Decision making and making an offer of employment

The Chair is responsible for facilitating discussion and in doing so should consider the following:

  • Encourage the panel to use all the available information including the application form, results of tests, the references and the interview itself.
  • Help the panel to discuss each candidate individually in the context of the person specification. Challenge any assertions which cannot be supported by evidence and complete interview assessment forms for each candidate.
  • Help the panel to decide if any candidates do not meet the essential criteria and are therefore not appointable.
  • Create an agreed ranking for appointable candidates.
  • Remember that the panel’s reason for appointing or not appointing a candidate can be challenged under discrimination legislation.
  • If the panel cannot agree on which candidate to appoint, the Chair will have the final decision, this may include holding second interviews, or not to appoint and to re-advertise the role.
  • Complete the Shortlisting and Interview Form for each candidate to indicate whether or not they have met each of the criteria. Add comments as and where appropriate to provide reasons for your decision making. All notes must be appropriate and non-judgemental as all notes could be seen by applicants at a later stage. The notes may also be used to provide feedback to applicants if required.
  • Complete the Appointment Panel Report form with details of the job offer made, including agreed start date, salary, etc.

Note: All recruitment forms can be accessed via the Chair's staff HR portal.

Offer of employment

Once a selection decision has been taken the Chair should make a verbal offer of employment to the first-ranked candidate. This will be subject the the usual requirements including, but not limited to:

  • proof of eligibility to work in the UK.
  • receipt of satisfactory references.
  • satisfactory placement health assessment.
  • DBS clearance if applicable.
  • confirmation of relevant qualifications.

Proof of eligibility to work in the UK

When offering the post it must be established if the applicant is eligible to work in the UK. Ideally eligibility documents should be collected at the interview.

If a Certificate of Sponsorship is required, the recruiting manager must contact Human Resources so that an application for a Certificate of Sponsorship can be initiated. Help in this is available from the Directorate of Human Resources. (Please note it is in breach of University procedures and the law not to appoint solely because a Certificate of Sponsorship is required).

Under no circumstances will it be possible for the individual to take up employment before the Certificate of Sponsorship is obtained.

Receipt of satisfactory references

References for senior, and academic and research staff roles are requested for all candidates invited to interview, at the time of inviting for interview. However, often references are not received until after the interview date. In such circumstances any offers of employment are made conditional on receipt of satisfactory references.

For professional service roles, references are only requested for the successful candidate and therefore offers of employment are made conditional on receipt of satisfactory references.

Satisfactory placement health assessment

All new employees are required to complete a confidential Health Assessment Questionnaire. Occupational Health assess the individual’s fitness for the job role which they have been offered and ensures appropriate health advice and guidance can be provided. All contracts of employment are subject to a satisfactory placement health assessment. Where the successful candidate is disabled, reasonable adjustments may need to be considered depending on their disability and in consultation with them. OH will be able to provide further advice. The candidate may qualify for the Government's Access To Work Programme (details of which are available at Access to Work). Where reasonable adjustments are agreed these must be recorded in writing.

DBS clearance if applicable

For further information, see Gov.UK's Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) pages.

Confirmation of relevant qualifications

Successful candidates will be required to provide copies of relevant qualifications as proof of attainment.


New appointments are normally made at the bottom of the grade for the role, and staff benefit from an incremental progression following a successful probationary period, and yearly thereafter until they reach the top of the grade.

To offer a higher initial salary, recruiting managers, must provide justification to their link HR Business Partner, and receive approval before making any verbal offer of a higher salary to the candidate.

Feedback to unsuccessful applicants

The chair is responsible for contacting unsuccessful interviewees, normally by telephone and providing feedback on their interview. Bear in mind that unsuccessful candidates:

  • are potential candidates for other jobs in the future.
  • are potential students (UG, PG or community students).
  • are friends, relatives, colleagues or teachers of potential staff and/or students.

Once a verbal offer has been accepted, unsuccessful applicants must be telephoned by the recruiting manager to let them know they have not been successful. This will be followed up in writing by Human Resources when the contract is produced. Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback as to why their application was unsuccessful. This feedback should be given by the recruiting manager, and should be based on the candidate's ability to meet the criteria set out in the person specification. The shortlisting and interview forms will provide a useful record for giving feedback.

It is good practice for the the Chair to give face-to-face feedback for any unsuccessful internal candidates where practicable. Giving constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates can help provide a positive outcome from their unsuccessful application. Feedback should be based on the candidate’s ability to meet the criteria set out in the person specification.

There are two types of feedback: 

What happens next?

The following documentation is required by HR before they are able to issue a formal (conditional) contract of employment to the successful candidate:

  • All applications
  • All copies of proof of eligibility to work in the UK collected
  • All notes on all pieces of paper, taken during the recruitment and interview process,
  • a copy of the main interview questions used
  • A completed shortlisting and Interview assessment form for each candidate
  • An appointment panel report form
  • All copies of proof of eligibility to work in the UK collected
  • All personal data will either be destroyed immediately to comply with the new GDP regulations, or retained in HR for a period of six months where appropriate, before being destroyed.

Although complaints regarding the recruitment and selection process are not common, they do arise from time to time and it is therefore important that all the documentation listed above is returned to HR as this may be used as evidence in any arising complaints.

Once the successful candidate has confirmed their start date and met any conditions of contract, the line manager/Chair should commence the induction process.