Making alternative arrangements
If your industry allows, set up your new starter so they can work from home. Arrange for other team members to contact your new starter to help keep loneliness and isolation at bay. A virtual coffee together or quick face-to-face video chat online first thing in the morning can help your new starter feel more like they’re part of the team.
Is working from home not practical in your business? Make sure your new starter is up to date on the specific hygiene and requirements for protective equipment in your workplace to minimise the chance of contraction.
Changing the offer
At the moment, things seem to be changing by the day, and it’s likely the circumstances in which you made the offer to your new starter, have shifted significantly. Perhaps your business’ financial forecast is not looking great or the way your employees’ work has changed.
If so, postponing the start date of your new employee may be an option to relieve some of the operational pressures on your business until things are looking up again. Here, open communication is key: talk to your new starter, be transparent about the circumstances and ask if they would agree on a delayed start.
If it’s no longer feasible to take on a new hire, it’s possible to withdraw the offer of employment. This is a lot easier if the other party hasn’t yet signed a contract, as the agreement isn’t legally binding until this happens.
If they have signed a contract, you can withdraw the offer if there’s no longer a need for the position in your business – a bit like a redundancy. In this situation, it’s best to seek legal advice before you act.
Hiring new team members can be a delicate matter, even at the best of times. With a little extra planning and clear direction, you can manage the process during the pandemic, and protect both your business and your new starter.
Do you have more questions about running your business during the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out our dedicated resource hub.