the other end of the call!

    3. Koalafied*

      This is the most reasonable and intuitive approach to me, as well. I want the offer in writing for deeper review and future reference, but I want to learn the news with as little latency as possible, which means via a mode of communicate that interrupts what I’m doing and offers me the opportunity to immediately engage in real-time conversation. So a phone call, or a text offering a phone call, would both be good, but an email offering a phone call isn’t as good.

      1. ceiswyn*

        Interestingly, the desire for low latency is why I’d want an email. So that it’s there for me to see immediately I get a moment, as opposed to phoning me when I may not be and to pick up, then not being available when I phone back, etc etc. I see when emails come in pretty much immediately unless I’m actually driving.

        Text works too, of course.

  3. anonymous73*

    #1 I realize many people do not like using the phone, but some things can not be done via email. Make a call, then once they accept follow up with an email so they have everything in writing.
    #2 I would be more concerned that she makes a big deal of loudly announcing that she’s buying lunch for a friend as a thank you. Even though she may thank others without the show, doing so with her friends is making it exclusionary to those who she doesn’t consider her friends and it is quite rude. Not everyone is going to be friends at the office, but this behavior is over the top and she needs to be spoken to about it.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      #2 I find her self-aggrandizing office-wide announcement tedious, even apart from any favoritism. If you are getting married or having a kid, these rate an office-wide announcement, for those who choose to share this information. Buying someone lunch? Not even in the same galaxy.

      1. Jean*

        Right?? Lady, absolutely no one else cares that you’re buying lunch for someone because they did you a favor. If were her manager I’d be politely but firmly asking her to put a lid on any such announcements in the future, and to keep her thanks between herself and the person she’s thanking. Sheesh.

    2. Hannah Lee*

      If I received a phone call with “we’d like to offer you the job at x rate of pay” I’d say that sounds good, please send me over the offer package so I can review it. Because even if verbally what we talked about in the interviews, and what they said over the phone sounds like something I’d accept, until I see it in writing, along with a written job description, and details work hours, who I’m reporting to, and the full compensation and benefits packages (401k matches, insurance SPD and network, vacation time and how it’s accrued, etc) I won’t know for sure that I want to take the job.

      I’ve heard or experienced situations where what the job offer sounds like turns out to not be what the written offer really is, everything from the rate of pay being different (eg the quoted compensation included projected bonuses, where it was implied those were in addition) to odd benefits (a strange stingy self-funded medical plan with high employee premiums) to the company not being the actual employer (oh, did you think you were going to work for a Fortune 500 company with a great reputation and opportunities for advancement? Nope, you’ll work for one of the sub-contractors, which treats employees like serfs, with a clause that you can’t work directly for the big company for 5 years) to reporting structure (oh, did we tell you you’d report to the VP of teapots? Who personally offered to show the ropes and mentor you? Nope. We restructured! … Surprise! you’re now going to work for the Assistant Director for the Assistant Director of Teapot Lid Repair, who BTW is the old Director’s MBA no-experience nephew who was last seen as a disastrous intern no current employees would go near with a 50 ft pole … which is why we’re sending new hires his way.)

      1. anonymous73*

        Whether you accept a job offer verbally or after seeing the offer in writing is irrelevant. A phone call should be the first step. And even if you accept a job offer verbally, then change your mind after seeing it in writing, you have every right to rescind the acceptance after – they can’t force you to take the job based on a verbal agreement.

        1. River Otter*

          Yes, A phone call should be the first step. No, do not expect people to accept the offer while you are on the phone with them. Send them the offer in writing with all the details so they can take a little time to compare that offer to what they’re currently getting, possibly talk it over with a spouse, and think it over before accepting it.
          It is true that a verbal acceptance is not legally binding or anything like that, but it does create a certain expectation that they are excepting the job that they were offered and put the candidate in a weaker position to come back later and either turn it down or try to negotiate.

      2. Hannah Lee*

        I probably didn’t explain it well … it’s not like I think saying “that’s sounds good” is a verbal acceptance or is legally binding.

        It that the phone call announcing the offer is just the first step, and that it’s not reasonable to expect someone to be able to evaluate and decide on the offer until they’ve had a chance to review the entire offer package in writing.

