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Recruitment

We are committed to recruiting the highest quality staff to meet the organisation’s business requirements, its core values and legislative responsibilities. We are an equal opportunity employer, and selection decisions are made on the basis of merit, clearly defined and appropriate selection criteria, and procedural fairness.  

Throughout the recruitment process, HR Services will provide advice, guidance and support to recruiting managers and will also be responsible for advertising vacancies, supporting senior appointments processes, carrying out pre employment checks and issuing contract documentation.

The occurrence of a vacancy is an opportunity to review the necessity for the post and its duties, responsibilities and grade. Where the duties of a post have changed departments must seek confirmation from the Pay and Reward Team of the appropriate grade for the post.

When a vacancy arises, consideration must be given to staff whose posts are being made redundant and for whom redeployment is being sought.

Recruitment is a multi stage process that needs to be well planned. Those involved should determine a realistic timetable for key events in the process:

  • Advertising
  • Closing date for applications
  • Short listing
  • Selection tests
  • Interviewing
  • Offer of employment

In normal circumstances recruitment will take place when a vacancy occurs or the need for temporary cover arises. This occurs for one of a number of reasons:

  • An employee leaves an existing post
  • An employee decides to job share or reduce hours
  • An employee is sick for a long period
  • An employee takes maternity leave
  • A new post is established
  • An employee is suspended

Recruitment should not be deemed the automatic reaction to the receipt of an individual’s resignation or to any of the above circumstances. Time should be taken to consider whether it is appropriate to recruit to the same post, on the same scale in the same structure. Alternatively it should be looked as an opportunity to review current work practices and the fundamental design of a job or a number of jobs.  

Whenever a job vacancy arises those responsible, before making a decision to recruit, must give careful consideration to a number of questions such as:

  • Is there a definite need for the post?
  • Does the vacancy create an opportunity to review the job content or reallocate accountabilities?
  • Is the post consistent with the departmental business plan?
  • Is the post consistent with our Welsh Language Skills Strategy?
  • Is the post within the approved structure?
  • Is there sufficient funding for the post?
  • Have alternative working arrangements been considered?
  • Should the post be filled on a permanent or temporary basis?
  • Would the post be suitable for a Job Share arrangement?
  • Would the post be particularly suitable for individuals involved in government employment initiatives?

For example:

In the case of an individual taking maternity leave or long-term absence the following should be considered:

  • Secondment or development opportunities
  • It could be beneficial to suggest that individuals ‘act up’ and if necessary bring in cover at lower levels which may be more cost effective
  • The appropriateness of awarding additional payments

The above considerations provide a means of looking at existing skills within the workforce, enabling and promoting the development of employees which demonstrates the value and commitment we place on supporting our employees.

Authorisation needs to be obtained before a role is cleared for advertising. All recruitment requests, including requests for temporary posts and agency placements, are to be approved by the respective Departmental Accountant, Head of Service and Director using the online system Permission to Advertise/Advertising System.

 

Before advertising a post, recruiting managers must review existing or develop a new bilingual job profile with reference to the Language Skills framework (both documents and guidance can be found in the Downloads and Templates)

The new amended job profile should be forwarded on to the Pay and Reward Team for grading.

Your advertisement will, as a general rule, be available as a Redeployment opportunity first (so that staff who are at risk of losing their job are given the first opportunity to apply if suitable). If you fail to appoint through the Redeployment process then vacancies will usually be advertised internally, only proceeding to external advertisement if no suitable applicants are appointed from within.

Advertisements should be designed to attract all the people who have the experience, qualifications and aptitude to fulfil the role. Text should be based on an up-to-date job description and employee specification and should not include additional or irrelevant requirements.

The advertisement should explain clearly and briefly what the job involves and what qualifications, skills and experience are essential to do the job. The advertisements should be designed to encourage self-selection and should be non-discriminatory.

The advertisement should include the following points:

  • Post title and Number
  • Salary range
  • Work location
  • Key duties and functions of the post
  • details of the essential person specification
  • Language Skill requirements
  • the necessity of a disclosure and barring service check, if required
  • Whether the post is temporary or permanent
  • Whether the post is a whole time, part time or job share
  • Where and how to obtain an application form
  • A telephone contact point if potential applicants wish to discuss any issues
  • Closing date for applications

The new online Permission to Advertise system (please refer to "Authority to Appoint") will return to the Recruiting Manager once all permissions have been granted in order to complete the advertising details online.

 

All applicants will be required to complete an on-line application form. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Short listing is the first stage of the selection process. It is the process of evaluating applications to determine the most suitable applicants for interview. These will be the applicants that most closely match your needs as defined in the person specification. Further advice regarding shortlisting can be sought in the attached Shortlist Guidance.

All short-listing should be completed by the recruiting manager who should ensure that:

  • Candidates must not be excluded from the short list on the grounds of age, racial origin, sex or disability except where such disqualification is already written into the employee specification.
  • Short-listing should be undertaken by those individuals to be involved in the interview process against the predetermined criteria in the employee specification using a Shortlisting Marking Form.
  • Individuals who do not meet the essential criteria should not be short-listed in the first instance. If there are deemed to be no individuals who meet the essential criteria, advice and guidance should be sought from Human Resources.
  • Reasons for not short listing are recorded as applicants may request feedback or in certain circumstances challenge the decision.
  • The short listing process should be completed within 5 working days of the closing date.
  • RM should allow sufficient time to allow the interview to be arranged and provide the shortlisted candidates with a minimum of 10 days notice of the interview date.

