Recruitment and selection guidance - A step by step guide for managers

The following information is an in-depth guide to the Recruitment and Selection (R&S) process. It explains what you need to cover at each key step in order for the recruitment process to run smoothly.  This is to be used by all recruiting managers in conjunction with the recruitment and selection courses run by OCSLD.  The R&S course is mandatory for anyone sitting on an interview panel.  You will not be eligible to be an active member of an interview panel if you have not attended the 2 day R&S course and/or the 1 day refresher training within the last 3 years.

Recruitment and Selection Process

The Recruitment and Selection process goes through the following main steps.   

1. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Valuing the differences between people and understanding the positive benefits for the University of employing a diverse range of talented people is crucial.  A positive approach to diversity allows managers to select the best person for the job based on merit alone and free from bias on the grounds of factors that are not relevant to the person’s ability to do the job. 

It is essential to be aware of the legal requirements that underpin the recruitment and selection process.  The following paragraphs describe the types of discrimination which can occur during  recruitment and selection.  The purpose of these descriptions is to allow recruiting managers to be self-aware and challenge their own beliefs and bias as well as enable panels to have discussions around the recruitment process which will alleviate the possibility of discrimination occurring.


Discrimination in recruitment and selection may occur when decisions are based on arbitrary or irrelevant requirements, or as a result of unconscious bias.   Applicants are statutorily protected against discrimination by the Equality Act 2010 on the grounds of any of the following characteristics:

  • age
  • gender reassignment
  • disability
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion and belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

The types of discrimination that are relevant to recruitment and selection are direct discrimination including associative and perceptive, indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from disability and failure to make a reasonable adjustment.  The burden of proof is with the employer to show that they haven’t unlawfully discriminated on any of the grounds covered by the legislation.

Direct discrimination

Unlawful direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Direct discrimination usually entails a deliberate act against an individual or group and disregards their ability, or suitability for the job.  The concept of direct discrimination does not allow a distinction to be made between acts of discrimination performed for perceived benign reasons (for example, managers being reluctant to select women into areas of male-dominated work for fear that they may be subjected to harassment) and those acts which are derived from prejudice or hostility. Direct discrimination occurs whenever membership of a particular group is used as a basis for making a decision about that person, and they are treated less favourably as a result.

For example women applicants may possibly infer that they are being discriminated against if they are asked questions about their domestic circumstances or childcare arrangements. Similarly minority ethnic applicants may possibly infer that they are being discriminated against if they are asked how they, as a minority ethnic person, would deal with predominantly white colleagues or students. 

Association and perception

Direct discrimination can also take place because of a protected characteristic that a person does not personally have.  A person can be discriminated against because of their association with a person who has a protected characteristic, or because they are wrongly perceived to have one, or treated as if they do.  For example, someone who is the carer of a disabled relative may be thought to need more time off work.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement is applied generally and equally to all groups, but may lead to discrimination because the proportion of one group who can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of people not in that group who can comply with it. The application of such a requirement or condition would be unlawful if it cannot be shown to be justifiable or necessary for satisfactory job performance.

Examples of indirect discrimination are:

  • Applying a maximum age restriction; for example an age restriction of 28 would have the effect of excluding more women than men, as many women take time out of work in their twenties and thirties to look after children.
  • Requiring applicants for a post of Dean of Faculty to have ten years’ experience as a Principal Lecturer. Requiring excessively long experience at a senior level excludes many woman and minority ethnic applicants because relatively few of them have been able to acquire this experience in the post.
  • Requiring candidates for a straightforward support post to take an English test. An applicant for whom English is a second language would be less likely to pass the test.
  • Using word of mouth as the primary source of recruitment to certain posts may disadvantage certain groups such as black and minority ethnic or female candidates.

Disability discrimination

Under the Equality Act a disabled person is anyone with “a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out day-to-day activities”.