        (And of course the employee can always bow out even after accepting if it turns out something was misrepresented)

    3. Purple Cat*

      I disagree on one point. The offer should be sent in writing once offered. The candidate shouldn’t have to accept first and then get things in writing. They should have all of the relevant details in front of them when considering the offer.

      1. LTR FTW*

        Yeah you don’t want to accept before getting it in writing, because you want room to negotiate after you see the full package.

    4. Slow Gin Lizz*

      I agree re: #2. I do think Veronica’s favoritism is a problem, especially since she’s announcing to the whole company that she is doing a favor for one employee that she didn’t do for another employee who did the same thing.

    5. Chikka*

      In my industry it’s completely standard for offers to be made via email only (it’s completely unheard of to make a phone call specifically to make an offer) so clearly it can be done.

    6. ceiswyn*

      But why can this not be done via email?

      Is there some massive legal or practical issue that I’m unaware of, or do you just mean it is culturally ‘not done’?

  4. ThatGirl*

    I almost always get a phone call followed by an email with the details in writing. My husband most recently had an email asking when a good time to call him was (with implications that it would be an offer), followed by the call, followed by some further details by email.

    1. jane's nemesis*

      This is my preference, especially if the hiring manager can make time to make the call SOON, i.e. they’re asking if I have time to talk in the next hour, not if I have time to talk tomorrow. Knowing it’s probably going to be an offer from the implications is great, but not having to wait for too long in a stew of heightened emotions is even better!

    2. The Prettiest Curse*

      And also, a phone call means slightly less chance of something going into the ether. It would be a nightmare scenario for an email-only job offer to get caught in a spam filter. Email to set up a call, do the call, email the details afterwards.

    3. londonedit*

      Yes, that’s been my experience. Usually what happens is that the hiring manager calls to offer you the job, and then if you accept you’ll then get an email from HR with all the details and the things you need to sign and return/bring with you on your first day.

  5. KHB*

    Q1: Do you really get an accurate sense of someone’s initial response when you’re calling them unsolicited during business hours, when they’re (probably) working another job?

    Q3: One of my colleagues used a sign that said something like “Do not disturb under any circumstances.” That made clear that this was something more important than being on the phone or wanting to work without interruption for a while.

    1. Rose*

      Q1: Yes, I almost always know whether someone is going to accept an offer or not after that call. It’s not very hard to predict. You have a baseline of how this person communicates from their interviews, and it’s pretty easy for most people to gauge enthusiasm.

      Esp if they’re not expecting a call, they haven’t spent a few minutes trying to calm themselves and train their voices to respond neutrally to bad news, it’s really easy to hear the surprised excitement in peoples voices when they get an offer. Someone saying all the right things but not feeling super excited is generally not hard to spot.

    2. moira*

      Q1: Very much agree and that struck me as odd, who among us hasn’t accepted a job in a storage closet or a bathroom or an empty meeting room while our soon-to-be ex-coworkers are just out of hearing range. It’s often not the right moment for huge verbal celebrations and in any case often at that point you’re still negotiating salary so shouldn’t show your hand too soon by being overly enthusiastic.

  6. Michelle Smith*

    I recently received a job offer. The person did pretty much what Alison recommends. She wanted to speak on the phone and gave a couple of times. We scheduled the phone call, she gave me the good news, then she followed up in writing. I decided to negotiate salary, so I emailed back to schedule a time for another call, she and I discussed it, and then she emailed me that week with the updated offer. This process worked well enough for me.

    A couple of things I would suggest: It’s completely fine to say in the email that you want to call to discuss what is, you hope, welcome news to the candidate. This takes out any concern that the company is calling just to gently let you down. The other thing she said on the phone that was very comforting was that she did not expect me to provide an answer at that time. I appreciated not being under pressure to immediately accept without having time to digest it and make sure that I could make it work financially. I only wish she had stated that at the beginning of the conversation along with a timeframe for me to follow up.

