Whether you’re hiring an optometrist for the first time or updating your existing hiring process, having a personalized optometrist offer letter for your practice can make the hiring process an easy and stress-free process. An offer letter is not an employment contract, but it’s the first step in the final stage of hiring.
At minimum, an offer letter should include:
- Practice letterhead
- Introduction and offer
- Start date
- Compensation and benefits
- Contingencies and practice-specific requirements
- Time frame for acceptance
Keep in mind that top candidates are often considering multiple job offers—so the offer letter is your final opportunity to make your practice stand out from the competition.
If you don’t already have an optometrist offer letter drawn up, we’ve created a template version you can download and edit to suit your practice!
What should your optometrist offer letter contain?
First and foremost, the offer letter should be written in a formal letter format. This includes a header at the top which states the practice’s name, location, telephone number, and date. The practice’s name as well as its associated logo can also be placed at the top to add a more professional touch.
When addressing your new optometrist, you should use formal pronouns such as Dr. Smith. Start the letter by formally offering the optometrist the position. For example, “We are pleased to extend to you an offer of employment as one of our staff optometrists at Crystal Clear Eye Care.” Comment on the value that they are bringing to the practice, such as their experience in ocular disease, and let them know how excited you are to have them join the team.
Start Date/ Hours per Week
Include the start date of the optometrist as well as how many hours they are expected to work per week in order to be considered “full-time”, or specific set hours if they are working “part-time”. State the normal hours of operations the new doctor is expected to work, such as Monday-Friday 8 am – 5 pm.
It is important to outline whether the patient will be paid a yearly salary, bonus only, or a combination of salary and bonus. State the time frame the patient will be paid, such as bi-weekly. Don’t forget to break down the bonus/commission the optometrist will receive from routine exams, optical, specialty fits, etc.
Ex. Your compensation and bonus includes a starting base salary of $100,000 paid bi-weekly. In addition, you will earn the following bonus/commission: 10% on income generated through medical visits and 5% generated through optical sales.
State whether there will be a match contribution to a 401K or Simple IRA plan. Most practices offer 3% match for both.
Outline any important agreed-upon benefits such as health/dental insurance, coverage of any annual meetings, stipend for a certain number of continuing education hours each year, membership dues, malpractice insurance, etc. Don’t forget to include the number of weeks paid vacation and sick leave.
If the employment is at-will (as typically recommended), the offer letter should explain that either the employee or the company can terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause or advance notice. Avoid language implying any fixed time period of employment, or even "soft statements" about "looking forward to a long relationship."
Before including any language regarding employment terms, make sure to check your state's laws and requirements regarding physician employment.
State that the offer is contingent upon a background check clearance, reference check and satisfactory proof of the employee's right to work in the U.S., as required by law. Try not to make this the focal point of the offer letter or to end with this as it can end the letter on a more serious note.
Time frame of acceptance
It is best to usually give the new employee 24-48 hours to accept the offer so that you can move forward with an official agreement as quickly as possible. If the optometrist accepts the offer, have them sign the document and return to the office.
End with positive remarks/summary
Remember to end on a positive note reiterating how thrilled you are to have this new doctor come on board. You want them to feel confident about their decision to accept the position.
Things NOT to include in your offer letter
You might be tempted to include more detail in the offer letter than it really merits! But remember, an offer letter is not an employment contract—that’s a separate document. Here’s what should not be included:
Avoid stating all duties or work rules in the offer letter. If you choose to refer to certain specific duties, be sure to emphasize that they do not constitute a complete and exclusive list and they are subject to change.
This should not be discussed in the offer letter, as it may offer false promises, and can be discussed after the first year. Remember the contract can always be rewritten in the future if salary or promotions are re-negotiated.
The non-compete terms should be discussed before the official contract is signed but it is not necessary to put in the offer letter. A non-compete is a clause that legally prevents the optometrist from work in a certain mile radius for a certain amount of time after termination of employment.
This is a template document, and should be edited before you use it. While we make every effort to provide accurate information that is helpful to your practice, this information may contain errors and is not to be used in place of your own professional medical judgment. Under no circumstances shall Eyes On Eyecare be responsible for damages arising from use of this information.