Offering a job
- Offer the job to your first choice candidate as soon as possible (at this stage this will often be done verbally).
- If the job offer is dependent on satisfactory character and / or professional references and other checks (such as DBS, checking the right to work in the UK, proof of qualifications etc.), clarify this again with the candidate and follow these up as soon as possible.
- If the candidate accepts, send out a job offer letter. If you have not already taken up references the letter should say that the job offer is made on condition of satisfactory references. Do note that offers of employment should always be made in writing – but be aware that an initial verbal offer is as legally binding as a written one.
- If the person declines the job, offer it to the next most successful candidate until someone accepts (or you run out of acceptable candidates).
- Once the job has been accepted inform all the other applicants that they have been unsuccessful.
- Offer to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates. If they take up your offer, give specific positive feedback in order to help them improve for their next job application / interview. Be prepared in advance, be clear and fair about what you want to say, and offer constructive suggestions for what can be improved.
Taking up references
- Any offer of employment is usually conditional on satisfactory pre-employment checks / references.
- Candidates should already be fully aware of how references will be used and when references will be followed up in the recruitment process.
- References are most commonly requested after the applicant has been given a ‘provisional offer’, although they could be taken up when candidates are invited to the final selection stage (as long as they are not referred to until after a final decision has been made – and then only by way of confirmation for the successful candidate).
- Prepare a standard reference request letter.
- References should contain factual information such as length of past employment, job title, brief details of responsibilities, overall performance and relevant qualities, time-keeping and reason for leaving. Do not ask for personal information about the candidate.
- Include the job description and person specification to give the referee full information about the job.
- References only provide a very limited perspective on a candidate’s suitability for the role, so it is not advisable to base your recruitment decisions too much on references.
Drawing up a contract
- A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship.
- A contract 'starts' as soon as an offer of employment is accepted. Starting work proves that you accept the terms and conditions offered by the employer.
- It is best to put a contract in writing - it saves a lot of potential misunderstanding further down the line.
- Employees are legally entitled to a Written Statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months of starting work. This should include the name of the employer and employee, start date and any probationary period, the job title, job location, working hours, pay/frequency of pay and any benefits, holiday entitlement, and details of any collective agreements that directly affect the conditions of employment.
New staff induction
And finally... you need to plan and prepare for the new arrival to give them the best possible start to their working life with you. Follow the link below to helpful resources to guide you as you do so.
Helpful resources - including examples of job offer letters, contract templates, and an induction factsheet.