  7. T. Boone Pickens*

    Here’s how I do it:

    Email initially w/ Company XYZ Offer in the subject line and asking to set a phone call to talk and go over the specifics as I’ve found the phone call is easier if you need to clarify a few points (insurance effective dates, 401(k) matching, etc, etc.)
    Then email over formal offer letter for review.

    I’ll really only cold call out of the blue if the hiring manager indicated to the candidate that they will be receiving an offer during the interview process or if it’s been communicated to me that the company intends to make the candidate an offer.

    1. El l*

      I think either that or the post above is good – slightly prefer yours.

      Certainly don’t think anyone could find it rude to have a “Company XYZ Offer” subject-line email in inbox before speaking on phone…it’s not a breakup or similar bad news :)

  8. Veryanon*

    When I used to do a lot of recruiting, rather than playing phone tag with a candidate, I’d shoot them a quick email that I wanted to speak to them about an offer, and to let me know when they were available to connect by phone. Once I spoke with them, I’d then follow up with a formal offer letter outlining all the details of the offer. This seemed to work out well.

  9. LiberryPie*

    LW3, I like the door sign idea, but another thought is that if people knock you could call out something like “I’m busy for the next ten minutes or so!” Similar to when people knock on a bathroom door – I neither ignore them nor hurry to get out. I usually call out “just a minute!” in the bathroom, but since pumping takes longer than a minute I think it would make sense to use a slightly different response.

  10. Q without U*

    I had a colleague post a sign that said something like “Pumping in progress, feel free to IM” and it was completely fine. We’re a small department and everyone knew she had just come back from maternity leave. If anyone had an issue with it, they kept it to themselves.

  11. kiki*

    I think having a simple do not disturb sign would be received well, even if nobody else is doing it yet. Sometimes when something isn’t done in a culture, it’s just because nobody’s thought to do it. There’s even the chance that if you start doing it, other people may follow!

  12. White Squirrel*

    I found that a sign that indicated what time I would be available (kind of like one of those store clocks that say I’ll be back at X time) to be useful. I do find it odd that in an open door culture that people would be trying to open the door. In that type of culture I’d expect a closed door to indicate something important/private.

    1. Lenora Rose*

      Having a time on the sign is especially useful if you’re the sort of person (like me) to occasionally forget to remove the sign…

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      I agree with the advice to give a time you expect to be available again.

      As for the symbolism of the open door, that’s a human culture thing where most places it evolved to mean one thing, but individual offices can veer off and have it mean “come on in, but knock as you do so.” Like, it’s not logical–the person isn’t going to be able to wind up the sensitive call, stop having non-business relations on the desk, or wind up much of anything before the knocker is right there in the office with them. But cultures are weird that way.

    3. Lynn*

      I once spent 3 months in a client office that was this way. All of the office doors were always closed, but they stated that they had an “open door” office. So the culture was to knock and try the door.

      The explanation I got from my contact was that it would mess up the general office temps to have the doors open. The cold folks wanted to close their doors to keep the warmth from their space heaters in, and the warm folks wanted to close them to keep the warmer air OUT of their offices.

      So you could just go in, but knock as you did so in order to not surprise someone who wasn’t facing the door. If they were doing something private/confidential, they would just lock their door and (depending on the timing) put a sign up.

      I found it a bit odd too, but it worked for them.

  13. Ann Lister’s Wife*

    We do a preliminary offer via phone and then follow with a written via email if candidate is interested in accepting.

  14. Felix*

    Just when are we going to stop calling people out of the blue and just write an email/text instead??

  15. English Rose*

    When I’m recruiting I tell candidates I’ll call them by X date, so they know to expect a call (that’s important), then either reject or offer – getting to the point quickly in either case and providing full package details of the offer.
    A verbal offer lets me judge how interested the candidate is, although I always do what another commenter mentioned and give them time to think it over. Then follow up verbal offer details with formal written offer, stating the same terms.
    When arriving at the ‘call by’ date, I factor in a couple of days to go to my second choice if first choice doesn’t accept.

    1. Combinatorialist*

      I think very few people want to be rejected from a job via a phone call. Much kinder to do rejections by email and offer to set up a follow up call (if you are going to provide feedback).

