Recruitment and Selection Policy

In seeking to define and communicate your company’s approach to recruitment and selection, if you don’t already have one in place, it is useful to prepare an overall policy to set the parameters for how you manage this vital area.
Such a policy provides for both internal and external communication of your commitments in this area but also ensures that fairness and transparency apply. A sample policy is shown at the end of this guide.

An Example:
1. Introduction
This document outlines the procedures and overall policy for recruitment and selection at the XYZ COMPANY. The purpose of this policy is to inform managers and staff of the processes required to find the best candidate for a vacant post. It incorporates best practice and follows equal opportunity guidelines. Applicants must not receive more or less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic origin, trade union membership and political and religious beliefs.
The 5 commitments which the XYZ COMPANY must follow are:
1. To interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities.
2. To ensure that there is a mechanism in place to discuss at any time, but at least once a year, with disabled employees what you and they can do to develop and use their abilities.
3. To make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment.
4. To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make the commitments work.
5. Each year, to review the 5 commitments and what has been achieved, to plan ways to improve on them and let employees know about progress and future development plans.

2. Establishing a vacancy
Once a vacancy has been established either through a member of staff leaving or a new post that has been created, a budget control/establishment form must be filled in by the Department Manager and sent to Human Resources. A copy must also be sent to Management Accounts.
With an established post it gives managers the opportunity to review the post and carry out a thorough analysis before automatically proceeding to recruitment.
When analysing a post it is useful to talk to the outgoing post-holder and colleagues within the department as to whether the post could be changed or the way that the team works could be re-organised.
Issues to consider before advertising a new post are:
1. Allocating duties to other team members (although consideration would have to be given to up-grading staff who’s responsibilities are changed).
2. Is there any reason why the role cannot be considered for a job-share and is there any scope for other flexible working practices?
3. Training other members of the team to create a multi-skilled workforce.
4. Taking on a part-time employee if the post doesn’t warrant a full time employee.
Another factor to consider is job evaluation to make sure that the job description is recent and up to date. The purpose of job evaluation is to ensure that consistent decisions are made about grading and rates of pay. It is also helpful to compare with other existing, similar posts within the organisation with regards to equal pay between comparable jobs so that equal pay is provided for work of equal value.

3. Advertising
Human Resources will then write the advert and send the current job description for that post to the Department Manager for approval. When the advert and job description are approved by the Department Manager the advertisement will be publicised to all internal staff for one week in order to allow permanent staff to apply for posts before they are advertised externally to the public.
The post will be sent to all staff via email, it will also be available on the Intranet and also on the vacancies notice board.
If there are no internal applicants then the post will be advertised externally. If there are internal applicants then they will be shortlisted and interviewed before the post is advertised externally.
If managers require a temporary member of staff to cover until the post is filled they must fill out a ‘Request for agency staff’ form held in Human Resources. HR will then arrange a temp for that department.

4. Shortlisting
Managers must only shortlist against the criteria from the person specification and job description and not from personal opinion.
The person specification should contain the essential criteria required to carry out the post, if an applicant does not have all of the essential criteria then they must not be shortlisted. The person specification should also contain desirable criteria that would be of benefit to the post if the applicant has those skills, but are not essential to carry out the post.
Human Resources will send copies of the application forms and the shortlisting criteria to all members of the shortlisting panel. Managers must shortlist against these criteria only and not from personal opinion.
Shortlisting must be returned to Human Resources within two weeks of the closing date of the post. HR will then organise a convenient interview date and will be responsible for booking the venue and inviting the candidates. HR will also send out regret letters to unsuccessful candidates who have not been shortlisted.
It is imperative to remain objective throughout the recruitment and selection process, therefore anyone who knows that someone they are related to or know personally, is considering applying or has applied must declare this.
No one is permitted to shortlist or interview a member of their family or a close personal friend and must withdraw from the selection process.

5. Interviewing
Panel members must treat all information on application forms and information from the interview as strictly confidential.
A pre meeting should be held before the interviews to discuss which areas of questioning will be delegated for each panel member. Best practice requires the person asking the questions to maintain eye contact and encourage the interviewee whilst the other panel members make notes.
Interviewers must be aware that the candidates must all be asked the same questions.
Explain to the candidate at the beginning of the interview the format and process e.g. who will be asking questions and in what order and that they will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the interview and at the end.
Remember to be clear before questioning what answer you will expect applicants to give in order to meet the criteria. If you aren’t clear about a ‘correct’ answer to your question then subjectivity is likely to result. Therefore you could be swayed by the candidate’s conviction in their answer rather than them answering correctly.
Remember to check each application form for gaps and ambiguity in employment history.
All panel members should be aware of equality procedures regarding recruitment and selection and be familiar with these.
No one should interview alone and each panel member must take notes during the interview to assess the candidate’s responses and as a reminder when deliberating with the panel.
In case of complaints, the notes taken during interview will be used to justify the decision reached by the panel.
When each panel member has completed their assessment of each candidate, they should discuss with the other panel members and compare their conclusions.
The appointed candidate will meet all the essential criteria on the person specification and the panel should agree that they are the best person for the role.
Assessment forms and interview notes should be handed back to Human Resources where they will be stored confidentially.

6. Offer of Employment
Once a suitable applicant has been decided upon, Human Resources will telephone the candidate to offer the position, subject to satisfactory references.
The Department Manager must fill in an Appointment Form before HR can offer the post, detailing salary and hours for the post.
Once the candidate has accepted the post, Human Resources will contact the candidates’ references and send out the occupational health questionnaire.
At least one reference must be an employment reference, preferably from the present or most recent employer. One personal reference can be accepted but the referee must NOT be a relative or friend.
Panel members should not be referees, other than when they are the current line manager of an existing employee.
Human Resources will write to unsuccessful candidates informing them of the decision. They will be given a contact name and telephone number for detailed feedback should they request it.

7. Appointment
Once Human Resources have received satisfactory references (copies to line managers for verification) and health clearance then a start date will be arranged with the new employee.
The Contract of Employment will be issued to the new employee prior to starting with the XYZ COMPANY or where this is not possible within eight weeks of taking up the appointment.
If any areas of this policy are unclear please contact the Human Resources Department for verification.

Ref: Fáilte Ireland

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