Failing to make a reasonable adjustment
The university has a duty to make reasonable adjustments where a provision, criterion or practice and/or any physical features of the premises cause a substantial disadvantage for a disabled person in comparison with persons who are not disabled.  The University also supports the ‘Positive about Disabled People’ scheme (the Two Ticks system) which means we guarantee to interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy.  Applicants invited to interview under the scheme will be asked if they will require any reasonable adjustments to be made for the interview process.

An employer cannot justify discrimination for a reason related to a person’s disability if a reasonable adjustment would have prevented the reason from arising in the first place. For example, a manager rejects a job applicant because he or she has a mobility restriction, which will make it difficult for him or her to hand deliver confidential internal documents. This duty forms a regular and significant part of the job but could easily be reallocated to another person. If the employer fails to consider reallocation of the duties, it is unlikely they will to be able to justify the disability related discrimination.

For details on definitions of a disability, examples of reasonable adjustment and considerations in determining reasonableness, as well as further advice and guidance, please contact your link HR Manager.

University monitoring

An equal opportunities monitoring procedure is in operation to monitor the relative success of different categories of applicants. The results of the monitoring are published as part of the annual Diversity Report and are used to ensure that the policy and procedures are fairly constructed and applied.
If any evidence of differential impact is identified then the university will take steps to;

  • Remove discriminatory processes and procedures
  • Modify processes and procedures in such a way as to prevent it reoccurring

Applicants who have reason to believe that they have been unfairly discriminated against on any of the protected characteristics should inform the Vice-Chancellor normally within one month of the date of the interview. He/she shall then arrange for the matter to be investigated thoroughly and inform the applicant of the result of the investigation.

2. Vacancy

What to do when a vacancy arises

Vacancies can arise for many reasons.  A post may become vacant due to resignation, maternity/adoption leave or employee secondment.  When a vacancy arises you need to ask yourself the following -

  • Can the duties and tasks be reallocated?
  • Are there any part-time staff who wish to increase their hours?
  • Has your vacancy arisen from receiving a named research grant? - If so please see below

If the answers are no you will need to review the job description of the vacant post to ensure it is up to date and ready to go to the next stage of the recruitment and selection process. 

Named research grants

Where a person is named on a grant it will not be necessary to advertise the post provided a peer reviewed funding agreement or similar document is provided to HR upon request.  The principal that the university works to is that the funding is conditional on the named person being on the project.

Reviewing job descriptions (JD’s)

A Job Description outlines the main duties, responsibilities and conditions applicable to the post in question.  It is essential that it focuses on the role itself and not the individual who may perform the job.  Additional information, for example, contextual information relating to the department/post/incumbent should be appended to the document and not included with it.

As a guide the JD should ideally be no more than a single side of A4 and should not contain more than 10 duties. 

If when reviewing a JD there are significant amendments to be made to the duties and functions then a new job description should be written, with the differences highlighted and forwarded to Human Resources (HR) for re-evaluation, explaining where these added duties have come from.  If these duties have come from another role, that JD may need to be forwarded too.  

Any post not graded in the last two years must be re-graded even if the JD has not been changed.  JDs can only be graded once in a 12 month period.  Please see step 3. Grading for further details

Person specifications (PS’s)

The PS provides a profile of the personal skills and abilities needed for the role and acts as a framework to assess each candidate against.  It will form the basis for the advert along with the JD.  Candidates will be short-listed and interviewed against these criteria so it is essential they are correct at this point in the process.

Points to consider when writing a PS:

  • ensure the requirements are related to the JD
  • the requirements cannot seek to exclude or diminish certain groups unnecessarily as this may amount to unfair indirect discrimination
  • the requirements need to be clear, specific and justifiable so that the meaning cannot be misinterpreted
  • they should be quality based explaining skills, abilities and relevance of experience rather than length of experience
  • experience specific to Brookes should be avoided
  • think about how each requirement can be assessed, measured, checked or tested, as candidates will be considered against these both in their application form and at interview
  • be specific and realistic about what is essential, remember when it comes to short-listing, candidates can only be short-listed if they meet ALL of the essential criteria.  As a result of this there may occasionally be more desirable items than essential ones
  • ensure the specification is credible.  Does such a person exist?
  • think about how skills and experience might be demonstrated other than through qualifications
  • what qualities are needed to cope with difficult parts of the job?