      1. English Rose*

        Yes you’re right on the rejections part, I do vary that according to the role, and sometimes say to expect an email or call. But I’ve been rejected both via phone and in person (for an internal promotion) and it did make me respect the interviewer for willingness to have an uncomfortable conversation, so there’s that aspect.

        1. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

          Internal promotion is a little different, I think. I generally have those conversations with internal candidates for roles I am recruiting for. I also know my own preference (for an external role) would be a rejection over email (as a phone call would get my hopes up), so that’s how I handle it in those cases.

  16. Nanani*

    I think all my jobs (that weren’t fast food as a teen) did applications and offers entirely by email.
    There were interviews of course, but I don’t recall ever getting offers over the phone.

  17. moira*

    My org does it over email, basically we’re pleased to offer you the job, here’s the salary, here’s the benefits in brief, and then happy to answer any questions by phone or email. From there, either a) they say sounds great and we say great so excited and send over the formal offer letter for them to sign (which has the same info but more legalese and details), or b) they do have logistical questions or want to negotiate any of the benefits/salary, they can choose to ask to jump on a quick call or continue corresponding over email

    1. moira*

      Personally I prefer email because with calls sometimes they ask questions I don’t have an immediate answer to and I end up having to follow up with them via email anyway. Like if we offer 65-75k and they ask for 78k, I’d need to check with HR/my supervisor before saying yes no problem even if it will probably be fine.

  18. English Rose*

    Was thinking about the comment on pre-arranged phone calls becoming the norm (which has come up in a few letters recently).
    I wonder if there are geographical variations on this. I’m based in the UK and in my organisation people (external and internal) just ring each other when they need to discuss something, they don’t make arrangements to call in advance. If someone is in a meeting they just don’t accept the call, let it go to v/m and ring back.
    I’m puzzled by this practice, and a tad envious – it would be peaceful not to have the phone going all the time.

    1. moira*

      I think it is that + company/industry norms as well. I actually prefer calls for complex internal problems and will often offer it in response to someone who seems gearing up to type out some convoluted problem they need my take on over our messaging tool, but even those people who know I like calls rarely rarely open with “hey can i call you?” or just calling me. Whereas our sales team does a lot more ad-hoc calls to external partners, because that’s more common in sales industry generally.

    2. moira*

      If I got a call out of the blue from a current coworker my fight thought would be that there was either an emergency or they were about to tell me they had quit or there was some other big change.

      The last time I called a coworker it was at 6pm his local time while both of us were on vacation on a day the entire office was closed and he answered on the first ring with “are you okay?”

      1. Mialana*

        I work as a lawyer in biglaw (m&a) and we call each other unanounced at ungodly hours all the time to discuss whatever we’re working on whenever it needs to be discussed.

    3. Coenobita*

      I think this is SO context-dependent, not just by location but down to your particular team culture. I’ve worked on a bunch of geographically distributed teams with colleagues across the U.S. (so there’s no option to stop by someone’s desk in person) over the past ~15 years and in some cases we all called each other all the time, and in some cases we never spoke without there being a calendar invitation involved. My current team definitely has a pre-arrange-the-phone-calls culture. We typically just send a Teams chat that says “Do you have X minutes right now to talk about Y?” and then proceed accordingly.

    4. Generic Name*

      I’m a consultant in the mountain west. I get some unsolicited calls, and I make unsolicited calls as well. I have mild phone anxiety, so I’ll write myself a script when I call someone external. It’s really not that big of a deal. I’m still baffled at people who get upset when their phone rings. If you don’t want to take a call, then don’t take a call. Voicemail can take the call for you. I’m old enough to remember the days of corded landlines before answering machines (voicemail). If the phone rang and it was an inconvenient time to take a phone call, you just let it ring and the other person either called back later or they gave up.

    5. lizard*

      Yeah, the general opinion on this site puzzles me and it must be an industry or regional difference. I mean, I counted and I made/received ten unannounced calls today, both internal and external, and the day’s not over! The only time I ever schedule a phone call is if multiple people will be involved, or if it’s to discuss something complex and they will need to prepare.

      For the record I am in the southern US and work in construction management, which I do think is a more informal industry than where most of the people here work.

