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									                                   Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust




                      Recruitment & Selection
                            Guidelines




Produced by the HR Department
Contents



Introduction ..............................................................................................................................3

Identifying the need to recruit ..................................................................................................3

Timescales ..............................................................................................................................3

Gaining authorisation to recruit ................................................................................................4

Writing a job description, person specification and KSF outline ..............................................4

Job evaluation .........................................................................................................................5

Advertising ...............................................................................................................................5

The closing date ......................................................................................................................5

Shortlisting ...............................................................................................................................5

Interviewing & testing candidates ............................................................................................6

Making the offer .......................................................................................................................7

Providing feedback ..................................................................................................................8

Equality & Diversity ..................................................................................................................8

Paperwork ...............................................................................................................................9
Introduction
These guidelines aim to provide managers with a user friendly guide to recruitment and
selection which helps managers to recruit the best person for the job in a fair and consistent
way.

It is PCT policy that managers involved in the recruitment and selection process should
attend Recruitment & Selection training, details of which can be found in the Corporate
Training Programme (available from the Training & Development team)

The HR team are available to advise and support managers in the use of this guide and
throughout the recruitment and selection process.



Identifying the need to recruit
The need to recruit will usually be identified either as a result of an employee leaving the
PCT or reducing their hours, or as a consequence of a change or increase in workload which
has resulted in the need to employ more staff.

Before deciding whether to recruit you should carefully consider the following:

     Can the work be done within the existing team/resources?
     Are there any existing PCT staff requiring redeployment who could do this work?
     Can the work be performed in flexible ways, e.g. job share, flexible hours, etc?
     Do I have the budget to recruit to this position?

For appointments to the most senior posts in the PCT, ie Board members and those
reporting to Board members, please contact the HR Team before placing an advertisement
as NHS Executive guidelines exist for filling these posts.

Timescales
Please be mindful of how long it can take to recruit to a position. Many things can impact on
the timescales of a recruitment, such as whether you are creating a new post or not, whether
the skills and experience you are looking for are common in the local population, the local
labour market, and the notice period of the successful candidate.

However, on average you should expect the recruitment process to take between 4 – 8
weeks (excluding the successful candidate’s notice period).

To avoid the risk of losing good applicants you should aim for the minimum of delay
between closing date and interview. Aim to shortlist within three working days of the closing
date and interview approximately one to two weeks later (to allow for writing to candidates
and to enable them to make arrangements to attend).
Gaining authorisation to recruit
Before you recruit to a vacancy an Establishment Control Form (ECF) must be completed
and approved by Management Accounts. Contact your Planning Accountant for guidance on
completing an ECF.

The HR Team are unable to progress any recruitment before receiving confirmation from
Finance that an ECF has been completed and authorised.


Writing a job description, person specification and KSF outline
Before advertising a vacancy you should ensure that an accurate and up to date job
description, person specification and KSF outline are in place.

In broad terms the Job Description outlines the purpose and main duties and responsibilities
of a post. The Person Specification outlines the qualifications, experience and skills needed
to carry out the job, and these are grouped into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’. You will also need
to show how you will assess if the candidates meet these criteria (i.e. on the application
form, by producing their qualification certificates, at interview or by test).

The Person Specification will be used to create your shortlisting criteria and as a basis for
your interview questions later on in the recruitment process, so it is vital that it the contents
of the Person Specification are non-discriminatory, justifiable and measurable.

When requiring formal qualifications you should also state ‘or equivalent’ to avoid
discriminating against applicants who gained their qualifications overseas, or those who
have work experience at a level equivalent to a formal qualification.


                     Examples of good and bad person specification

            BAD                                              GOOD

Ability to communicate           Ability to give clear instructions capable of being understood
                                 by all user groups. (I)


Numerate                         Ability to add and subtract four figure numbers and calculate
                                 percentages. (T C)


Previous work experience         At least 2 years experience in ..... area of work. (A)


Work effectively in a team       Clear examples of co-operative team working. (I)


Sense of humour                  You cannot objectively assess this


Method of assessment; A = Application form I = Interview T = Test C = Certificate
Further guidance on writing a Job Description and Person Specification can be gained from
the HR Team. The Training & Development Team can provide guidance on writing a KSF
outline.



Job evaluation
If a post is newly established, or if duties or requirements of an existing post have changed
significantly, the post will need to be re-evaluated.

Further guidance on the Job Evaluation process can be gained from the HR Team.


