Recruitment: hiring someone

Offering someone a job

Once you've decided who to hire, you'll need to make them a job offer.

You can make a job offer verbally, but it's better in writing to avoid misunderstandings later on.

Avoid using information on someone's social media profile when deciding whether to offer them a job.

What to include in a job offer letter

A job offer letter should include:

  • the job title
  • confirmation you've offered them the job
  • any conditions, for example that the offer depends on suitable references or a health check (this is known as a conditional job offer)
  • the terms – including salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and the location of work
  • start date and any probationary period
  • what they need to do to accept the offer or to decline it
  • the name of the person to contact, with their contact details, in case of any questions

It's a good idea to ask the applicant to confirm in writing they've accepted the job.

Check their right to work in the UK

Before they start work, you must check they have the right to work in the UK. You could be fined up to £20,000 if you do not check this.

Find out more about checking a job applicant's right to work on GOV.UK.

Hiring someone from outside the UK

From 1 January 2021, you may need a sponsor licence to hire employees and workers from outside the UK. And anyone you recruit from outside the UK will need to meet certain requirements.

Find out more about hiring someone from outside the UK.

If you change your mind

You can withdraw the job offer if the applicant did not meet the offer's conditions. For example:

  • suitable references
  • criminal record checks

It's a good idea to tell them the reasons you're withdrawing the offer.

If you did not include any conditions as part of the job offer, it's known as an unconditional job offer. Withdrawing it could be against the law.

If you feel unsure about withdrawing an unconditional job offer, call the Acas helpline. We cannot tell you what to do or give legal advice.

Information you must give them when they start work

You must give written terms (a 'written statement of employment particulars') to anyone who's classed as an employee or a worker. You must provide them on or before the person's first day of work.

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