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Selecting an Applicant and Making an Offer

Making an Offer

It’s not unreasonable to ask candidates to attend a second interview (either by phone or in person), or an informal meeting if you are having trouble deciding who to employ. If you don’t feel that any of the candidates suit your needs, don’t simply employ ‘the best of a bad bunch’.

You might find you end up going through the recruiting process again for the same role sooner than you would like, which could cost you both time and money. Sometimes, it can be better not to employ anyone and fill the gap with casual staff until a more suitable applicant can be found.

After deciding on the appropriate person, it’s time to make an offer. Remember, it’s important that you do not make an offer of employment during the interview process.

Step 1 : Formal offer

You should send a formal offer of employment (see sample letter below) via post or email. With the letter of offer, you will need to include a copy of  the Employment Contract and  Position Description

To save time, you might want to call the candidate first to confirm that they are still interested in the position before sending the formal offer.


Don’t tell candidates that they haven’t been successful until your preferred candidate has formally accepted the offer of employment. Your first choice might get another offer or may not be able to accept the position for some reason. You may need to make an offer to your second choice.

Step 2: Contact all applicants

Once your preferred candidate has accepted the job, all interviewed candidates should be contacted by phone and informed that they have been unsuccessful.

Step 3: Get the paperwork signed

Ensure that the successful candidate signs the letter of offer and a written contract before commencing work. This is important. If a contract is signed after the person has started working, it can later be argued that the some of the terms of the contract are invalid.

Refer to the Employment Contracts and Awards sections for further information on contracts and the conditions of employment.



Realistically, an employee can’t be expected to walk into a new job and be 100% effective from the first day – effectiveness grows with understanding of the farm and the details of its operation.

Overall, employees perform better and are more likely to stay in the job longer, when they are clear about what is expected of them from the beginning. This is one of the reasons it is important to make sure that all employees receive appropriate induction training.


Make sure employees know who they can ask, or where they can go, if they need any further information after the induction process. It’s important that an induction is an ongoing process and that employees continue to receive support in a new role, it shouldn’t be something that is simply ticked off on the first day and never revisited.

Take your time to introduce your new employee to your workplace and their job. An induction checklist, such as the one below, will help you remember the important things to cover during the induction. These include:

  • paperwork, such as completing an employee details form
  • rosters, time sheets, and applying for Leave
  • terms and conditions of employment – position description and employment contract
  • farm policies and systems (see Safety for more information)
  • a copy of The Fair Work Information Statement and The National Employment Standards Introduction (See Awards  section for more information)
  • OH&S procedures
  • farm tour and general information
  • introductions to farm staff (explaining their roles and responsibilities), contractors, suppliers, owners and management
  • a walk-through of specific job tasks
  • a copy of the farms Code of Conduct

Probationary period

When you hire someone new, it’s best practice to have a 3 month probation period. During probation, new employees should be closely supervised, trained and assessed to see if they’re suitable for the job.

Written position descriptions are important here because they set guidelines and expectations and should be used as the basis of assessing performance.

A probation period doesn’t affect your employees’ entitlements including Leave or notice of Termination. Full and part-time employees who don’t pass their probation are entitled to at least one weeks’ notice of termination and accrued annual leave paid out.


The industrial relations legislation in Australia has changed a number of times over recent years. This page contains the most recent information available at this time but please subscribe to the Fair Work Australia website for regular IR updates. If you are unsure, always check with your legal adviser or state farming organisation.


Fair Work Australia – Website