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Making an Offer

Resources for people leaders to guide them through making an offer to potential new hires.

Offering the Position

Be sure to obtain prior approval of your offer according to your department or unit guidelines (e.g. director, administrative manager, human resource representative, etc.). You will also need to determine a salary offer prior to offering the position.

Salary Offer

When establishing a salary offer, the following process is recommended:

  • Consult with your local HR representative.
  • Review the expected pay range, including internal and external market pay equity information, for the University job title to which the position is classified.
  • Review the applicant’s overall qualifications, including education, previous work experience (both within and outside of Cornell), skills, competencies, and records of prior job performance obtained through various references.

In order to ascertain:

  • Whether the applicant meets, somewhat surpasses, or highly exceeds the minimum qualifications for the position.
  • How the applicant’s total profile and expected initial performance level compares to other current internal incumbents’ profiles, performance, and pay rates within the same University Job Title.
  • A preliminary forecast of how long it is expected for the applicant to reach a fully competent, commendable performance level.
  • Whether, based upon the above, the applicant merits a salary offer in the entry-portion, the mid-portion, or the upper-portion of the pay range for the University Job Title.

Retain summary notes of the foregoing information.


Making the Offer

Typically, the offer of employment is made verbally, over the telephone or in person, and unless declined, reiterated in writing once the Post-Offer Convictions and Pending Charges Information has been received. This formal offer letter will be provided to you by your HR representative.

When offering the position:

  • be as specific as possible;
  • state the salary in the annual amount for overtime pay ineligible positions or at the hourly rate for overtime pay eligible positions;
  • make the applicant aware of any special working conditions and contingencies such as passing a physical examination or obtaining a license or certification;
  • make sure the applicant has a good understanding of the position, its responsibilities and your expectations;
  • discuss expectations for performance with the applicant and how job performance will be evaluated;
  • if the position is a term appointment or is contingent upon grant funding, include that information in your verbal offer and in the offer letter; and
  • outline next steps, including completing the Post-Offer Convictions and Pending Charges Information
  • set a day by which the applicant must respond

If the applicant does not respond and/or accept the position by the date specified, the offer of employment may be rescinded and in this case, let the applicant know as soon as possible, and in writing.

Relocation Program

A partnership with Coldwell Banker has been established to provide relocation and real estate assistance to new faculty and staff as requested by the hiring unit.