Job Offer Accepted Now What? Don’t fall at the last hurdle!

You have attracted applicants and made offers of employment but it’s not over yet. Many potential employees are lost before they even start.

It’s likely that yours is not the only job they have applied for or have been offered. If an applicant is not working, they will want to start as soon as possible. If a candidate is already employed, it is unlikely that they will give notice until all your pre-employment checks are completed. If you are unable to progress your offer quickly you run the risk of losing your potential employee to another employer before they even start.

References, DBS checks and the completion of health questionnaires should take place only when a job offer has been made and accepted.

The Health & Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) 2014, Regulation 19 Fit & Proper Persons Employed; sets out how care providers should ensure that their employees are of good character, have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience which are necessary for the work to be performed by them, and be able by reason of their health, after reasonable adjustments are made, of properly performing tasks which are intrinsic to the work for which they are employed.

It is unlawful to ask about a job applicant’s health or request a reference which includes questions regarding sickness absence before making a job offer (Equality Act 2010). Following an offer of employment potential employees should be asked to complete a medical questionnaire.

If a potential employee has a medical or health need the employer must consider whether they are able to do the job they have been offered or whether they are able to do the job with reasonable workplace adjustments. The care assistant’s role is such that reasonable workplace adjustments are not always possible or practical for the organisation. For example, it would be detrimental to the running of the service if an individual was unable to undertake the physical aspects of the role or attend work at set shift times. Review each case individually taking into account; the individual, the relevant job description and working practices such as breaks.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will inspect against Regulation 19 by reviewing staff files. They will expect to see a full employment history plus references from the employee’s 2 most recent employers. It is good practice to seek additional references from any other care organisation that the employee may have worked for in the past.

References should be requested as soon as your job offer has been accepted; ideally by email followed up with a phone call. Never waste time chasing references by email. Pick up the phone!

Once your offer of employment has been accepted you will also need to apply for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check. The quickest way to do this is through an online DBS checking service. An online DBS service is sometimes available through membership of a care association, or you can sign up to a service yourself. By taking copies of relevant ID and proof of address at interview you can speed up DBS applications by asking potential employees to complete their part of the application online. If they subscribed to the DBS update service even better!

You or your recruitment staff will need to keep potential employees ‘warm.’ Keep in regular contact with your potential employees, update them on the progress of their pre-employment checks enlisting their support to expediate references if necessary. Make joining your service as easy as you can for potential employees, make them feel like they matter because they really do!

However, there will always be those potential employees who mess you around. If they do not answer your calls or emails, delay getting back to you or cannot produce the required documentation be wary. If they are messing you about now the likelihood is they will mess you around some more, once they are employed.

Whilst you cannot withdraw an offer of employment without good reason you need to manage your expectations and the amount of effort you put into a potential employee who does not engage. You are likely their back up plan or their existing employer has made a counteroffer. Leave it and if after 4 weeks you do not hear from them then you can reasonably withdraw your offer of employment.