Further guidance for writing job descriptions and person specifications can be found in the Adpack. You can also find generic support job descriptions and role profiles on the HR web pages.

3. Grading

Grading is a job evaluation system in place across the university.  It applies to all posts and ensures that they are evaluated systematically and objectively.

Any post that has not been graded in the last two years must be re-graded even if the JD has not been changed.  JDs can only be graded once in a 12 month period.  We would advise you liaise with your link HR Manager in the first instance to see if grading is applicable.  If your post does need to be graded you will need to forward the completed job description and person specification to them and they will then liaise with the Grading Review Panel.

See the following link for an up to date list of when the Grading Review Panel sits.

4. Redeployment

Before a post can be advertised, it must be sent to the Redeployment panel.  Once your vacant post has been graded, an advertising pack (ad-pack) must be compiled and sent to HR for processing and submitting to redeployment.  The ad-pack consists of:

  • advertising checklist
  • job description
  • person specification
  • advert
  • any other additional information that is to be sent to applicants about the role/department

All ad-packs must be signed off by the Dean/Director and the nominated authorised signatory from Finance before it can be processed. 

The redeployment panel will look at the person specification of the post and where there are redeployees with similar skills and experience, match them to the role.  Only when it has been established there are no suitable/interested redeployees will your vacancy be released for advertisement. 

See the redeployment webpage for full details.

Please note - All vacant posts in the university must be sent to redeployment and advertised if released from redeployment unless they are:

a. fixed term/casual posts of less than 3 months duration

b. variable hours contracts

c. when a fixed term appointment is made permanent.  This can only be made permanent at the discretion of the director of HR and only if the fixed term appointment was made through an open R&S process and the post holder has been interviewed by a properly constituted panel.

d. someone on a named research grant (please see above).

5. Advertisement

Once steps 1- 4 have been completed, and the redeployment panel have confirmed that your post has been released, you will be ready to advertise your vacant post. 

Job Share

The university states that all full-time posts are suitable for job sharing, unless expressly excluded. Guidelines and procedures on Job sharing are included in the flexible working policy. If the responsible manager believes a post is unsuitable for job sharing, he/she should make the case in writing to the Directorate of Human Resources before the recruitment exercise begins.

Where to advertise

All posts will be advertised on the Brookes website, on, on Twitter, in the local job centre and in local diversity networks.  All advertising costs will come out of the individual faculty/directorate budgets.

In addition to the above there are a range of other places you can advertise in:

Local press - This is suitable for posts graded at 6 and below and is more suitable for support roles than academic.  HR can offer advice on whether this is suitable. 

National press - This is more appropriate for high level roles of grade 9 and above.  The most popular are currently the Times Higher and the Guardian.  More cost effective methods can be found using the papers website only packages.  HR can offer advice on whether this is suitable. 

Specialist magazines and journals - These are the perfect place to advertise jobs that are inclined towards a specific career.  It is more appropriate to use this for high level jobs.

Online job boards - e.g. Monster, Total Jobs, or more specific ones such as Personnel Today.  Websites are increasingly using targeted software, which utilises cookies, enabling them to track other sites their viewers have looked at.  This information allows them to target applicants more effectively with adverts, ensuring that the people who see your advert, are the people it is more likely to be relevant for.

Targeted e-shots - This is where people who have registered with a particular site are sent a targeted email specifically about the role.  These are popular because candidates who have registered are actively looking for a job and the e-shots are only sent to those who match the skills required for the role. 

Lifestyle/social networking sites - This can be tailored to be seen by specific viewers.