Advertising
All permanent and temporary or fixed term positions of 6 months or more must be advertised
internally, on the NHS Jobs website and through the Job Centre as a minimum. Temporary
or fixed term positions of up to 6 months duration may be advertised internally only.

For positions which may be more difficult to recruit to, or where you wish to advertise to a
broader audience, you can choose to advertise via other media (such as newspapers,
journals, other appropriate websites, agencies etc) in addition to those described above.
However, you should be aware of the potential costs involved in this as the finances will
need to be found from your own budget.

Whether a position is to be advertised internally and/or externally you will need to complete
an Advert Request form to request that a vacancy be advertised by the HR Team. Send this
form to the HR Team, together with the updated Job Description and Person Specification.

If you have any specific wording you would like to use on the advert you should state this on
the Advert Request form. Otherwise the HR Team will draft the wording for you. The HR
Team will review any wording you submit to check for and remove any potentially
discriminatory references (such as references to age, gender, ethnic origin, religion, sexual
orientation or disability that cannot be legally justified).


The closing date
Regardless of where a position is advertised, a mandatory minimum closing date of two
weeks from the date of advert will be applied. Only in exceptional circumstances and with
the permission of the HR Manager can this be shortened.


Shortlisting
Once your vacancy advert closes you will receive the applications, either electronically
through NHS Jobs, or by email, or hard copy. At this stage you will only receive
‘annonymised’ applications forms with no personal information on them. This is to help
discrimination.

You will need to select those candidates you wish to interview in a fair, transparent and
consistent way. The best way to do this is by setting clear selection criteria, using the criteria
already detailed on the Person Specification, and assessing the applications against these
criteria. You can score how well each application meets each of the selection criteria (divided
into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria) and those that meet the essential criteria and score
the most will form your ‘shortlist’ of candidates you will invite to interview. Remember = you
can only shortlist against criteria that can be evidence on the application form. For example,
you cannot assess ‘verbal communication skills’ from an application form.



IMPORTANT NOTE –                    The PCT is committed to the national disability ‘two ticks’ scheme,
which means that we guarantee an interview to any applicant who meets the essential criteria for a post.
HR will inform you if an applicant has declared a disability.

Shortlisting should always be undertaken by a minimum of two people, one of whom should
be the line manager of the position (who should have attended the PCT’s Recruitment &
Selection training for managers), and should be completed using the PCT’s standard
shortlisting form.

You should not shortlist an applicant who does not meet all of the ‘essential’ selection
criteria. If you have a high number of applications you may wish to use the ‘desirable’ criteria
as a further filter to reduce the number of shortlisted applications.

On the shortlisting form you will be required to state whether an application has fully met
(FM), partly met (PM) or not met (NM) the selection criteria. There is also space for you to
write any comments.

Once you have completed the shortlisitng process you should forward all paperwork to the
HR Team, together with details of your proposed interview dates and process. The HR Team
will then invite the candidate to interview on your behalf.

Interviewing & testing candidates
You will need to decide the best methods for selecting a successful candidate to be offered
your vacant position. As a minimum you will need to conduct an interview but you may also
wish to consider other methods of assessment to compliment the selection process. For
example:

      Presentations
      Skills tests (eg IT or typing skills)
      Knowledge tests (eg employment law knowledge)
      Group exercises or discussions

It is important to link the selection methods with the person specification so that it is clear
which of the selection criteria candidates are being assessed against.

If you do plan to use any selection methods along side an interview you must inform the HR
Team so that candidates can be informed accordingly.

Advice on various methods of assessing candidates is available form the HR Team.

Before the interviews take place you will need to write a set of interview questions. The
interview questions should be written to ‘test’ the areas outlined in the Person Specification
that can be tested at interview.
Interview questions should be designed to ask candidates to give examples of their previous
experience. Try to avoid asking ‘closed’ questions. Some examples are given below:

     Closed questions                                   Open questions
Are you good at…..?                 Give us an example of a time when you have ……..

Have you ever….?                    Tell us about a time when you…….

Do you know how to…?                Explain to us how you…..

Interview panels must be made up of at least two members (one of whom should have
attended the PCT’s Recruitment & Selection training) and should include the direct line
manager of the post. At least one member of the panel should be from outside of the
immediate team/department that the vacancy is in. For some posts (ie Public Health
consultants, PCT Board level appointments) it is a requirement to involve an external
assessor. Please contact the HR Team for advice on this.

Usually the direct line manager will chair the panel. It is important to have a clear structure to
the interviews and that you agree beforehand who is going to ask which questions.

