Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels

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1 Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels 1. Introduction 1.1 This document is designed to provide guidance to chairs of recruitment panels on the most common aspects of the recruitment/interview process. The chair of any recruitment panel has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the whole recruitment and selection process is conducted fairly and that all candidates and panel members are treated equitably, in line with the University s policies and procedures in relation to recruitment and selection and equality and diversity. All panel chairs must ensure they have had recent (i.e. within the last three years) training in recruitment and selection and recent equality and diversity training. 2. Formation of interview panels 2.1 The composition of the interview panel should be confirmed as soon as possible (ideally when the decision to recruit is made) to ensure all panel members have the opportunity to be involved in short-listing and prepare for the interviews. It is the role of the chair to select the panel. 2.2 Panels should be diverse and have a balanced gender profile. The panel must consist of at least two people, and the majority of the panel must have attended the University s Recruitment and Selection training or received Equality and Diversity training within the last three years. 2.3 If the interviews are taking place over separate days, the panel composition must remain the same. 2.4 There are specific panel compositions for certain posts. Please refer to the procedure notes for more details. 2.5 In consultation with the Resourcing Adviser, the chair of the panel should also decide whether a presentation, test, assessment or other selection process is required in addition to the interview. The Resourcing Advisor will ensure candidates are made aware of this prior to attending the interview. 3. Short-listing 3.1 The purpose of short-listing is to select for interview those applicants who best meet the selection criteria for the post; who are most likely to be capable of carrying out the duties of the job; and about whom you wish to find out more during a formal interview. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 1 of 6

2 3.2 Selection for the short-list must be done by assessing applications in relation to the essential and desirable criteria as detailed in the person specification. Applicants should be assessed against the selection criteria and not against each other. The chair must ensure that the process used is consistent and fair and that the decisions made comply with legal requirements and University of Kent procedures Redeployees The University has a legal duty to ensure staff whose jobs are deemed to be at risk of redundancy are given every opportunity to be redeployed into alternative roles. If a redeployee applies for a vacancy, the Resourcing Adviser will help clarify if the post is deemed as suitable alternative employment or alternative employment and will advise on the correct procedure Immigration The University is unable to employ candidates who are not currently eligible to live and work in the UK. Please refer to the immigration section below for further information Two Ticks Symbol The University is a member of the Two Ticks scheme and offers a guaranteed interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria. Therefore, disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria must be short-listed for interview. 4. Immigration 4.1 Since 31 March 2009 the UK has operated a points-based immigration system. The points-based system only covers nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. 4.2 The University is a licensed sponsor which allows us to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for candidates outside of the EEA. 4.3 If you think the vacancy may be filled by an individual from outside of the EEA you will need to advertise for a minimum of 28 days. Other restrictions and rules will apply and you should seek the early advice of your Resourcing Adviser as legislation changes regularly. 5. Leading the interviews 5.1 The chair of the interview panel is required to lead the interviews, ensuring all candidates are treated equitably and fairly and that the best selection decisions are being made. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 2 of 6

3 5.2 The chair may find it helpful to the allocate interview questions to the panel members ahead of the interview to ensure every panel member has an aspect to focus on and that all the job criteria are explored. 5.3 The chair should work with the Resourcing Adviser to ensure that candidates feel welcomed and receive a good introduction to the University when they are attending the interviews. The chair must ensure appropriate arrangements are put in place for the day including the venue, refreshments, presentation facilities, paperwork, if necessary people to escort the candidates on campus, tests and any other aspects of the process. 5.4 Following the interviews the chair should lead the discussion on the suitability of each candidate by capturing the key strengths and weaknesses of each individual and assisting the panel to evaluate these. If the panel cannot decide which candidate to appoint, the chair could try various scoring or ranking mechanisms to help the panel reach a decision. At this point the panel will agree what feedback will be given to any candidates who have not been successful. 5.5 The chair is responsible for making the final decision about who to appoint. A majority decision is required, a unanimous decision is desirable but not essential. 6. Setting the starting salary 6.1 All salary offers must be made within the standard incremental points of the grade at which the post was advertised. In addition, to ensure equity and consistency in approach to starting salaries across the University, employees should normally be appointed on the first incremental point of the grade. 6.2 Appointment to a salary beyond the first point must be justified. For example, the prospective employee is currently in receipt of a salary and benefits package in excess of the value of the package on offer and has a significant amount of relevant experience. In such circumstances, the objective would be to make an offer at the minimum point required to secure the appointment. Before any decision is made to offer an alternative point, consideration should be given to any potential anomalies/inequalities that may arise as a result. These may be inconsistencies with the remuneration of current staff fulfilling the same (or very similar) roles or the risk of appointing two or more people to the same (or very similar) roles but at different points on the salary scale. 6.3 An explanation of why a point other than the first one of the grade was offered must be included on the Offer Details Form. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 3 of 6

