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Help for small firms

Recruiting an employee: A step-by-step guide

Recruiting an employee - Step 4

Interview and offer the job

  • Interviews should, where possible, be conducted by more than one person, again to avoid unintended bias.

But, again in a small business, you may have to do the interviews on your own.

It is also advisable to have set questions to probe candidates' skills, and help you measure their answers.

  • When carrying out interviews, you should make sure that you:
    • are not interrupted by visitors or telephone calls
    • ask 'open ended' questions that cannot be answered by a 'yes' or a 'no'
    • do not ask questions which may be considered discriminatory.
  • Once you've decided who you want, send out a job offer letter. Remember, you are now on the verge of entering into an employment contract, a legal arrangement. It should set out:
    • the job title and offer of the job
    • any conditions applying to the offer
    • the terms - including salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and place of employment
    • start date and any probationary period
    • what the candidate needs to do to accept the offer, including satisfactory references, or decline it.
  • If the letter is to be the employment contract, or part of it, it should say so and include the main terms and conditions. A Written Statement of Employment Terms and Conditions must be given to the employee within two months of them starting work.

Make a note

  • Before the interview, make a list of the questions you want to ask. Keep all notes, including any made during the interview. They will help you to sift the applicants fairly.
  • Be prepared to give reasons for rejection to unsuccessful candidates who ask.
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