The Selection Process
You've conducted legal, competency-based interviews, effectively documented each interview, conducted relevant tests, and run comprehensive background and reference checks. In addition, you've factored in all job-specific tangible and intangible qualities, considered your company's affirmative action goals, and assessed its organizationwide and departmental diversity levels. Hopefully, the hiring manager and HR representative agree on whom to hire; if they don't, the manager should make the final decision, with the HR person documenting his reasons for disagreeing. At last, it's time to extend an offer of employment to the one applicant who stands out among the rest.
This final step of extending an offer of employment should be fairly effortless, although there are still some critical components remaining to ensure a smooth transition from the status of applicant to employee. Some organizations handle this step electronically. Applicants are sent the job offer letter online that they're expected to accept or decline immediately. If the answer is yes, they're directed to a welcome page, complete with a greeting from the chief executive officer. With the exception of entry-level positions, specific salaries have probably not yet been discussed and agreed upon, so the person may not be interested in your final offer. If he is interested, the applicant undoubtedly has numerous questions requiring dialogue between the employer and prospective employee. Hence, this procedure is ill advised.
While you may have determined that a particular individual is the right person for the job, it's unwise to assume that she feels the same way. Depending on how much time has passed since you and she last spoke, a lot could have happened: The applicant may have spoken with employees who said something about the company culture that struck her as undesirable. She may have gone on other interviews and received a more tempting offer, or she may have decided to stay where she's currently working. It could be, too, that she wasn't as impressed with your company as you were with her. It's presumptuous to assume, therefore, that she's sitting by her computer, phone, or mailbox waiting for your offer of employment.
Any delay in action could cause you to lose your first choice. As such, the HR representative (ideally, the person involved in the interviewing process) should call the prospective employee as soon as the decision about whom to hire has been