Your Link HR Team will be able to offer advice on where to advertise and can liaise with the advertising agency to determine where would give the best results, for advertising advice and costs.

Resident Labour Market Test

Please note:   If there is any possibility that your role will be filled by a non EEA national, that will require the university to apply for a certificate of sponsorship, you must be able to prove that a Resident Labour Market Test was carried out.

The university can only recruit a non EEA migrant to a vacancy by proving that no suitably qualified settled worker can fill it.

In order to meet the resident labour market test, all jobs must be:

  • advertised to settled workers externally for a minimum of 28 calendar days
  • advertised in Jobcentre Plus
  • advertised using one other method permitted in the relevant code of practice for the job.   Please note currently the university meets this method by advertising all roles on

For more in depth information please see the Immigration web pages.

Application forms

During the period that your vacancy is advertised applications will be logged and filed by your Link HR Team.  All applicants are required to complete the university application form and an equal opportunities monitoring form.  This is because:

  • it enables applicants to provide answers to pre-determined criteria
  • essential details such as references are often omitted from CVs
  • it is uniform and structured which enables short-listing panels to compare applications more fairly
  • there is a signed declaration that the information is accurate and true
  • it enables the university to capture equal opportunities information which complies with the Equality Act 2010 and gathers essential HESA statistics
  • the monitoring form may reveal a disability that requires special arrangements for interviews.

CVs can be accepted in addition to an application form.

Late application forms

Applications received after the post has been closed will not be considered unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example, if a low number of application forms have been received a late application may be accepted.

6. Short-list

Closing date

On the next working day after the closing date of the advertised vacancy, your Link HR Team will close the position and create a short-listing pack.  This will be sent in the internal post to the person named in the ad-pack.  If preferred it can be collected at the end of the day from the HR Offices at the Wheatley Campus.  This will need to be agreed before the closing date.

The short-listing pack consists of:

  • a list of applicants
  • the original application for each applicant
  • an essential criteria short-listing grid
  • a desirable criteria short-listing grid
  • a JD and PS
  • an interview information form.

Who must short-list?

Short-listing should be co-ordinated by the recruiting manager in consultation with the colleagues who will be involved in the formal interviews.   Short-listing should be performed by 2 panel members including the chair and one other member, individually first, then together as a group comparing each candidate and completing a final short-listing grid for all candidates.  The short-listing forms should be used for this and for record keeping purposes to show the candidates have been fairly treated and judged against the PS.  Only the final short-listing grids should be sent to HR.  Please also see The Panel (under section 7) for further details.


Short-listing should be undertaken as soon as possible after the closing date, but within 21 days.  Applicants are advised that if they do not hear from us within 21 days of the closing date, they should assume that they have been unsuccessful.  You must also ensure that you leave 15 working days between HR receiving the completed short-listing paperwork and the interview date.  This is so that candidates are given as much notice as possible in order to prepare for their interview.

The short-listing process

The short-listing panel must decide which criteria will be used for short-listing purposes and agree what the relevant evidence of this will look like.  These decisions should be made clear on the short-listing forms. 

Applications should be short-listed/not short-listed on the basis of the criteria defined in the Person Specification.

If an application form does not show clearly whether an employee meets all of the essential criteria, because although they have provided information to suggest they may meet a particular criterion the evidence itself is not detailed enough, but it can be tested at interview, then a question mark can be entered instead of a tick or cross.  However if a question mark is used, then when it comes to short-listing candidates for interview, all question marks must be considered as ticks.  Therefore think carefully before using a question mark.  A tick or a cross is always preferable.

If a large number of applicants meet all the essential criteria of the post, then the desirable criteria can be used to help short-list candidates.  It is not necessary to use desirables if there are a small number of applicants.

You may want to test particular skills/criteria at interview by carrying out a skills exercise or presentation because it is not possible to test from the application form.  If this is the case and you will not be using that criterion to short-list from the application form you will need to cross through that whole criteria column and make it clear on the paperwork this is something you will test at interview only. 

