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From job offer to induction

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Be your own HR department

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 the employee's contract, what to do before they turn up and how to help them settle and progress in your business with ease when they do arrive.

First impressions count

If an employee has a positive reaction to their first weeks in the job then they are more likely to stick around.

Recruitment is an expensive business. You don’t want to get it wrong.

That said, you might want to think about a probation period to safeguard both you and the employee.

You’re more likely to retain staff if you make them feel valued from the outset.

It’s about identifying from an early stage how their career can progress within your business and don't forget to let them know their development is important to you.

How else will you expect them to stay motived, productive and interested?

Help is at hand

You can source plenty of free advice, help and template forms online. The lists 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, including some handy advice below. Or take an HR masterclass with Business Gateway.

When you make an offer

  • You'll need to let the chosen candidate know how long they have to accept or decline the offer. Send out the contract of employment as soon as possible
  • Have a second pick for the job in case your first choice does not send a written acceptance
  • Send unsuccessful candidates rejection letters or add a note to the job advertisement to say that if applicants have not heard by a certain date they should assume that 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 employment contract

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

How to prepare before they arrive

  • Organise workspace and equipment and order uniform or protective clothing if appropriate
  • 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
  • Outline the guidelines on dress code; company vehicle policy; mobile phone use; social media policy and disclosure checks if needed.

Cover the key legal requirements

  • Make sure you have employers' liability insurance
  • Give your new employee a written statement of employment and register with HMRC as an employer
  • Manage the PAYE (Pay as You Earn) system by downloading a simple payroll software, which is free if you have fewer than nine employees
  • Remember that you will need to submit your employee PAYE information to HMRC each time they are paid, or get an accountant to do this
  • Employers will have to provide a workplace pension for eligible staff by 2018. This is called automatic enrolment. Find out more at The Pensions Regulator
  • Check your responsibilities around health and safety.

Why the induction process matters

  • Effective induction and entry level training are important to your future skills development, employee satisfaction and attrition levels
  • Every new employee will benefit, whether the person is full or part-time, returning from a career break or absence, maternity or paternity leave or a trainee
  • As our  ways of working diversify, you may also have to think about remote workers, temporary staff and transferred employees
  • An effective induction will make them feel part of the team, and boost morale and productivity
  • Try not to overload them. Keep it simple and related to their work title.

General housekeeping points to remember

  • 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.

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.

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