Law guide: Employment

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Making the job offer

Making the job offer

The job offer letter

Any job offer or appointment should be confirmed in a letter setting out the main terms and conditions of employment. If you offer the job before taking up references and checking qualifications you should state that the offer is subject to the references and qualifications being satisfactory to you. The applicant should be asked to confirm in writing their acceptance of the job on the terms offered. This can be done by enclosing a copy of the letter which the candidate is asked to countersign and return.

The letter should set out:

  • The position that is being offered
  • The remuneration
  • The date of commencement of employment (if agreed)
  • The location
  • Any conditions to which the offer is subject
  • The timescale and procedure for acceptance/rejection of the offer

The letter may include other relevant details of terms and conditions of employment, acting as the first part of the employment contract. You may also specify any items or documentation you may wish the applicant to bring with them on their first day, e.g. passport, P45 etc.

Notifying an unsuccessful candidate

All unsuccessful job applicants should be informed as soon as possible of the company's decision not to employ them.

Considering candidates for other positions

Finding good candidates for a position can be a challenge, but occasionally you might find that a number of exceptional candidates have applied for the same role.

It means that inevitably you will have to turn down well-qualified applicants. You might not want to let a good one pass you by when you find them. You may instead want to consider unsuccessful candidates for other positions within your organisation.

Ensure that you ask applicants at the start of the recruitment process whether they wish for you to keep their application on file to consider for future positions, if they are unsuccessful. This will assist you in complying with data protection legislation.

If they do not wish to be considered

If they state that they do wish to be considered for future vacancies, you should respect that wish. You must also inform them preferably in writing that you will not consider them for future vacancies and inform them of how long you will keep their application before securely destroying it.

You could include this information in your rejection letter to the applicant.

If they do wish to be considered

If they state that they do wish to be considered for future vacancies, you should be sure to inform them of how long you will keep their application for this purpose before securely destroying it.

See our article on Retention of recruitment records for more information on the length of time you should keep their applications on file.

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