Upon completion of the short listing, the recruiting manager should complete the Shortlisting Form and forward to HR Services who will arrange the next steps.

An automated email will be sent to the shortlisted candidate to advise that they have been shortlisted. A follow up letter will be issued detailing and confirming the arrangements of the interview.  

Unsuccessful candidates will receive an automated email from HR Services.

We operate a ‘Guaranteed Interview’ policy for people with disabilities. This means that if an applicant for a job is disabled and meets all the essential job criteria, then they must be shortlisted and invited for interview, in line with our commitment under the disability symbol.

The selection process and selection methods used will vary according to the vacancy to be filled and based on the requirements of the job. HR Services will provide advice and guidance on appropriate methods which could include:

  • Psychometric tests
  • Presentation on given subject
  • In-tray exercise etc
  • Simulation exercise
  • Online Language Assessments
  • Where it is specified that a certain level of Welsh is required a portion of the selection process will be conducted in Welsh. Where this includes the ability to write in both English and Welsh appropriate tests will be made available.

Applicants should be invited to the interview by letter and given a minimum of 10 days notice before the interview date.

Details should be given about any tests/exercises to be undertaken including reference to the time allocated to the task. Information and timescales should reflect the need to make alternative arrangements should any applicants require any ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Scrutinise application forms - Where the candidate’s application reveals any unexplained gaps in employment or inconsistencies, these should be noted in order to explore with the candidate at interview.

The purpose of the interview is to obtain and assess information about a candidate, which will enable a valid prediction about their suitability for the position. The Applicants capability and suitability in relation to the employee specification can be processed and evaluated using Interview Evaluation Matrix from:

  • Candidates producing required qualification certificate(s)
  • Evidence provided on the application form
  • Experience and personal characteristics obtained during the face-to-face meeting
  • Selection tests and other assessments

All interviewees should be asked the same core questions in addition to follow up questions, which allow more in-depth examination of their skills, abilities and approach to the job. Interviewers should allow ample time to conduct the interview. It is important to allow time for reflection during the timetable.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act it is appropriate to explore possible reasonable adjustments to a post in the light of a candidate’s disability. This should be done separately from the formal interview process, at the end of the agreed interview questions.

Verification and Vetting

At interview candidates will be asked to produce evidence, as prescribed by the Asylum and Immigration Act, relating to their right to work in the UK. HR Services can provide advice and guidance if required.

Candidates will be asked to produce at interview evidence, including certificates, of qualifications noted on the application form. The authenticity of documentation will be checked with relevant awarding body as necessary.

The HR Services Team will take up references, for internal and external applicants, to check employment history, qualifications etc. References should not form part of the selection process and should only be used to verify information once a selection has been made.

Additional checks, including a criminal record check will also be carried out on the successful candidates for posts involving access to children and other vulnerable groups.

Offers of employment will be made conditional on the satisfactory completion of verification procedures.

The recruiting manager is responsible for notifying the successful candidate by telephone.

Following satisfactory references, the successful candidate(s) will receive an offer letter conditional on satisfying the pre-employment checks requirements.

Unsuccessful candidates will be advised of the outcome of the selection process as soon as possible and within 5 working days of the interview with an opportunity to have feedback.

HR/Recruiting Manager Reference Process

All appointments are subject to the receipt of satisfactory references.  The Employment References - Guidance is available and is intended to help you utilise the reference appropriately and make an informed decision during the recruitment process.

Recruiting Managers must follow the reference process detailed below.

For Safeguarding Posts – a safeguarding post requires a DBS check as the post has access to children, young people and/or adults at risk. Following interview and once you have a decision with regards to the ‘preferred candidate’, HR will be requesting references prior to any offer of employment being made.

For all other posts - a provisional offer will be made subject to pre-employment checks.

HR/Recruiting Manager (Panel) Responsibilities

Recruiting Managers’ Responsibility:
• to ensure the referee named is appropriate
• to check the reference
• to undertake telephone validation where necessary   HR Responsibility:
• will provide advice, guidance and administrative support
• will send out reference requests on your behalf
 

Candidates who are unsuccessful at interview stage may request feedback from the recruiting manager. The selection panel must have clear reasons why a candidate is rejected and be prepared to give feedback to candidates if they query the result of their application or request advice.

Any unsuccessful candidate who wishes to know why he/she was unsuccessful should be given the reason.

Application forms, candidate assessment forms and any other documentation forming part of the selection process for candidates must be kept for six months after which they will be destroyed in accordance with retention guidelines.

The Authority’s Employment Checks will be followed through for all successful candidates and before an offer of employment can be confirmed.

The following checks, where appropriate for the role will be carried out:

Once all the employment checks have been completed and the recruiting manager informed, a start date may be agreed and a contract sent to the appointee.

It is important that arrangements are made for the proper induction of new entrants. The recruiting manager will arrange for new entrants to attend a Corporate Welcome event within the first four months of employment and address any local induction requirements at the earliest available opportunity.

All new appointees will be subject to the completion of a satisfactory probationary period as allowed for in the contract of employment, for example, the first six months of employment up to a maximum of 12 months (unless extended in exceptional circumstances). The recruiting manager must implement the Council’s Probationary Policy from the date of commencement.

Upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period the employee will be notified in writing that they will be transferred to the permanent staff.

Existing employees who have successfully completed a probationary period will not be subject to a further probationary period should they be appointed to another post following a full recruitment process. In these circumstances the manager should set up regular supervision meetings in order to support and appraise the employee’s performance in the new role. Any performance concerns are to be addressed through the Capability Policy.

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Page updated: 12/05/2020 10:22:30