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 that you’ve offered them the job
  • any conditions, for example, that the offer depends on suitable references or a health check
  • 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 that they’ve accepted the job.

You must give your employee a written document explaining their main terms of employment within 2 months of them starting work.

If you change your mind

Once you’ve made the job offer you can withdraw the job offer if the applicant did not meet conditions of the offer. For example:

  • suitable references
  • criminal record checks

It’s a good idea to inform them of the reasons you withdrew 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.

Check their right to work in the UK

Before they start work, you must check they have the right to work in the UK.

Your business could be fined up to £20,000 if you do not check that the person you hire is allowed to work in the UK. Find out more about the right to work in the UK on GOV.UK.

For advice on starting new staff, you can download and use the Acas guide and checklist for the induction of new staff.