**Candidates who do not meet all the essential criteria cannot be short-listed, unless the criteria can only be assessed through an interview**

If an internal candidate is not short-listed they must be informed and given feedback by the responsible manager before the interviews take place.

Notes can be made on the short-listing forms as an aide memoir.  All notes must be appropriate and non-judgemental as all notes could be seen by applicants at a later stage.

Two ticks

The university supports the “Positive about Disabled People” scheme (the two ticks system).  This shows the university is committed to encouraging disabled people to apply for jobs.  We ensure that any applicant who considers themselves to have a disability under the Two Ticks scheme and who meets all the essential criteria on the Person Specification is guaranteed an interview, even if there are better candidates who have met the criteria but have not been invited to interview.  Applicants who fall into this category will be highlighted to recruiting managers on the list of applicants given as part of the short-listing pack. 

Interview information form

When the short-listing grids have been completed you should complete the interview information form, showing who has been short-listed, the panel composition and the times, date and detail of the interviews to be held.  This should be returned to HR along with all the application forms and short-listing grids.  It is recommended that no more than six applicants be interviewed in one day.  It is important to ensure that your timetable for the interviews is realistic.  At least 45 minutes to an hour should be allowed per interview longer for more senior roles.  You will also need to allow adequate time between each interview for a break and to write up notes.

7. Interview

Interview paperwork

On receiving the short-listing paperwork your Link HR Team will write to candidates inviting them to interview and also write to referees.  They will then create a chair pack containing copies of application forms with references where returned, an eligibility checklist, an interview schedule and interview assessment forms for each candidate.  The pack also contains information about the benefits of working for Brookes, salary grades, relocation and other useful information.  This will be sent to the chair of the panel one week before the interview to disseminate amongst the other members of the panel.

The panel

All panel members must have attended the Oxford Brookes recruitment & selection course or a refresher within the last three years.  If this is not the case they cannot be an active member of the interview panel.  They may only observe.

Panels should be kept as small as possible otherwise they can be intimidating for candidates and difficult to manage.  Where a large number of people need to be involved think about whether you can split it into two interviews instead.  As an alternative you might wish to involve some people in the testing process.  Where practicable there should be an appropriate mix of panel members e.g. gender.

Where a candidate who has been short-listed is known personally to a panel member this information should be disclosed and guidance obtained from HR.

A pre-meeting should be held by the panel to review the short-list and prepare for the interview procedure including questions and allocation of roles and responsibilities on the day.

Please note the chair of the panel has specific responsibilities when carrying out interview.  Please see below for further details.

Composition of interview panels

Interview panels should consist of a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 panel members.  The chair of the panel is usually the recruiting manager and also the prospective line manager of the new recruit.  It may be helpful to have another Faculty/Directorate colleague on the panel and a third from a different Faculty/Directorate.  Some panel chairs also find it useful to appoint a note taker.

When thinking about the composition of interview panels you should keep in mind that this section of the process should not consist of an interview alone. 

NB interview panels that are recruiting for a professorial position will need to have either the Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice Chancellor: Research and Knowledge Exchange on the panel. For Reader appointments the interview panel must include someone nominated by the Professorial Conferment Committee.

An interview should be approximately an hour long and all aspects of the person specification should be tested (except those which are to be tested by other means; see below).  Enough evidence needs to be gathered from all of the selection tools used to allow the panel to effectively select the most suitable candidate.  This evidence can also be used when giving feedback to the candidates.  Enough time should be factored into the day to allow time between the interviews for comfort breaks as well as finishing any note taking necessary.

At least one other selection method should be used from the below list and you should utilise other members of the recruiting department to help facilitate this.