      1. BubbleTea*

        I’m in the UK and we ring each other all the time, either on the phone or through Teams (mostly without camera, though a couple of my colleagues prefer with camera, and team meetings are camera on normally).

        It’s probably relevant that we mostly work on the phone too, so we spend our days making and taking phone calls with clients. Sometimes people will send an IM or email with a request for you to call when you’ve got X amount of time and a sense of the urgency but mainly not. It’s fine to reject calls, regardless of hierarchy.

    6. obleighvious*

      I’m in the U.S., and if you call me and I don’t already have your phone number saved in my phone, you’re going to get shunted directly to voicemail due to my “block all calls coming from unknown numbers” setting on my phone. If I know you’re calling because you’ve let me know I should expect it, I’ll turn that setting off so I can get your phone call and answer it. Otherwise, I’ll have to call you back when I notice that I got a voicemail.

      (That said, the only way to reach me is my private/home cell phone because I’m working remotely. If I still had my office landline, a surprise phone call would be OK – but I’m also not going to give my work phone # to a possible new job, either, so I’d only expect spontaneous calls from a coworker)

    7. Chikka*

      I don’t know if my industry is weird or what but no one seems to make phone calls, ever. I honestly can’t remember the last time I spoke to someone on the phone for work. It’s all email, Whatsapp or Zoom.

      Personally I wish we could use phone calls more because it’s annoying having to join a Zoom for a 2-minute conversation. I guess my industry puts a high priority on face communication?

  19. Not Today Josephine*

    A phone call is a great way to make a job offer, but please remember to follow it up in writing. I once had a job offer in person. I was actually shown where my desk was, introduced around, etc. Was told I would be contacted by HR on Friday with more details. Friday came and went. I called Monday and was told “After you left we interviewed someone we liked better so we hired them instead”. If I had received a written offer I believe I would have been eligible for unemployment. As it was, I had nothing, as I had in the interim declined another offer. Learned my lesson on this one.

  20. Yellow*

    Put the sign on the door and pump away. It doesn’t matter if it’s not within the culture of the office. And also. the only way the culture will change is if people actually make moves to change it.

    1. Pumping OP*

      I was the OP that sent in the pumping question many moons ago (ironically, that baby I was pumping for turns 5 today!). I will say, I never got bold enough to try the sign despite seeing the logic of Allison’s response. I was a junior/mid-level associate in conservative BigLaw, and while culture change is important, I too nervous about becoming That Associate to be the first to try it out. It also did get better the longer I was back — the most frequent interruptors learned pretty quickly what my closed/locked door meant and I was gradually able to consolidate my pumping sessions so it wasn’t happening so frequently.

  21. Lebkin*

    My ideal would be that the hiring manager would email me all the details of the offer, then try to schedule a call to discuss. This way we are both looking at the same information in the same format. I hate trying to process a bunch of information over the phone, especially when there is a lot of numbers involved – it’s ineffective. Email is far better at transmitting that data. That means the conversation can be focused on sales pitch, clarifying questions, and any negotiations.

  22. De Minimis*

    We call and then if the offer is accepted over the phone we send something in writing which links to a onboarding website if they accept.
    This is for the initial tentative offer that is contingent on passing a background check. Once that’s done we pretty much repeat the process for the firm offer, which is more detailed and is the end result of whatever negotiation might have taken place as far as salary, start date, etc.

  23. binge eating cereal*

    Put the sign on the door, but you still might get walked in on. In my office at a small hospital, maintenance would drop off packages instead of leaving them in the main admin area. I had a sign on my door next to the handle that explicitly said I was pumping, THE DOOR WAS LOCKED, and I still got walked in on by the maintenance guy bringing a package. He just thought I wasn’t at work that day, or something.

  24. Not Your Admin Ass(t)*

    Re: LW#3 (pumping milk at work): pretending this happened today (since it’s still a thing that very much happens EVERY day), my response to

    posting signs on one’s office door (particularly about something so personal) seems out of step with the office culture

    is this:

    Then MAKE it the office culture, and post that sign! You’ll be doing a favor not just to yourself, but to any co-workers who would feel awful about walking in on you if they knew you were pumping, as well as future pumpers in your office who don’t want to be interrupted.

