Recruitment & Selection Policy

1.      Policy Statement

Vision Training (North East) Ltd want to constantly improve our performance as an organisation. The company recognises that its employees are fundamental to its success, therefore we need to be able to attract and retain employees of the highest calibre, from the widest possible pool of talent.  Using a strategic, professional approach to recruitment is essential to do this.

Whilst we aim to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities, who will enhance the quality of service and contribute to our success, we are also committed to providing opportunities for the continual development and career progression of current employees. This means that we will normally advertise vacancies both internally and externally. However, in exceptional circumstances, there may be a strong business case for making appointments without advertising the opportunity.

As a vacancy becomes available we will consider if it lends itself to flexible working (e.g. job sharing) to attract a wider range of candidates.  We will endeavour to reach traditionally under-represented groups and ensure that discrimination does not take place at either the attraction or selection stage.

2.      Purpose

The purpose of this recruitment and selection policy is to ensure:

  • A professional and consistent approach to the recruitment and selection of employees
  • Adherence to
    • relevant employment legislation
    • equality & diversity policy
  • That employees are recruited on the basis of their ability
  • A transparent and fair process.

3.      Scope

This policy and procedure cover all activities that form part of the recruitment and selection process. It is applicable to all employee recruitment except casual staff. In order for the policy and procedure to be effective it is essential that any employee who is involved in any aspect of the recruitment and/or selection of employees is aware of this document and follows it.

This policy applies to

  • All internal and external applicants for vacancies.
  • All employees involved in the recruitment and selection process

4.      Roles and Responsibilities

4.1          The Operations Director

The operations director is responsible for the management of the recruitment and selection process.

 4.2         The Head of Centre and Finance Director

The Head of Centre and Finance Director are responsible for taking part in shortlisting and interview processes.

5.      Policy Implementation – Procedures

4.1          Vacancies

Before a vacancy is advertised the Directors will discuss if the post should be re-filled.  They will consider:

  • Business need
  • Job Description & Personal Specification
  • Whether a current employee could be promoted to the role
  • Where the post will be advertised
  • Time frames/deadlines for:
    • Advertisement
    • Applications
    • Shortlisting
    • Interviewing
    • Potential start dates.

4.2          Advertising

4.2.1      As a minimum all positions will normally be advertised within the company. This will help maximise equality of opportunity and provide staff with opportunities for career development, thus maintaining the skills and expertise of existing staff. In exceptional circumstances the directors may waive the need to advertise.

4.2.2      If the post is not to be filled internally the post will potentially be advertised:

  • On the company website
  • On the government job site
  • With recruitment Agencies
  • With online recruitment site(s)
  • In the press

4.2.3      The advertising of the post will be managed by the operations director

4.2.4      Guidance

When placing an ad, always make sure that you do not discriminate against anyone in the process on the grounds of age, sex or race. This can be positively or negatively, for example – “We want a keen young trainee” would be age discrimination.  Only English nationals need apply would be race discrimination. You can only actively discriminate if the characteristic which you require is truly relevant to the job.

Ensure your advertising does not break the law. For example, advertising a job with a salary of £2 an hour would be illegal (minimum wage law) as would advertising a job where people were expected to work continually for more than 6 hours with no breaks (working time directive).

4.3          Applications

4.3.1      Vision Training (North East) Limited accept CVs and a covering letter from anyone wishing to apply for an advertised role.  In some instances, the company may ask candidates to submit further information to demonstrate their suitability for the role (e.g. how they meet the advertised criteria in a cover letter).

4.3.2      Vision Training (North East) Limited will treat all applications confidentially and will ensure it meets its obligations under the Data Protection Act.

4.4          Shortlisting

Shortlisting involves objectively assessing each application against the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification. Cutting corners may appear to save time, but it is likely that you will not end up with the best candidate for the job and, potentially, face a challenge to the process.

It is discriminatory and unlawful to reject a job applicant for employment because of sex, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability (unless rejection for employment because of a reason arising from disability can be justified), age (unless justified), or trade union membership.

  • Shortlisting may involve the whole panel but must be carried out by a minimum of 2 people to avoid any possibility of bias, one of whom would normally be the operations director.
  • Shortlisting will be based on the criteria set out in the person specification for the role, only candidates who meet all the essential criteria should be short-listed.
  • All un-shortlisted applicants will be informed by letter
  • All shortlisted applicants will
    • Be informed by email or telephone
    • Asked to advise if there are any particular arrangements or reasonable adjustments that could be made so that they can participate fully in the selection process.
  • The panel should record reasons for shortlisting or not shortlisting each applicant.  These reasons must be based on the personal specification.

4.5          Interviewing

4.5.1    Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview with a panel at Vision Training (North East) Limited as a minimum requirement.  Dependant on the role they may also be required to complete assessments such presentations, proof of ability and/or other job-related exercises. There may also be the requirement for candidates to attend a second interview.

4.5.2    In some instances, it may be necessary to meet candidates before a formal interview process. This may be conducted at

  • A candidate’s request in order for the individual to find out further information about the company.
  • The company’s request for the candidates to complete an assessment

4.5.3      The panel will have a set of pre-prepared interview questions which will be asked consistently and fairly to each candidate.  They may then ask individual questions:

  • To clarify points raised by those questions
  • In response to statements made by the candidates
  • To clarify points raised on the persons CV/Application

4.5.4      The panel will ensure candidates are assessed consistently against the criteria and the reasons for selection and non-selection should be recorded.

4.5.2      Interview Guidance

Although it’s desirable to know as much as possible about the applicant, try to ensure you keep the following in mind during the interview:

  • Remember you are selling the company as much as the candidate is selling themselves – be professional
  • Do not use any sexist comments, even if these are intended as a joke
  • Steer clear of questions such as “are you planning on having children”?
  • Treat people equally and avoid personal bias
  • Try to judge someone’s suitability for a role purely by their skills and experience
  • Should an applicant have a disability, ask questions about how you can help them to do their work in spite of their disability, rather than why the disability stops them doing it.  If a candidate has a disability but is still the best person for the job, you may be able to get a grant from the government in order to provide some reasonable workplace adjustments.
  • Try not to over promise during an interview and always give realistic information
  • Do not offer rashly during the interview itself. Even if you offer a job verbally, providing the candidate accepts, even if the paperwork has not been done you may have a legally binding contract.

4.6          Referees

4.6.1      Referees should not be contacted without the candidate’s consent and the information provided should be treated as confidential by the panel members.

4.6.2      Information sought from referees will be structured around the requirements of the job and the job description will be provided. It should be noted that many organisations have a policy of not providing personal references and therefore references provided may only confirm details of current appointment.

4.6.3      Two references will be taken up, normally for the selected candidate, one of which should be from the current or most recent employer.

4.6.4      If the appointment is urgent, the company may seek to obtain a verbal/telephone reference for the successful candidate providing that standard procedures are followed.

4.6.5      In certain circumstances a school or personal reference is acceptable.

4.7          Making the Appointment

4.7.1      In the first instance a verbal offer will be made very shortly after the selection process to enhance the company’s ability to recruit the selected candidate. In such cases the verbal offer will normally be made by the Chair of the selection panel, although he or she has the discretion to delegate this responsibility if felt appropriate.

4.7.2      Once a selection decision has been made the Business Support Team will produce a written offer of employment. Offers of employment are normally subject to satisfactory references, any applicable medical clearance, checks of qualifications and any other checks as appropriate, such as Asylum and Immigration checks, Criminal Records Bureau checks (for posts that are exempted from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act).

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