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Reducing the Risk in Recruitment


ImageHiring the right person for the right role in your organisation can be tricky. In the second of this 2-part article, Vincent Owen, Senior Consultant with HR Consultancy, Interims for Development, offers some tips on hiring the best for your business.

Putting the Offer in Writing

Having gone through the attraction and interview stages, you will finally be in a position to offer employment to someone. At this point you may well have a first and maybe a second and third choice of people you may be interested in and it is recommended that you keep alternative choices warm in the event that you first choice candidate chooses not to take up your offer.

A formal offer letter in duplicate should be sent to your first choice candidate. While legal requirements differ from country to country, it is good practice for clarity and intent to include the following information:

  • The location where the person will be employed
  • The job title
  • The agreed starting date
  • The standard hours of work
  • The salary you are offering and the frequency of salary reviews
  • Details of holiday entitlement
  • The length of any probation period – and keep the option to extend, if needed
  • The notice period required of both the employee and the employer – and if this differs during and after the probationary period
  • A clause on confidentiality to protect both your corporate information and that of your clients.

One copy of the letter is for the candidate who should then to sign and return the second copy to confirm that they are accepting the job offer.

Hopefully, having sent out the offer letter, it will be accepted! If not, you may need to approach other acceptable candidates. Once you have received acceptance of the offer, it is good practice to contact the other applicants, if you have not already done so, to inform them that their application has been unsuccessful.

Induction into the Company

To enable your new employee to become familiar with your business and their new surroundings, you should develop and implement a brief induction programme. This will give them the opportunity to appreciate their day-to-day responsibilities, your company’s procedures and, perhaps most importantly, your expectations of them in terms of performance.

Having invested time and money in recruiting your new employee, you should avoid the risk of losing them by planning a smooth integration into the company.

Making Use of a Probationary Period

If you followed our earlier advice, your new employee will have joined you based on an agreed probationary period, which could range from three to six months, depending on the level of their job.

Use this period effectively to monitor the progress in their performance on the job. It is critical to hold regular meetings to ensure that your expectations and theirs are being met. Where necessary, make training or coaching available to assist your new employee to operate at the required level. At the end of the probation period, subject to satisfactory progress and performance, you should issue a letter to the new employee confirming their appointment and remember to include any changes that may have arisen to the terms and conditions of employment.

In the event that the new recruit’s performance during the probationary period is not at the level you expect, it is important that this is discussed and, hopefully, addressed at the time. During the probationary period, if you feel that performance is unlikely to reach the required level despite discussions, training and/or coaching, subject to the employment legislation in your jurisdiction, you may have no option but to terminate the employment.

If you consider at the end of the contractual probationary period that the level of performance is not at the required level, but you also feel that within a short period the performance level can be brought up to the required minimum through further training, you may wish to extend the probationary period. Take this option only after discussion with the employee and confirm the extension to the probationary period and any targets agreed in writing. During an extended probationary period, you should aim to hold regular meetings, at least monthly, with the employee to review progress. At the end of the extended period, you can decide whether to confirm or terminate the employment.

Ongoing Employment

Once you have confirmed employment, you should review your employee’s performance on a regular basis. While each company will operate its own performance management systems, regular discussions between employees and managers are a key requirement for offering feedback – whether positive or not. At a minimum, such discussions should take place every six months with a full review annually. It is good practice to record the outcome of these discussions in writing and for both employee and manager to agree to the record. Use this review process to consider any training or development the employee might need.

As an outcome of a performance review, you may wish to consider the employee’s remuneration package and, if appropriate, offer an increase or bonus.

Finally ……

We suggested at the outset that employing staff is one risk that you cannot easily insure against. I hope that some of the processes and tips discussed in this article will go some way to alleviating some of these risks.

Vincent Owen is a Senior Consultant with HR and Training Consultancy, Interims for Development. For further information about Recruitment and Recruitment Skills training, contact Interims for Development at info@interimsfd.com

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