This document sets out the procedures which Heads of Departments, Schools, Centres and Sections should follow when making appointments to all posts, with the exception of those to academic staff. Further reference to Department should be read to include School and Centre.
Please ensure that you also refer to and follow the Code of Practice on Equal Opportunities in relation to recruitment and selection.
The Chair of a Selection Panel is responsible for ensuring that all stages of the recruitment process are carried out correctly and within the requirements of the law and University policy, and they must have received University recruitment and selection training. It is mandatory that all other members of selection panels have also received relevant training. If any part of the process is delegated to others, the Chair must ensure those involved have been trained or briefed in their responsibilities.
It is the responsibility of staff on selection and recruitment panels to declare to the Chair, at the earliest possible opportunity, any relationship they may have, or have had, with an applicant. This is to ensure that there is no conflict of interest or unfair advantage gained during the recruitment process. See Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of Staff for further information.
A handbook, entitled "Recruitment and selection, equality and diversity" is available on the Human Resources website.
If you require further assistance at any stage you should contact the link Recruitment Officer responsible for your Department/Section/Centre for information and/or advice.
Obtaining Permission to Recruit/Replace:
Before a post can be advertised, permission must be obtained to make an appointment. Depending on the nature of the post this permission should be obtained in one of the following ways:
Posts within Administrative Sections
Replacement posts, on Grades 1-6, which are university funded and cost neutral should be approved by the link HR Manager. Guidance, together with the Request to Recruit form can be found on the Human Resources website.
If the post is not cost neutral, or is on Grades 7-11, permission should be obtained from the Registrar and Secretary by using the Request to Recruit form.
Posts within Faculties
For all new or replacement posts based within Academic Departments, permission should be obtained from the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Externally funded posts
For all new or replacement posts evidence should be provided to show that a grant to cover the cost of the appointment has been awarded to the University.
Job Evaluation (HERA):
It has been agreed that all new or re-structured posts should be job evaluated prior to the commencement of the recruitment process.; In such cases, Heads of Departments/Sections should complete the Role Outline form (copy to be found on the HERA website on the HR homepage). This form, together with the job description for the post, should then be sent to the Deputy Director of Human Resources. The post will then be evaluated and a grading allocated - normally within 10 days of the form being received in HR.
Please note that Research posts should be evaluated by reference to the national role profiles, so there is no requirement to undertake HERA evaluation for these posts.
Any post which is for six months duration or more must be advertised externally. The only exception is for those research posts where funding has been allocated for a named individual. This requirement may be varied only with the express permission of the Director of Human Resources. However, it is expected that recruitment to all posts is undertaken in line with best practice, in a transparent way, with short-term posts being advertised internally and that shortlisting and interviewing undertaken with reference to university procedures.
When the appropriate permission has been obtained you should send the following information to your Recruitment Officer by email:
- a completed Advertising Request Form
- draft advertisement
- job description, person specification and information about the Department/Section project you may wish to include that will put the role in a context for candidates.
Blank templates in the approved University format are below. Please note that the recruitment team will add standard information relating to working at the University.
These documents must be with your link Recruitment Officer at least 10 working days before the first date you wish your advertisement to appear. For some journal publications and newspapers it may be necessary to submit your proposed advertisement considerably earlier. Please contact your link Recruitment Officer if you need guidance or advice on suitable publications/websites and/or deadlines.
The advertisement should be drawn up in the approved University format and your link Recruitment Officer will be responsible for placing it in the appropriate publications or websites. Please note that while external printed adverts are restricted to a single paragraph, information posted on the University and other websites may be more detailed. Both the job description and person specification should also follow the approved format. If full information is not provided this may delay the placing of your advertisement.
A closing date of two weeks for local publications, and three weeks for national publications is recommended to allow time for candidates to read the advertisement, consider the Job Pack, and complete their application online before the closing date. For senior appointments that may attract international staff, a 28 day advertising period is recommended in order to satisfy Home Office requirements should a work permit be required.
Planning the interview date:
When planning your recruitment timetable please ensure that you allow sufficient time after the closing date to decide on a shortlist and inform your link Recruitment Officer of the candidate names. At least ten working days are required between the date you notify the Recruitment team of your shortlist and the interview date.
At least two people must be involved in shortlisting.
We encourage all interview panel members to use the University online recruitment system to shortlist. You will be able to view applications as they come in and the system can be accessed from anywhere with internet access. The Head of Department/Section or recruiting manager should inform their Recruitment Officer of the names of members of the shortlisting panel so they can be given access to the system.
It may be possible, in exceptional circumstances, for the Recruitment team to provideyDepartments/Sections with one set of hard copy applications after the closing date, however this may take up to 3 working days.
