Recruitment and Selection Policy & Procedure

1. Introduction

1.1 The University recognises that its most important resource is its staff and that to achieve its strategic and operational goals it must attract and retain people of the highest calibre.The University has a broad and distinctive range of staffing needs. The followingprocedure aims to ensure an effective, efficient and consistent approach to recruitment and selection to meet those needs, complying with current employment and equality legislation, and providing clear guidance to departments. The policy and procedure applies to the recruitment of all staff, irrespective of the nature of employment. Aberystwyth University is an Equal Opportunities employer. This policy is underpinned by the Equality & Diversity.

1.2 Any member of staff responsible for recruitment or who is involved in the recruitment process will be required to complete the mandatory web-based ‘Equal Opportunities & Diversity’ training, which runs on a three year cycle. Staffare also encouraged to access in-house training in Recruitment & Selection through the Centre for the Development of Academic Practice (CDSAP). All training provided will be made subject to any major legislative changes and updates will be made available on the HR website for all those involved in the Recruitment process.


2. Approval for recruitment to a post

2.1 Appropriate approval must be obtained to recruit to a vacancy.

2.2 All posts that fall within the framework agreement must be submitted for HERA assessment before being submitted for approval. The AU Contract of Employment Policyshould also be consulted before finalising the nature of the post (e.g. fulltime, part-time, permanent, fixed term).

2.3 The Head of Department/Manager must obtain approval in accordance with the Approval of Posts Policy to advertise a post. In the case of externally funded posts approval should be sought from the Director of Human Resources. Once approval has been given the Head of Department or nominee should submit the following documentation to the Human Resources Department (HR):

a) The Further Particulars which should include the Job description and person specification of the post;

b) A Welsh Language Matrix Form;

c) A draft advertisement if required;

d) Details of any additional selection requirements to assess specific skills. HR can advise on selection tools;

e) A completed Vacancy Request Form (dated and signed);

f) A copy of the documentation indicating approval to advertise a post from the appropriate University authority;

g) A copy of the HERA assessment.

2.4 A range of generic job descriptions, person specifications, role profiles and advertisements are available upon request from the Human Resources Department. Guidance notes detailing how a job description, person specificationand advertisement should be drawn-up are available on the Human Resources Website, and training in these areas may be accessed through the Centre for the Development of Staff and Academic Practice website.

2.5 An exception to this policy might occur in the event that a post is identified as ‘at risk’ of redundancy. In such instances the Redundancy & Redeployment Policyshould be followed.2


3. Managing the advertising process

3.1 Following the submission of all appropriate documents itemised in item 2.3 to HRall documentation will be checked and final drafts agreed between the HR and the Head of Department or nominee concerned, to ensure compliance with legislation, AU procedure and good practice. All qualifications or requirement of an advertised post must be objectively justified in accordance with the Equality Scheme.

3.2 HR will co-ordinate the advertising process and collate all applications in accordance with the Service Level Agreement and Timetable approved by the Staffing Committee.

3.3 All University vacancies will be advertised on the HR website. Externally advertised vacancies will be placed on the HR website the day before publicationin the press. All advertisements should normally specify the date of the interview.

3.4 Applications must be made on the University’s standard application form, accompanied by the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form, which is detached when an application is received. CV’s will only be accepted in conjunction with the submission of an appropriately completed application form.


4. Rehabilitation of Offenders

4.1 Upon submission of their application applicants will be asked to disclose whether they have been convicted by a court of a criminal offence for which they are subject to a period of rehabilitation under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

4.2 Applicants will be asked to provide details if they are still subject to a period of rehabilitation.


5. Shortlisting

5.1 Following the closing date of the post Human Resources will forward all applications received to the Head of Department. Recruitment monitoring Forms will be detached and used in accordance with the Equality Scheme.

5.2 Any member of staff involved in the selection process who has a personal or familial relationship with an applicant is required to bring this to the attention of HR and the Chair of the Appointing Panel and will be required to withdraw from the process.

