The interview process and finding the right candidate is only part of the recruitment process. Once a great candidate is identified and your hiring manager is ready to relay the good news, it is time to make a job offer.
While you want to be sure the candidate accepts your job offer as soon as possible, it is vital for small businesses to follow the correct procedure.
Concluding the hiring process
After the final interview has taken place and companies have made the important decision, four actions are needed to wrap up the business of hiring the best person:
- Make a verbal offer to the top candidate and negotiate compensation and their base salary
- Make a formal written job offer
- Perform background checks
- Let other candidates know they will not be hired for the position
Resources for small businesses
The job offer process
1. Making an over-the-phone job offer
Hiring managers should make initial job offers over the phone, where they can discuss employment terms and establish if the salary and offer package is something the candidate will accept.
Top talent may be reviewing other positions and counter offers, so it is crucial to present a positive sales pitch when making a job offer. Any negotiations on the total compensation package should occur now, so it is vital to know what money and other benefits you can offer.
Negotiations may involve several phone conversations, so you should be prepared to make a counter offer. Salary discussions tend to be less time consuming when you can explain the major benefits of working for your company and team.
Once a verbal agreement is achieved, let the candidates know that you will forward an offer letter, which the new employee will need to sign and return.
2. Writing a formal job offer letter
The offer letter is a written statement that details the employment terms and conditions. If you create an offer letter template to speed up the process to hire, it should include:
- The company name and department name
- The candidate name
- The job title
- The start date of the position and the end date (if the position is temporary)
- The length of any probation period
- Conditions the job offer is subject to
- Candidate actions, such as the deadline to accept and return a signed copy or forward work permits
Remember, the offer letter is not an employment contract, and the company or candidate can still back out.
3. Pre-employment checks
When you intend to hire a candidate, there is always a list of requirements to double-check. These jobs might include:
- Requesting and checking references – to confirm candidates held the positions they stated
- Criminal record checks – if the candidate will deal with children, vulnerable individuals, or items with significant value
- Medical examinations – where a general health or drug use check is required
- Right to work in the UK – with employers subject to substantial fines if they hire illegal workers
When determining which checks should be conducted, you should keep in mind that:
- There must be a valid and specific purpose for the check
- Checks are performed on successful candidates only (where possible)
- If you wait too long and there is an issue, it could be too late to contact and talk to other interviewees
- You must use reliable sources
- You should reduce the candidate’s stress by informing them of the details of the checks you will conduct and how long they will take
4. Informing unsuccessful candidates
No one wants to relay bad news, but it is important to inform unsuccessful candidates with a better candidate experience if this is performed over the phone. If the candidate asks for reasons, be open, transparent, and respectful, as the candidate invested their time attending the job interview.
If the person has skills your company values and there is a realistic opportunity for the individual to join your team in the future, you should provide more detail here and ask for permission to keep their information. You can build a talent pool and save future hiring costs and time.
Small Businesses Guide For Cost Effective Recruitment
Presenting A Job Offer is a chapter from our Small Business Guide For Cost Effective Recruitment. In this recruitment guide, we explore:
- Why Should SMEs Build An Employer Brand?
- Preparing Job Descriptions
- Introducing An Employee Referral Scheme
- Social Media Hiring Strategies For SMEs
- Posting On Job Boards And Leveraging Fixed Cost Recruitment
- Centralising Recruitment With ATS
- Creating A Talent Pool
- Defining Your Interview Process
- Presenting A Job Offer