4 6.4 Where justification for the starting salary relates to the appointee s current/previous salary, any agreement made will be subject to verification of the stated current salary i.e. through confirmation from the appropriate referee, a recent pay-slip or other relevant evidence. 6.5 If the post is to be offered to a candidate already employed at the university who is already on that grade then the chair must be aware of the candidate's current salary point and the normal incremental progression. If the candidate is due to receive an increment in the next few months it may be appropriate to award that increment on appointment to the new role but not more than this. 6.6 For existing employees moving to a higher grade role, the appointment will be to the bottom point on the scale or one point up from current salary position if they are already paid within the overlapping discretionary range. 6.7 The discretionary points at the top of each grade should not be used for a starting salary unless there are exceptional circumstances. In such cases a discussion with the Resourcing Adviser must take place before confirming a salary offer with a prospective employee. 6.8 If it is felt at the start of the recruitment process that current market rates for a particular role will make it difficult to recruit then evidence must be obtained from relevant and up to date salary surveys (the Resourcing Adviser can obtain this information). In exceptional circumstances a request can be made to the Remuneration Committee via Executive Group for a new market supplement to be put in place. Generally this would only be done if a previous attempt to recruit had been unsuccessful. This will take time to arrange, so if it is likely that this will be required chairs of recruitment panels should have an early conversation with their HR Manager. 6.9 The principles outlined here relate to both internally and externally funded posts. Please note that the level of funding available in a grant will not be viewed as justification for placing an employee at a higher incremental point on the designated grade. 7. Probation 7.1 The University operates a number of probation periods, which are dependent upon the grade and type of post. The relevant periods are: Existing employees are not required to complete a period of probation for a new role if they have done this in a previous role. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 4 of 6

5 Staff in grades 1 to 3 are subject to a 3 month probation period. Staff in grades 4 to 6 are subject to a 6 month probation period. Staff in grades 7 and above are currently not subject to a probation period. Academic staff who have not completed a period of probation elsewhere are subject to a 3 year probation period as standard changes or exemptions may only be approved by the Dean and the Director of HR on a case by case basis. 7.2 Probation is agreed and set at the end of the interview process, once the successful applicant has been decided upon. 7.3 For academic probation, the Head of School has to appoint an appropriately senior probationary supervisor. It might be helpful to consider in advance who the Probationary Supervisor is going to be, as this will be required for the Offer Details Form. 7.4 Full details around probation can be found on the policies pages of the HR website. 8. Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) 8.1 All new academic staff appointed with a probationary period of 2 years or more will be required to undertake the PGCHE unless they have an equivalent qualification. 8.2 If an individual has already completed a PGCHE or similar at another institution the Resourcing Adviser can check with UELT whether this is a suitable alternative and therefore if the individual can be exempt from PGCHE. 8.3 The requirement to undertake PGCHE can only be waived by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor following a recommendation from the relevant Faculty Dean. 9. Making the offer 9.1 Once the panel have decided which candidate should be appointed, the chair, the Head of School and the Resourcing Adviser will discuss the starting salary and offer details (such as PGCHE and probation). The additional panel members should not be included in this discussion. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 5 of 6

6 9.2 The chair or their nominee (Head of School/Department) will then telephone the candidate to make the verbal offer and discuss a start date. This should be done carefully as a verbal offer of employment can be regarded as a contractual commitment. This conversation should confirm that the offer is subject to employment clearances such as a Certificate of Sponsorship, suitable references and salary check (if required). 9.3 Once the verbal offer has been made and accepted, the Chair must complete the Offer Details Form and it to the Resourcing Adviser so the contract can be issued. 10. Providing feedback 10.1 The University offers feedback to all interviewed candidates on request and aims to respond within three days of the candidate request wherever possible It is the responsibility of the chair to respond to requests for feedback using the summary agreed by the panel members at the end of the interview process (see 5.4 above). The Resourcing Advisor can assist in formulating written feedback if required Feedback should be constructive, balanced and related specifically to the role and the performance of the candidate during interview/test/presentation this should NOT include any personal details and should be solely job related. The candidates usually want feedback so they can do better next time, so a balance of positive points and improvement opportunities should be provided. 11. Completing the Offer Details Form 11.1 It is not possible to issue a contract of employment without a fully completed Offer Details Form as the details given on the form provide the basis of the contractual job offer. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the chair to ensure the form is completed accurately and as soon after acceptance of the verbal offer as possible Particular care should be taken to provide explanations for any out-of-theordinary arrangements such as starting salary not at the bottom of scale or exemptions from probation and/or PGCHE. Guidance for Chairs of Recruitment Panels Page 6 of 6