5.3 All members of the appointing panel will be asked to declare any personal interest in candidates.

5.4 All applications must be assessed against the agreed criteria set out in the Person Specification and the Short listing Matrix should be completed with reference to the essential and desirable criteria. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities in accordance with the Equality Scheme. The proposed list of candidates to be invited to interview must be submitted to the Chair of the Appointing Panel for approval and sign-off before it is sent to Human Resources. The Chair will ensure that the University’s equal opportunities scheme has been adhered to during the shortlisting process. The shortlist will normally be of no more than four applicants. Any changes in the candidates shortlisted made by the Chair will be confirmed to the Head of Department and the reasons for any alterations will be recorded. All changes in the shortlist will be done in accordancewith the Equal Opportunities Scheme.

5.5 In accordance with the two ticks standard the University is committed to interviewany applicant with a stated disability who meets the essential criteria for the post.

5.6 Where applications have been received from non-resident workers, please refer to Appendix 1.

5.7 Once approved, the list of candidates for interview should be returned to the HR Recruitment Team which will make all necessary arrangements for the interviews.

5.8 A period to be agreed with the recruitment team should be scheduled between confirmation of the shortlisted candidates and the proposed interview date to allow sufficient time for candidates to prepare, arrangements to be made, and references obtained.

5.9 References will be requested for those applicants who have been shortlisted unless permission is withheld by the applicant. Three references for academic and senior management posts will be sought and two references for all other posts.

5.10 In addition to the references, the HR Department will seek confirmation of employment details (including title, grade, length of service etc) from the applicants’ current or most recent employer.


6. Selection Interview

6.1 The composition of the Appointing Panel will be arranged in accordance with the University’s Composition of Appointing Panels unless otherwise agreed with the Director of HR.

6.2 Each member of the Appointing Panel will receive a folder containing: 

  • A copy of the original job advertisement;
  • A copy of the Further Particulars containing the Job Description and Person Specification;
  • A copy of each candidate’s application;
  • Copies of the Interview Assessment Form for each candidate. 

Panel members should receive the folder no later than three working days prior to the scheduled interviews.

6.3 In addition to the above the nominated Chair of the Appointing Panel will receive:

  • A copy of all available candidate references;
  • A copy of the University’s current salary scale;
  • A Person Specification & Interview Questions Form;
  • The Candidate Feedback Form;
  • An Appointment Authorisation Form;
  • A copy of the Guide to conducting an Effective Selection Process.

6.4 The Appointing Panel should normally convene in good time prior to the first interview so that the Chair can clarify the following points:

  • The interview process;
  • The structure of the interview;
  • Which questions are to be asked and by whom;
  • Any special circumstances pertaining to the post or candidates in accordance with the Redundancy & Redeployment Policy;
  • Declarations of interest.

6.5 The Appointing Panel should be mindful that the structure of the interview, including presentations and questions, etc. should be applied consistently for all candidates to ensure equity and transparency.

6.6 Following the completion of all interviews the panel will discuss the merits of each candidate in turn with particular reference to the requirements of the post and the person specification. The Chair of the Panel will facilitate the process of arriving at a collective decision on the choice of the successful candidate. References will be taken into consideration.6.7 All candidates will be asked to supply HR with either verified copies or original documents confirming their identification, qualifications and visa status.


7. Making an offer of employment

7.1 Following the agreement of the Panel, a verbal offer to the selected candidate should be made soon thereafter. The verbal offer should only be made by the Chair of the Appointing Panel, or his/her panel nominee where deemed appropriate, and a full set of references will be required before making a verbal offer of employment.

7.2 Confirmation of an offer of employment is subject to HR receiving the following documentation:

  • Satisfactory references;
  • Medical clearance;
  • Validated copies of qualifications;
  • Validated copies of identification;
  • Any other checks as appropriate. (e.g. CRB check, work permits, visa, etc.)