Shortlisting should be carried out using the information contained in the applications and the panel should select candidates who best meet the essential criteria, as set out in the Job Pack. When necessary you should apply the 'desirable criteria' to help you to reduce your shortlist to a manageable number. A Shortlisting Grid will be provided to the Head of Department/Section with the 'post closed' email and this should be returned to the Recruitment team within 10 working days of your planned interview date. An Interview Plan form (providing information on the interview, proposed assessment activities and other relevant information) should be completed and returned at the same time.
The University is proud to have received Two Ticks 'positive about disabled people' accreditation and have agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees. Candidates who have requested consideration under Two Ticks will be identified on the Shortlisting Grid. If they meet the essential criteria outlined in the Person Specification they must be invited for interview. If the desirable criteria have been used to reduce the number of interviews, Two Ticks candidates must not be considered in this process. For further information about your responsibilities in recruitment under the Two Ticks accreditation please use this link.
Inviting Candidates to Interview:
Once a shortlist has been drawn up the Chair of the selection panel should inform the Recruitment Officer by returning a completed shortlisting grid and interview plan. Together these provide information on:
- shortlisted candidates
- names of any reserve candidates, in order of suitability;
- interview date and suggested timetable;
- details of any tests, presentations or tasks;
- the name of the contact person in the Department/Section who will collect candidates from Visitor Reception when they arrive.
These details should be provided at least ten working days before your proposed interview date.
The Recruitment team will email shortlisted applicants to invite them to attend for interview and will send the Selection Panel an interview schedule for the day once all candidates have confirmed their attendance. Please note that Departments/Sections are responsible for making their own domestic arrangements, eg. booking interview rooms, refreshments, etc. Human Resources has a meeting room which may be booked for interviews, subject to availability, but this must be requested in advance and Departments/Sections must make their own domestic arrangements, including setting out the room.
All candidates who have been unsuccessful at application stage will be notified by email by the Recruitment team.
Chairs of Selection Panels and all members of interview committees must have completed Recruitment and Selection training. We currently offer termly Briefing Sessions. Alternatively there is an online interactive course "Recruitment and Selection Essentials" covering the same ground (please contact Staff Development for further details).
It is recommended that any other members of staff involved in the recruitment process, such as tour guides or staff administering tasks or tests, also complete Recruitment and Selection training before any involvement with candidates.
At least two people should be involved in the interview process and the Chair should ensure that there is a gender mix. During the interview, panel members may wish to take notes and use of a grid is recommended for this purpose (template available on the HR website). Once the interview process is complete, the Chair must complete an Interview Decision Grid providing a summary of the reasons for selecting and rejecting candidates. This must be returned to the Recruitment team immediately after the interviews. Increasingly, unsuccessful candidates are requesting feedback and this information is used to provide more detailed information.
The Recruitment team expect to take up only the references of the successful candidate. Posts should therefore be offered subject to the receipt of satisfactory references.
For Research posts the Recruitment team will take up the references of those candidates short-listed for interview on request, providing sufficient timescale is allowed. In these circumstances, references will be circulated to the Chair of the interview panel shortly before interviews take place.
Making an Offer:
Once interviews have been completed, the Head of Department/Section or recruiting manager should contact their link Recruitment Officer to confirm who they wish to appoint, the proposed start date and any other relevant information. They should do this before any contact is made with the successful candidate. It is usual for the recruiting manager to contact the successful candidate by phone or email but the appropriate level of salary must be agreed with the Recruitment Officer before an offer is made. Salaries for research posts are usually recommended by the grantholder, and need to be within the confines of the research grant and confirmed by the Research Office. Appointment of new members of staff are subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period.
Only in exceptional circumstances will a candidate be able to commence the appointment before references or a Criminal Record Disclosure Check (where appropriate) have been received by the Recruitment team. It is important that in any contact with the successful candidate it is made clear that any offer made at this stage is provisional and subject to written confirmation from Human Resources. You should be aware that the University cannot employ anyone without seeing evidence of their 'right to work' in the UK. Should consideration be being given to appointing a non-EEA national the Head of Department/Section should contact the link Recruitment Officer to discuss whether a Certificate of Sponsorship can be obtained andor to confirm the individual has provided evidence to demonstrate their right to work.
The Head of Department/Section must complete an appointment form. upon receipt of which a provisional offer letter will be sent by the Recruitment team to the successful candidate. When all the necessary documentation is completed the successful candidate will be sent a contract of employment which will be copied to the relevant HoD/HoS/Manager.
In order to complete the appointment process the Head of Department/Section should check the formal qualifications of the person appointed, in line with those required in the essential criteria of the further particulars. Copies of any qualification certificates should be retained on Departmental files.
Once the successful candidate has accepted the post, the Recruitment team will email all unsuccessful candidates. However, where there are internal applicants it is University practice for the Chair of the interview panel to provide personal feedback - this should be agreed with the Recruitment Officer prior to action.
Personal notes taken by interview panel members should be destroyed on completion of the selection process.
Deputy Director of Human Resources