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Conditional Offer of Employment: What You Must Know


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Updated on:
February 20, 2024
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Updated on :

February 20, 2024
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Conditional Offer of Employment: What You Must Know

Expanding your workforce is a conscious and delicate process. It involves a balance between ensuring a candidate’s suitability and aligning with your business requirements. More often than not, it would be challenging to assess and select the right candidate as many would be eligible for the position you need to fill. 

So, how do you bring THE most suited candidate on board? Using conditional offers of employment as a strategic tool. Such offers give you the freedom to take some more time and carefully evaluate the candidate while expressing your interest in their application. However, there are more nuances attached to conditional job offers. 

This blog will familiarize you with the concept of a conditional offer of employment, its advantages and challenges and best practices. 

What is a Conditional Offer of Employment?

A conditional offer of employment requires an employee to qualify for certain conditions (or criteria) before starting employment. In contrast to a traditional offer, a conditional job offer clearly specifies the prerequisites and requires employees to furnish the necessary information, which may include

  • Educational background,
  • Criminal record checks,
  • Medical examination,
  • Proof of eligibility to work in a country, etc.

When a conditional offer is extended, it often shows an employer’s interest in the applicant. Also, understand that the employee has not yet been offered the position, and they MUST provide the additional information before officially joining the company.

For example, suppose a remote worker is applying for a job in another country. In that case, the employer may send them a conditional offer demanding ‘proof of eligibility to work’ in the respective country. It is a standard hiring practice, especially in companies that hire remote employees.

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Benefits of a Conditional Job Offer

Conditional offers of employment are beneficial in numerous ways. Here are some of them.

  1. Assessment of fit: Conditional job offers often double as an assessment of fit. Employers use them to check whether applicants align with the company culture, work requirements, and team dynamics. This helps ensure they are a ‘good fit’ within the company.
  1. Flexibility: As conditional offers add an additional step in the recruitment process, employers exercise more flexibility during the phase. They can rethink and negotiate terms like compensation package, benefits, and start date. 
  1. Legal protection: Conditional offers help the company stay protected from potential legal issues concerning hiring employees. Suppose the company finds a candidate doesn't meet the outlined conditions during the conditional offer phase, the company has a legitimate reason to revoke the offer without legal repercussions.
  1. Efficient screening process: Using conditional employment offers allows employers to evaluate candidates more thoughtfully before committing. This helps filter out potentially incompetent applicants who may not fit the position well. 

Disadvantages of Conditional Job Offers

While a conditional offer of employment letter makes the task easier, some disadvantages may still accompany it. Especially with remote working employees, conditional offers might bring additional challenges. Here is a list highlighting some of them.

  1. Legal risks: Suppose the conditional offer specifies conditions that are discriminatory in nature or do not communicate the requirements accurately. In that case, employers may face legal challenges if candidates report unfair treatment. 
  1. Elongates the recruitment process: As a conditional offer is not an employment contract but an additional step, it extends the recruitment and onboarding process.
  1. Limited candidate pool: As conditional job offers are particular to the company's requirements, they might limit the pool of eligible candidates. Especially if the employer has overly specified conditions, many worthy candidates might not apply because they do not meet the same.
  2. Negative employer reputation: Extending conditional offers in bulk and then largely withdrawing them is an unfair hiring practice. It discourages employees from applying and has a ripple effect on other applicants, ultimately affecting the employer’s reputation.

What is Contained in a Conditional Offer of Employment Letter?

Conditional job offers often contain information regarding contingencies. These could include

  • Passing specific aptitude tests,
  • Background checks,
  • Licensing requirements,
  • Credit checks,
  • Drug screenings,
  • Physical examinations, etc. 

Sometimes, conditional offers specify the time frame within which an employee must meet the qualifications. 

However, a conditional offer CANNOT be based on illegal or discriminatory criteria. For example, the employer cannot impose conditions that discriminate against certain applicants based on their status.

Can an Employer Withdraw a Conditional Offer of Employment?

Yes, a conditional job offer can be withdrawn. If the applicant fails to meet the conditions within the specified period (if mentioned), the employer can withhold the offer. 

For example, suppose a person applied for a job as a police officer upon clearing written tests. The job also requires them to undergo and clear a physical examination to register as a police officer officially. They must clear the examination to retain their employment offer.

Moreover, if there was a time limit to undertake the examination and the applicant missed the deadline, their conditional offer of employment might be revoked.

Legal Considerations for Conditional Offers of Employment

Now that you know what a conditional offer of employment is, it is essential to understand the legal requirements of participating in or implementing a conditional program. It is all the more important for employers because they need to ensure that their conditions of employment comply with all state and federal laws.

Disclosure and Authorization Before Checking Backgrounds

As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), all employers must disclose the purpose of screening your background. They must also obtain authorization before performing the background check. Once the screening process is done, the employer must 

  • Notify about the findings,
  • Provide a copy of the report,
  • Give a chance to review and question the findings,
  • Provide a notice in case they plan to revoke the conditional offer.

Pre-Assessments to Minimize Risks of Conditional Offers

Employers must consider some pre-assessment channels to ensure that the conditional job offer won’t be revoked afterward. These could include

  • Skill-based tests,
  • Multiple interviews,
  • Extending the offer to only trusted sources.

Ethical Hiring with Conditional Offers

More often than not, employers extend multiple conditional job offers to capture the top talent quickly. Additionally, they consider conditions like background checks only a paperwork formality. In such situations, there’s a lot of risk of the offer being withdrawn if the findings of the screening process are inadequate. 

The problem aggravates if the applicant is an international, remote worker with a conditional offer of employment and the employer is not undertaking the best hiring measures. The offer might be revoked if the screening process is inadequate. 

Hence, as an employer, complying with all the legalities, working with an EOR platform, and adopting lawful global payroll practices while considering conditional offers are significant. 

Manage Your Global Team With Skuad

You must now be familiar with a conditional offer of employment. These simple job offers are conditioned upon specific additional requirements to streamline the hiring process and ensure that the workforce meets the benchmark. However, specific legal requirements must be met when considering conditional employment offers. 

We understand that getting your head around legalities can be overwhelming. This is why partnering with Skuad as your Employer of Record (EOR) saves you much time and effort. With Skuad, you benefit from hiring, international onboarding, multi-country payroll management and local compliance. Book a demo to see what Skuad can do for you.


1. What is an example of a conditional offer?

Consider a vacancy for a chef’s position at a restaurant. You receive a conditional job offer with the condition of having industry experience of more than five years. You will be hired only if you meet this essential requirement, despite how good of a match you are.

2. How do I know if my offer is conditional?

It is pretty easy to determine whether you have a conditional offer. If your job offer comes with any condition, be it about the years of experience, timeline, grades, or some qualification; it is a conditional offer. In contrast, an unconditional job offer is simply an employment contract without any conditions. 

3. Why would an employer withdraw a conditional offer?

If you fail to meet the conditions upon which your job offer is based, an employer can legally withdraw your offer. Moreover, suppose you were expected to furnish additional documents within a specified period to proceed with your application. In that case, the employer can revoke your conditional offer if you fail to do so.

About the author

Sandeep Patel is a Content Marketing Manager and Strategist. Over the last five years, he has created and managed content for global brands and fintech startups. He is passionate about remote work and using tech for a better work-life balance.

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