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Businesses, small or large, use HR letters at various stages of the employee lifecycle. These are used when recruiting employees, during their appraisals, and when employees leave the organisation.
The Human Resources or HR department in a company is responsible for creating and issuing these letters. However, if you’re not very familiar with the different types of HR letters, do not worry; this article covers the types of HR letters and their formats, along with free MS Word & PDF templates.
Types of HR letters
The HR department uses different formal letters for their day-to-day activities such as:
- Making a job offer
- Appointment of new employees
- Appraising the work done
- Revising/incrementing salary
- Employment agreement
- Promoting the employees
- Transferring of employees
- Relieving of employees
- Providing experience certificate
1. Offer letter
During the recruitment process, a company calls for applications and interviews the shortlisted candidates. After this, the candidates who clear all selection rounds are sent an offer letter. It can be sent as a hard copy or a soft copy through email.
This document is treated as a letter of intent, and the relevance of this letter depends on the acceptance of the employment offer by the candidate. The purpose of this letter is to propose the employment offer to the candidate, which can be accepted or rejected. If accepted, the candidate becomes an employee of the company.
Key Components: Designation, salary structure, joining date, office timings, leaves offered, organisation policies, important clauses for employment, etc.
2. Appointment letter
Once the offer letter is accepted by a candidate, the HR department issues an appointment letter. Fundamentally, an appointment letter is different from an offer letter. The offer letter is sent to a prospective candidate who becomes an employee on accepting the same. On the other hand, an appointment letter is sent to the employee. This letter talks about the employment terms in greater detail.
An appointment letter marks the official beginning of employment. Hence, it is one of the most important documents. It is printed on the company letterhead and adequately signed.
Key Components: Details about the designation, role in the organisation and work profile, probation and confirmation terms if required, salary structure, office timings, employment policies and terms, code of conduct and discipline clauses, activities that can cause termination, notice period, etc.
3. Appraisal letter
Depending on individual roles and the organisation’s policies, employees’ performance is appraised. Performance reviews can be conducted monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually. Once the appraisal is over, the results and scores are communicated through an appraisal letter.
This process involves assessing the work done by the employee, productivity, key performance indicators, skills acquired, etc. The HR department may also survey the supervisors and colleagues of the employee. Appraisal interviews can also be conducted for this purpose.
Key Components: Details about performance and allocated scores, grades or rankings. It also contains the promotion or increment details, if any. All these details are provided on the official letterhead duly signed by the relevant authority.
4. Promotion or increment letter
Usually, increment or promotion is decided while appraising the employee’s performance. Hence, the details of promotion and increment are an integral part of the appraisal letter. But, sometimes, there can be certain urgent needs in the organisation, and an employee might be promoted to fill the void. In such cases, a promotion or increment letter is issued.
Key Components: It includes the effective date of promotion and increment, the details of the new roles and responsibilities, and the revised salary.
5. Bonafide letter
The employer issues a bonafide letter to an employee as proof of employment. This HR letter certifies that an employee is currently working for the organisation. It can be used to apply for a loan or passport.
Key Components: It contains the details of the employee and mentions that they are in service of the organisation.
6. Address proof
Some HR letters and forms are admissible as proof of address while applying for a passport, gas connection, bank account, loans, rented accommodation, etc. An address proof letter is one such document. It is a letter or a certificate issued by the employer.
Key Components: It contains your details along with the details of your permanent and current residential address. It must be issued on the company’s letterhead and should be duly signed and stamped.
7. Payslips or salary slips
A payslip or salary slip is a document containing the details about the actual salary, allowances and deductions of an employee. These are issued by the company every month. Payslips are the proof of actual salary received by the employee. This might be required while applying for loans or while switching jobs.
Key Components: It contains the details about the salary, salary components, allowances and deductions. The company might also include the details of available leaves.
Read more about Salary Structure in this blog post
8. Relieving letter
While leaving the organisation, an employee gets a relieving letter from the company. It is required at the time of joining a new company. Usually, a relieving letter is accompanied by an experience letter and the full & final settlement payslip.
Key Components: It usually details the joining and relieving date of the employee along with gratitude and best wishes for future endeavours.
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