All panel members should make notes during the interviews and the answers to each
question should be scored. The candidate who performs best at interview will receive the
highest scores. Unless you are also using another form of assessment alongside the
interviews, you should offer the position to the candidate who scores the highest at interview
as they will have demonstrated that they meet the select criteria better than any other
candidate. If you are also using other forms assessment you need to make sure that you
develop a fair and appropriate way of assessing the results of these assessments so that
you can take the results into consideration along with the interview results. The HR Team
can help you to do this. An appointment should not be made if there is no suitable
candidate.

The interview is also a good time to check details such as salary expectations, the suitability
of referees, notice period etc.

An interview record form should be used to record the interviews for each candidate.



IMPORTANT NOTE -                     some disabled candidates may require you to make some
adjustments to the interview and/or assessments so that they can attend or take part. Reasonable
adjustments may include things such as being able to access a room or building, being given more time
to complete assessments, or to have a hearing loop or interpreter present at the interview. It is essential
that you get advice from the HR team if a candidate has informed you that they require you to make any
adjustments.



Making the offer
Once you have reached a decision over which candidate to make an employment offer to,
you may telephone the successful candidate to inform them of your decision and make a
conditional offer of employment (conditional means that the offer is subject to completion of
satisfactory pre-employment checks – see below). If you wish to discuss starting salary with
them you should speak to a member of the HR Team first to ensure you offer the correct
starting salary. If you wish to also telephone the unsuccessful candidates you may do so.

At this stage you need to complete a Candidate Appointment form which should be sent,
together with all recruitment paperwork (interview records etc) to the HR Team.

The HR Team will then:

      Send a written conditional offer of employment
      Write to any unsuccessful candidates
      Carry out all appropriate pre-employment checks
      Confirm an appropriate start date with the candidate
      Send a written unconditional offer of employment together with a contract of
       employment


Providing feedback
It is best practice to offer unsuccessful candidates the opportunity to request feedback on
why they were not successful, either at the shortlisting stage or at the interview stage.

It is best to arrange a suitable time to give the feedback, when you are unlikely to be
distracted or interrupted. You should refer to the written documentation form the
shortlisting/interview to assist you in giving the reasons for non-selection.

Pre-employment checks
There are very strict guidelines with regards to pre-employment checks which all NHS trusts
must adhere to.

The HR Team will carry out the checks on the following areas before an unconditional offer
of employment can be made:

      Occupational health clearance
      Suitable references obtained
      Identity checks completed
      Evidence of right to work in the UK received
      Qualifications checked
      CRB checks completed (where applicable)
      Professional registration checked (where applicable)
      Driving licence checked (where applicable)


Equality & Diversity
The procedure in this guide has been drawn up in accordance with the PCT’s Equality
Opportunities Policy. The PCT is committed to ensuring that all employees and prospective
employees are treated fairly, equally and with respect, irrespective of:

       race; nationality; age; religion or belief; disability*; gender; gender reassignment; HIV
       status; political affiliation; responsibility for dependants; sexual orientation; social and
       employment status; or trade union membership.
Fairness and equality in selection consists of adhering to three basic stages:-

       1.     Drawing up valid selection criteria, ie a person specification.
       2.     Collecting relevant information about individuals.
       3.     Objectively assessing individuals against the selection criteria.

                    *This symbol was awarded to Brighton & Hove City Teaching PCT in
                    January 2004 by the Employment Services for signing up to the
                    following commitments and providing supporting information and
                    evidence that the PCT has done so:

 1.     an agreement to shortlist all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum
        criteria;
 2.     a commitment to talking to staff with disabilities regularly; at least annually to ensure
        they are able to develop their abilities;
 3.     a commitment to keeping staff with disabilities in employment where possible;
 4.     a commitment to ensuring staff have a high standard of disability awareness;
 5.     a commitment to review progress on the commitments and inform staff and the
        Employment Service.

 The 2 ticks symbol appears on all of the PCT’s advertisements, documentation and
 application forms.     The purpose of the scheme is to encourage people with disabilities,
 who have the skills to do a particular job, to apply in the knowledge that they will be
 shortlisted. This is to counter the discrimination that they often face at shortlisting stage of
 the selection process.


Paperwork
All forms and templates you need to carry out the recruitment process are available on the G
drive at G:\HR\Recruitment\Recruitment Process or on the intranet.

All completed paperwork should be returned to the HR Team where it will be stored for 12
months before being destroyed.

								
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