7.3 The Chair of the Appointing Panel should complete the Candidate Feedback Form, collate all recruitment packs and arrange for them to be returned to the HR Recruitment Team handling the specific vacancy.

7.4 The Chair of the Appointing Panel should complete the Appointment Authorisation Form with all necessary details of the contract. The document should be signed by both the Chair of the Appointing Panel and the Head of Department concerned, and passed to the Human Resources Assistant dealing with the vacancy. In the event that the Head of Department is also the Chair of the Panel, a second member of the panel will be asked to counter-sign the document. Human Resources will then issue the successful candidate with an appropriate contract and all accompanying information pertaining to employment with the University.

7.5 The contract of employment will contain a written statement of the terms and conditions of employment. This document must be signed by the person to whom the contract is being offered (without any amendment) and returned to Human Resources, within the timescale specified in the covering letter, as evidence of acceptance.

7.6 Once the chosen candidate has indicated acceptance of the offer, all candidates who attended an interview should be contacted and advised of the outcome of their application soon thereafter by the Chair of the Panel or his/her nominee. The notes recorded during each interview may be used to provide constructive feedback if requested. The verbal feedback should be provided courteously andsensitively.

7.7 Details of candidates and of selection decisions will normally be stored for a maximum of six months. Unsuccessful applicants records will be destroyed and for those successful applicants the record will form part of their personnel file.


8. Joining the University

8.1 It is important that all new employees receive a well-planned induction to enable them to become fully operational as quickly as possible. Guidelines on induction are available on the Centre for the Development of Staff and Academic Practice.


9. Policy Review

9.1 This Policy and Procedure will be reviewed at intervals of not less than two years, unless to comply with statutory changes or important case-law. All reviews will include consultation with the recognised campus Trade Unions.

9.2 The policy will be Equality Impact Assessed in accordance with the University’s procedures.

1, 2 Subject to approval


Appendix 1

Employing Overseas Nationals

Under the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, it is a criminal offence to employ a person aged 16 or over who requires leave to enter, or remain in, the United Kingdom under the terms of the Immigration Act 1971, unless that person has current and valid permission to be in the United Kingdom and that permission does not prevent him or her from taking the job in question.

It is essential that the post has been advertised nationally, (via the HR Department) and in accordance with the published criteria, the specified media / publication and for the appropriate time scale (normally 2 weeks).

The University is not liable for: the employees of a contractor undertaking work on the University’s behalf; self-employed people or freelancers doing work for the University; or agency workers.

It is essential therefore that records and specified documents which relate to the persons concerned are checked before employees commence a contract of employment. This will establish a statutory defence should we employ an illegal worker.

The Points Based System

From 1 November 2008, the Work Permit was replaced by a new ‘Points Based System’ (PBS). (Link to points based policy). Under this new system, Aberystwyth University as a license holder may issue certificates to non-resident workers employed by us. However, there are certain criteria that will need to be met prior to issuing a certificate, details of which are outlined below.

Resident labour market test

In order to recruit a migrant worker from outside the resident work force for a job that is not on the list of shortage occupations, Aberystwyth University must show that it has applied the resident labour market test and can show that no suitably qualified settled worker can fill the job.

Those requiring a certificate may only be offered the post if the Recruitment Panel can demonstrate that ‘resident workers’ do not meet the essential criteria when compared to the person specification.

Documentation required prior to issuing a certificate

HR will contact all short-listed non-resident workers, and ask that they provide either documentary evidence of their entitlement to work in the UK e.g. student visa, family visa, ancestry visa or evidence that the applicant scores the required number of points.

A calculator is available via the following link, and the non-resident worker must provide HR with a print out of their result 

The following documents will be required before Aberystwyth University will issue a

  • Copy of the person’s passport 
  • Copy of all qualification certificates (must be translated into English or Welsh)