Selection tools can include -

  • word processing notes into a letter format
  • delivering a training session
  • giving a presentation
  • diagnosing an electrical fault
  • using an excel spreadsheet to produce data
  • proof reading a document
  • literacy/numeracy tests
  • delivering a teaching session
  • meeting/viewing the department

Each of these tools may or may not be suitable for your post and for each recruitment you undertake these tools may need altering, however it is of the utmost importance that  you utilise all the tools available in order to allow the best candidate to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

For example:

  • The recruitment to a post at senior staff grade should include an interview, possibly a presentation, a meet and greet of the department, possibly a question and answer session and may quite likely also include a second interview, ideally in person but could also be conducted by telephone or tele-conference.
  • The recruitment to a post such as catering assistant or cleaner should include a shorter interview plus a practical test such as tray carrying/trolley organising or reading the labels on different cleaning materials and identifying their uses.

During all of these assessment methods, evidence should be recorded and participants from the Faculty/Directorate should be briefed on their role by the chair to avoid any uncertainty once the process has been completed.

Please note the University has a separate procedure when appointing Professors and Readers

Panel chair responsibilities

The chair will normally be the recruiting manager and their responsibilities are:

Before the Interview

  • arrange the room, the refreshments and the logistics

During the Interview

  • introduce everyone, explain the format of the interview and lead the interview
  • ensure the interviews are carried out in line with the universities equality, diversity and inclusion statement
  • ensure all candidates are asked the same core questions
  • ensure all questions are job-related and questions relating to domestic circumstances are not asked
  • inform the candidate of the relocation scheme where applicable and other benefits such as pension, annual leave, nursery, NHS dentist etc
  • ensure that a copy of the candidates eligibility to work in the UK is obtained (put link to word document eligibility checklist)
  • close the interview by summarising the process, confirming the candidates notice period, contact details and notifying them of when a decision will be made
  • thank the candidate for attending.

After the Interview

  • ensure that a record is kept of how each candidate is rated against the job requirements.  The interview assessment sheet should be used to do this.  This is extremely important as if a candidate feels they have been discriminated against it is these sheets that will prove the applicant was treated fairly and judged against clear requirements
  • fully complete the interview assessment forms and appointment panel report form and return these along with all interview paperwork and notes the panel have made to HR
  • give feedback to all attendees.

Preparing Questions for the Interview

Before an interview plan carefully the questions that are going to be asked.  It is important that the questions cover all the areas on the PS in order to assess whether the candidate meets all of the essential criteria needed for the post.

When writing questions ensure that you know what response you are anticipating, so that you can fairly assess how full an answer the candidates give.  Be prepared to probe further or reword questions.

All interviews should use open questions which encourage the candidate to talk.  These begin with words like who, what, which, where, why or how, with phrases like ‘tell me about...'

Open questions are useful because they invite expression of ideas, views and opinions and can encourage reticent interviewees to talk.  However they also are more difficult to answer so the interviewee may need thinking time and can also give broad answers.

Behavioural questioning is a good technique to use.  This is based on the idea that the best guide to future performance is past behaviour.  It seeks examples of how an individual has worked previously in order to see whether they will demonstrate the skills required for this job. 

The university has a question bank which can be used to gain ideas on what questions to ask. 

It is important that the questions are not leading or discriminatory.  Beware of asking hypothetical questions as these lead to hypothetical answers which may not reveal much about the interviewee’s actual experience.  Candidates who describe what they ‘might’ do are likely to give textbook answers rather than show what they would do in reality.

Avoid closed questions that invite solely ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, unless these are used to check the answers previously given.

Avoid questions which imply the candidate is going to be treated differently because of their race, sex, age, disability etc.  Be aware of the single equality scheme and Brookes’ equality, diversity and inclusion statement.

Questions may need to be adjusted for disabled candidates.

