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Selecting the best candidate

Changes to blue card laws

If you're starting or running a business that works with children, you and your employees may need a blue card.

Blue card laws changed on 31 August 2020, including a 'no card, no start' law. Find out how changes to the blue card system may affect your business.

Before you decide who to appoint as a new staff member, review all the information you have collected in applications and interviews and contact the shortlisted candidates' referees for feedback on their past performance. If you have used any tests, review and compare the results from each candidate.

When reviewing candidates, consider whether they are capable of doing the job and if they have the skills and knowledge you need. Also consider whether they have the personal attributes, such as enthusiasm and motivation, to do the job and if they will fit in the culture of your business. Learn more about finding the right people.

Review the rules about discrimination and equal opportunities and make sure that you are consistent in the way you review each candidate. Check that your decision does not breach any anti-discrimination laws.

When you have decided on the successful candidate, phone them as soon as possible to offer them the job and check that they will accept. You can then follow up with a written contract of employment setting out the terms and conditions of the job.

Make an offer

If you think you have decided on the best candidate but won't be completely sure until you receive more information or results (e.g. reference checks, police checks or medical tests), you can make a conditional offer of employment. If the candidate meets all conditions, you can then send them a written contract of employment. If they don't meet the conditions, you can withdraw your offer and turn to your second choice candidate.

Once the candidate has accepted the job, contact the unsuccessful candidates. You may wish to advise them that you will keep their applications on file in case you are recruiting for any other suitable jobs in the future. Read more about privacy laws relating to collecting and handling employees' personal information.

When you are recruiting staff, make sure that you are meeting your obligations as an employer.

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