You’ve found the ideal candidate… what happens next?

The interview process is over. You’ve found the perfect person for the role. Phew. So, what’s the next stage? How do you properly communicate the good news to the candidate, and what sort of paperwork should you put in place? Here’s our take on laying out the welcome mat for new recruits.

Phone the candidate

The most effective and most immediate way to tell your prospective employee you’d love to hire them is to give them a ring. You can then make the offer formally but explain it will be subject to references and pre-employment checks.

This initial phone call is not just a great example of the effectiveness of the personal touch – it might also save you time and effort in the long run. It’s also a chance for the candidate to ask any questions, and for you to agree a start date. On the odd occasion the candidate says “no” to you following up references, you can choose to stop the process right there (which might prevent tricky situations in the future).

Follow up with a letter

The offer letter asks the candidate for their formal acceptance of the role. It also sets out the terms on which the offer is made. These could include satisfactory references and the length of the probationary period. The letter should also contain a written statement of employment particulars.

The written statement outlines the main terms of employment, and you need to give it to your new employee on or before their first day at work. It must contain these things:

  • employer’s name and address
  • employee’s name
  • start date
  • job title or description
  • places where the employee will work (including abroad)
  • rate of pay, date and frequency of pay, and holiday pay (including how it’s calculated)
  • working hours (including set work hours/days and whether hours/days can change) and holiday entitlement
  • how long the job will last if it’s fixed-term or temporary
  • sick leave entitlement and pay
  • any other paid leave
  • benefits
  • the notice period that either side must give when employment ends
  • the length of, and conditions attached to, any probation period
  • training requirements.

What other checks do I need to carry out?

First, you must establish the candidate’s right to work in the UK. You can do this on a government website which will tell you the next steps to take (whether you need to see original documents, for example). Will your new hire be driving as part of their role? You’ll need to check their driving licence. Again, you can do this online.

We recommend taking up at least two references, but if there are certain specialist qualifications involved in the role, further checks might also be required. You need to ask your prospective employee before you take up their references.

While this might sound like a lot to think about, it’s all very straightforward and setting out all this information before your employee starts work is a way of protecting you both.

First day at work

First days at work can be nerve-wracking for both employer and employee, but there are a few things you can do before they arrive to make sure they get off to a good start and aren’t waiting around too long. Sort out any IT requirements before they arrive, including hardware, email address and payroll. Arrange access to the car park if you have one. If they’ll need a pass, make an appointment with the security office for their first morning. You might even want to schedule a first set of meetings where they can get to know their colleagues.

Don’t forget, we’re always here to answer your questions about job offers. If there’s anything you need to ask that we haven’t covered here, please get in touch.


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