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You've chosen the best person for the job. Now what?

Recruiting the right person is just the start of the journey. You'll also need to think about how to make a job offer, what to put in their contract, what to do before they turn up and how to help them settle in and progress in your business.

First impressions count

If an employee has a good reaction to their first weeks in the job then they are more likely to stick around. Make them feel valued from the start. Identify early on how their career can progress within your business, and let them know their development is important to you. This will help them stay motived, productive and interested.

Recruitment is an expensive business. You don’t want to get it wrong. With that in mind, you might want to think about a probation period to safeguard both you and the employee.

Resources and tips

You can source plenty of free advice, help and template forms online. The tips below have been mostly taken from the employers' recruitment toolkit created by one of our partners, Falkirk Council. You may also find the CIPD factsheet on induction useful. Or find out more about HR with Business Gateway.

Making an offer

  • Let the chosen candidate know how long they have to accept or decline the offer. Send out the employment contract as soon as you can.
  • Have a second pick for the job in case your first choice doesn't accept.
  • Send unsuccessful candidates rejection letters or add a note to the job ad to say that if applicants have not heard by a certain date they should assume they have been unsuccessful.
  • Ask the candidate for proof of any qualifications and permission to contact previous employers.
  • Check their references.

What to cover in the contract

  • Working hours
  • Sick leave and sick pay
  • Details of any probationary period
  • Information on overtime, time off in lieu or flexible working
  • Confidentiality and data protection
  • Expenses
  • Maternity, paternity, parental, shared parental and adoption leave
  • Notice period

How to prepare before they arrive

  • Organise workspace and equipment and order uniform or protective clothing if needed.
  • Provide a written statement of terms and conditions.
  • Give information on disciplinary and grievance procedures, along with the health and safety and equality and diversity policies.
  • Let them know about pensions, annual leave arrangements and sickness absence.
  • It is good practice to check if the successful applicant will need any support to do their job so you can set this up for their arrival. Get more information in the Equality and Human Rights guidance on reasonable adjustments. Disabled staff may be able to access funding for adjustments via Access to Work.
  • Outline the guidelines on dress code; company vehicle policy; mobile phone use; social media policy and disclosure checks if needed.

Key legal requirements

Why the induction process matters

  • Effective induction and training are important for skills development, employee satisfaction and staff retention.
  • Every new employee can benefit, whether they are full or part-time, returning from a career break or absence, maternity or paternity leave or a trainee.
  • Inductions are especially useful for helping remote workers, temporary staff and transferred employees to understand and connect with the company.
  • An good induction will make your new employee feel part of the team, and boost morale and productivity.
  • Avoid information overload. Keep it simple and related to the specific job role.

General housekeeping points

  • Point out how the phone system, photocopier and other equipment work.
  • Show where the kitchen, toilet and parking facilities are.
  • Arrange security passes and outline the procedure in event of a fire or emergency, along with first aid contact.
  • Explain what childcare is on offer and provide information on trade union membership.
  • Demonstrate the safe use of equipment and personal protective equipment.
  • Make sure they know who to contact if they have any questions.

See Guides to inclusive recruitment: support your employees.

Job requirements and training assessments

  • Provide a rundown of the structure and objectives of the business, and the purpose of the employee’s new role.
  • Clarify the IT, internet and social media policy.
  • Arrange on-the-job coaching, shadowing or mentoring if needed.
  • Identify the personal strengths of the new employee and the gaps in knowledge where support might be needed.
  • Introduce the employee to the immediate team and consider allocating a work buddy for the first few days.