Key preparation

1.     Plan questions
2.     Cover all of the PS criteria
3.     Decide upon whether other methods of testing will be used and plan accordingly
4.     Panel composition - does it cover a range of experience and expertise?
5.     Ensure roles are allocated and the panel knows who is covering which area/questions?
6.     Agree how note-taking is to be covered
7.     Agree standards that you are looking for in each area.
8.     Ensure venue and seating arrangements are finalised and appropriate and water is available
9.     Anticipate questions from candidates
10.   Allocate enough time between interviews to properly assess and review each candidate.
11.   Arrange for adequate access and seating for any people attending with disabilities

Interview techniques

Remember it is important to allow the interviewee time to think about the answer.  Silences can often appear to be much longer than they actually are, but they are often essential for the candidate to think about the answer.


As a panel, decide the most appropriate method of note-taking - Is the responsibility going to be rotated or will there be an independent note taker?  Remain objective and reserve judgement.  Do not come to a conclusion too early on as evidence may be ignored and only evidence that supports your conclusion may be recorded.

Remember every observer has their own bias, be aware of these and separate personal liking from evidence.

Ensure you record the actual evidence you hear - not judgements.  Later the evidence can be weighed up when going through the interview assessment form.

Be aware of non-verbal communication shown by the candidate - their body language and tone of voice.  Two thirds of communication is non-verbal.

Do not record your opinion of the candidate or anything discriminatory.  In line with data protection laws all notes are legal documents and can be called upon as evidence.

Two-way Interview

Be prepared for any questions the candidate may have to ask both about the role, the department, policies, their contract and working at the university as a whole.

Ending the Interview

It is the chair’s responsibility to round up at the end of interview.  The chair should outline the following:

  • answer any questions the candidate may have
  • clarify the candidate’s notice period
  • outline the next steps including when the panel expect to make a decision
  • confirm how the candidate would prefer to be contacted.

**It is essential that the chair takes a copy of the candidate’s eligibility to work in the UK at the interview stage otherwise this could delay the issue of a contract**

It is good practice to ask a team member to show the candidates around the work space, giving them a tour of the department and perhaps introducing them to a few people.

Making a decision

Using the interview assessment form, each candidate should be reviewed against the criteria for the post.  All panel members should input and reach an agreement, although the chair makes the final decision.  Remember the choice should be based on how well someone fits the job requirements and how well they meet the essential and desirable criteria of the post.  The decision should also be free of bias, stereotyping and assumptions.  This should be followed as the final step of your interview after offering feedback to unsuccessful candidates.


The chair is responsible for contacting unsuccessful interviewees via telephone and providing feedback on their interview.  Feedback should be based on the candidate’s ability to meet the criteria set out in the person specification.

Giving constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates can often help provide a positive outcome from an unsuccessful application.

There are two types of feedback:


This is where you highlight what the candidate did well.  This can reinforce positive behaviour and help build confidence


This is where you outline what needs to be improved on.  These suggestions can build confidence.

Feedback should be for the benefit of the receiver and not a release for the giver.  When given correctly feedback should be helpful and perceived as positive.

When giving feedback be clear and specific about what went well and what the candidate needs to work on.  Relate all feedback back to the selection criteria of the post.

8. Appointment

Offer of employment

Once a selection decision has been taken the chair should make an oral offer of employment to the candidate.  This will be subject to the usual requirements including, but not limited to:

  • eligibility to work in the UK
  • receipt of satisfactory references (3 for academic, 2 for support)
  • satisfactory medical clearance
  • DBS clearance, if applicable
  • in addition for some academics - successful completion of the university skills course in teaching and learning
  • confirmation of relevant qualifications.

The chair should complete and sign the appointment panel report form.  This details the offer that is to be made fully.  ALL boxes must be completed and the form signed otherwise HR cannot draw up a contract. 

This should be returned to HR along with all interview paperwork and the candidate’s proof of eligibility to work in the UK.

The salary offered should be at the lowest point of the grade*.  If a manager wishes to offer a salary at a higher point then the justification box must be completed, fully explaining in detail the reasons why the manager wishes to offer a higher salary.  This should be discussed with HR before the offer of a higher salary is made to the candidate.  Justification should give examples of where the competence levels of the candidate against the essential and desirable selection criteria have exceeded expectations.  Managers should be encouraged to compare this competence level against those already performing similar duties in the same grade and perhaps on a lower spine point
Please note a candidate’s current salary is not to be considered when giving justification.