  25. ScruffyInternHerder*

    I think its probably just the industry in which I’m employed, but every employment offer save one has been emailed with details (sometimes attachments for benefit offerings) with a request to call to discuss, with availability of HR/management here, here, and here. Anything that happens over the phone as good as didn’t happen until there’s an offer and compensation amount in writing, so that everyone can review.

    I still sort of smile inwardly at receiving the offer email on my personal device while in a HOTLY contentious meeting with my @$$hole newly appointed grand-boss. I’d like to believe I’d have held my ground either way on an ethical situation (I was asked to do something that could have put someone else’s professional license in the way of harm), but knowing I had something in the wings made certain that I didn’t just hold it, I dug in my heels and called out the BS for being BS and made sure his supervisors understood that which he was asking of me.

    That one offer? Ooof. Suffice it to say that in hindsight, that whole ding-danged place was a flashing railroad crossing alarm on the scale of “is this a red flag?”. I was too young and experienced to understand that then.

  26. Natebrarian*

    We generally send an email with “we are delighted to offer you this position. Can we set up a phone call in the next day or two to discuss details of the offer?” That way the candidate has a chance to think in advance about what they’d like to negotiate for and any other questions they have, and we can also give details of the steps from there (e.g., it still takes a while for HR to send an offer in writing b/c it has to clear background check etc first, so don’t give your notice until you get that letter).

    1. Llama face!*

      This would definitely be my preferred way of getting an offer! I appreciate your organization’s way of doing things.

  27. Canadian Librarian #72*

    With the caveat that norms may differ between industries, I vastly prefer an email over a call. While I do my best to pick up all phone calls when I’m actively applying and interviewing for jobs, sometimes I simply cannot answer the phone, and with the number of spam calls I get these days, I’m far less likely to run to answer the phone than I once was. Also, sometimes I answer the phone while I’m in line at the pharmacy, or don’t have long to talk, or am in a noisy place. It’s not the ideal atmosphere for a serious conversation with a prospective employer. Further, some employers will call from a blocked number, not leave a message, and not follow up by email – what am I meant to do then?

    Also, I resent being put on the spot! What is so hard about sending an emailed offer? If they want to talk on the phone or by Zoom to confirm that I’m “enthusiastic enough”, they can invite me to do so in the email.

  28. rosyglasses*

    I always email a prelim to a candidate letting them know an offer is forthcoming (because it takes awhile to build the offer in our HRIS) and then get it out by EOD or the next morning, depending on when I initially emailed them a notification.

    Then I email out the full offer package, and offer a phone call to go through any questions or concerns (and this gives an opportunity for them to let me know if they were looking for something different with benefits or salary after reviewing all the information).

    It works well for us, and takes away the awkwardness of navigating salary offers and lets the candidate review things at their own pace rather than during a call.

  29. Sleepless KJ*

    Phone call followed by an email to recap and confirm the details. If I’m not looking for an email I might not SEE the email – especially if it ends up in spam as can happen. I also want to hear some excitement from the person hiring me. An email offer feels kind of cold.

    1. Sleepless KJ*

      I’m in more of a people facing industry so maybe that’s just me. ‍♀️

  30. Dodubln*

    I am the hiring manager in my office, and I always do offers of employment on the phone/in person (depending upon the situation). I do follow that up with an email if needed, but the actual offer is via a phone call/in person.

  31. Rachel*

    I was offered a job over the phone. 9-5, non-exempt, with lots of available overtime. I was quoted a rate.

    I heard $80 and assumed $80/hour.

    Nope, they were offering $40/hour which is $80k/year.

    I turned it down and took a job making $140k/year salaried. Would have saved them and me a lot of time to be clearer up front.

    Get important parts of an offer in writing.

  32. Flying Fish*

    At my last job, after a series of interviews I had a call in which we agreed there’s mutual interest. We talked about benefits and salary, then they said they’d put together a written offer and email it, and we set up a time to discuss it a few days later. I was pretty happy with this approach.

Comments are closed.