Job offers and staff inductions

Deciding on your successful job candidate


After you have completed the assessment stage, eg the interviews and tests, you should make your final selection decision as soon as possible.

To help you reach that decision, you should take notes during the interview as questions are being answered. This will ensure that what is said is reflected as accurately as possible.

Immediately after the interview, you should then finalise your notes and other relevant details.

This is useful for both decision-making and providing feedback to the candidates if requested. Bear in mind that shortlisted candidates may request access to their interview notes or any other documentation related to the recruitment process as part of any legal process.

Making fair recruitment decisions

To make the decision-making process fair and avoid any potentially unlawful discrimination you should choose the candidate that most closely meets your selection criteria.

To do this:

  • Use a structured scoring system, rating candidates against your selection criteria. This allows you to compare a candidate's score with your ideal score.
  • If you use a less formal system for comparing candidates, you must try to make your assessments on an equal basis.
  • Try making an assessment sheet showing the reasons for making offers, putting candidates on hold, or rejecting them. Your reasons should relate to your selection criteria, interview questions, and, if applicable, the results of other tests or assessments.

Once you've made your choice, you need to make the successful candidate a job offer. See making a job offer to the successful candidate.

Decide on second and third choices, if possible, in case your first choice turns down the position.

In addition, a reserve list could be compiled giving you greater flexibility to make further appointments in the event that similar future vacancies arise during a defined period (eg six months). Reference to a reserve list being compiled would need to be referred to in the advertisement.

Dealing with unsuccessful applicants

You should let all unsuccessful applicants, whether shortlisted for assessment or not, know of your decision not to employ them as soon as possible.

If you are delayed in making your decision, eg because you are waiting for your first choice to respond, let them know of the delay by phone, email, or letter.

Be prepared to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates. They might want to know their relative strengths and also where they might do better next time.