*Unless it is an internal candidate already at a higher point.

Prevention of Illegal Working

It is the responsibility of the recruiting manager to ensure that specific documentation is taken on the day of interview to prove that ALL candidates are eligible to work in the UK.  For further details on the documentation and other aspects of immigration, please refer to the Immigration guidance on the HR webpages.

Please note:  It is unlawful for a new member of staff to commence employment in the university without the above paperwork being recorded in HR.   All necessary paperwork must be returned with the interview chair pack to ensure no delay to start dates.

Certificates of Sponsorship

If the successful candidate is a non UK/EEA resident then the university may be able to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship.  This can only be done where the following can be proven -

  • The advertised vacancy cannot be filled by a UK or EEA resident - detailed short-listing & interview notes must be retained and a brief summation of why the appointed candidate was selected as being the most suitable to appoint.
  • The vacancy was advertised externally for a minimum of 28 calendar days
  • The vacancy meets the Resident Labour Market Test - please see step 5 for further details.

Only where all of the above can be proven will the university be able to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Please note:  The university issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee the applicant being granted a working visa.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to apply for a working visa via the Home Office application process.

Under no circumstance will it be possible for the individual to take up employment before the Certificate of Sponsorship and resultant visa are obtained and verified.  If a working visa is not granted the applicant’s employment will terminate with immediate effect.

Sponsorship Responsibility

Responsibility of Sponsorship lies largely with the recruiting/line manager but is shared by Deans and Directors, as well as HR. The university agrees to pledge that it will accept the responsibilities of sponsorship, in respect of each migrant employee.  These responsibilities include reporting the following information or events to the UK Border Agency, within any time limit specified.  Information about migrants' non-attendance, non-compliance or disappearance will be used to inform enforcement action against them:

  • If a Sponsored migrant does not turn up for his or her first day of work. The report must be provided within 10 working days and must include any reason given by the migrant for his or her non-attendance (e.g. missed flight).
  • If a Sponsored migrant is absent from work for more than 10 working days, without the Sponsor's reasonably granted permission.  In this case, the report must be provided within 10 working days of the tenth day of absence.
  • If the migrant's contract of employment is terminated (including where the migrant resigns or is dismissed).  Such a report must be given within 10 working days of the event in question, and should include the name and address of any new employer or institution that the migrant has joined, if the Sponsor knows it.
  • If there are any significant changes in the migrants' circumstances this must be provided within 10 working days of the change, for example:
    • a promotion or change in job title/core duties, other than those which require a   change of employment application.
    • a change of salary from the level stated on the migrant’s Certificate of Sponsorship, other than changes due to annual increments, bonuses or a change of employment application being made.
    • a change of salary from the level stated on the migrant’s Certificate of Sponsorship due to a period of  maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or a period long-term sick leave or unpaid leave that lasted for one month or longer
    • the location the migrant is employed at changes, or if the duration of their contract of/for employment/services is shortened
    • Any suspicions an employer may have that a migrant is breaching the conditions of his or her leave

Contract of Employment

Once all the interview paperwork has been received in HR a contract of employment will be issued by your link HR Team within 5 working days.  A copy of this and a staff card will be sent to the relevant contact within the Faculty/Directorate.

9. Induction

The line manager is responsible for the induction of the new staff member.  The aim is to help the newcomer to adjust as quickly as possible to the new working environment, in order to achieve maximum working efficiency in the shortest possible time.  It is important to remember that induction is a process that should take place over a number of weeks; it is not a one-day event.  The length and content of the induction programme will vary depending on the nature of the new employee’s role.

See the following webpage for a complete guide to inducting your new member of staff.


Dec 2013