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Recruiting? Don't forget to ask these three questions about the candidate's notice period

by , 26 March 2014
When recruiting, it's important that you ask the job applicant about his notice period. The last thing you want is to find the perfect candidate and then discover he won't be able to start at the time you'd anticipated. Here are three crucial questions you should ask him about his notice period.

Always ask about the applicants notice period when recruiting

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says 'once you've created a short list of candidates by assessing their applications against the job requirements and choosing those candidates that fit the brief the best, you're ready to start interviewing.'

One of the important questions to ask during interviews relates to the candidate's notice period.

To do that, make sure you ask the applicant these three questions….

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Ask these three questions about the candidate's notice period

Question #1: Can you start immediately?

This is more relevant if the applicant isn't currently employed;

Question #2: Do you have a notice period?

You would ask this question if, for example, the candidate is currently employed, but in a temporary or contract position.

Question #3: What type of notice period do you have?

This applies if the applicant is currently permanently employed.

Make sure you keep these points in mind when it comes to the candidate's notice period:

  • Four weeks' notice means that, for example, the candidate can give in notice on the 8th of April and leave four weeks later. This is in line with Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA);
  • One calendar month means the applicant can only give in notice on the first working day of the month. You must be careful of this as you might have to wait up to two months for the applicant if you don't make an offer in good time;
  • If the applicant states two weeks or 24 hours, ask why. Unless they've been in their current job for less than six months, this generally isn't acceptable in terms of the law.

If you want to avoid surprises when you've found the perfect candidate for the job, be sure to ask these three questions about the applicants notice period from the onset.



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