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The recruitment team would be pleased to assist you with your selection process, including defining selection criteria, appropriate assessment methods, shortlisting, interview preparation and decision making.

The selection panel

When selecting the panel, the Chair should take into account the expertise required, equity and the need to consult with relevant stakeholders or interested groups about the appointment.

For the majority of roles, a maximum panel of three is recommended. The panel Chair is responsible for ensuring the selection process is: appropriate for the position; fair and equitable; and designed to clearly identify the most suitable candidates. The Chair should be familiar with the Selection Panel Factsheet.

Download the Selection Panel Factsheet

Selection criteria

Defining your selection criteria, agreeing these with the selection panel and deciding what methods you are going to use to evaluate candidates are key to planning a successful selection process.

Evaluating the evidence gathered about each candidate at every stage of the selection process against these criteria will help the panel maintain objectivity and ensure a fair process.

Viewing & shortlisting candidates

You and your selection panel will be able to view applications, CVs and covering letters in the recruitment system the moment a candidate applies for your vacancy. Panel members who are new to using the system may find the information about how to view candidates in the Collaborators' Factsheet useful. The recruitment team are happy to offer an introduction to the system on a one-to-one basis. Full training is also available.

Creating a shortlisting matrix using the selection criteria to assess each candidate is a useful framework for shortlisting decisions. This should show clearly which applicants are closest to the desired mix of skills and qualifications based on the evidence available from their application.
You are encouraged to record shortlisting decisions in the recruitment system and notify the recruitment team as soon as possible so that the recruitment team can inform unsuccessful candidates without delay. If you would like tailored communication to be issued, please contact the recruitment team.

If you are new to using the system, the Candidate Selection Workflow section of the Using the Recruitment System E-learning module is a useful reference about how to record your decisions in the recruitment system. The recruitment team are available to provide one-to-one support. Full training is also available.

You can find all the above resources in the 'Get it Done' bar on the top right corner of the page.

Assessment methods

You will use a variety of assessment methods in any selection process. The most effective methods to use will depend on the particular skills, attributes and knowledge required for the position. The number of candidates may also be a factor.

The recruitment team are available to provide advice.

Written application Candidates complete the online application form and provide a covering letter and a CV/Resume. You can use this information to assess the candidates against your selection criteria.
Pre-screening questions

Asking candidates to answer questions relating to your selection criteria as part of their online application can help you quickly identify those who meet the criteria.

These are quick for candidates to complete and can save you time, particularly where large numbers of applications are expected.

Download the Pre-Screening Questions factsheet.

Additional application information Candidates can be requested to supply additional information to supplement their application, for example, it may be useful to ask an academic candidate to submit a research plan.
Past work performance

It may be useful to review examples of the candidate's previous work. This could be material they have written, podcasts or online video of teaching or public speaking, a portfolio or websites they have developed.

This information may be requested as part of their application, before confirming your shortlist, or alternatively as part of their interview.

The interview

The Interviewing E-learning module provides an overview of planning, interviewing and decision making.

Find out more detail about interviewing.

Work simulation exercise

Asking candidates to complete a task similar to one they could be expected to complete in the role is useful to assess what a candidate can actually do, rather than simply what they can say.

The recruitment team are available to support you in developing an appropriate exercise and clear instructions for candidates. Examples include:

  • Preparing & delivering a presentation or lecture to an appropriate audience
  • Drafting an appropriate response to a letter
  • Completing a procedure in a laboratory
  • Prioritising a list of tasks & providing reasons for decisions
  • Analysing financial data to identify reasons for unfavourable expenditure against budget
Skills testing

The recruitment team have access to a wide variety of computer based skills tests including MS Office, Adobe and Filemaker packages as well as technical ICT tests.

If you would like to discuss the tests available please contact the recruitment team.

Reference checks

The purpose of reference checking is to validate information obtained about the candidate's employment history, skills and experience and to check your assessment of the candidate's suitability for the role.

Guidance and templates are available in the 'Get it Done' bar.

Credential checks It may be appropriate to verify qualifications, registration, or other background checks to ensure the candidate is appointable. Human Resources offer this service.

Choosing the Right Candidate for Appointment

Deciding which candidate to recommend for appointment is rarely easy or straightforward. The chair of the interview panel plays a key role in ensuring the decision is objective, based on merit and the candidate's suitability for the role. Each panel member should score each applicant against the selection criteria, and make a brief summary of their interview observations, immediately after each interview.

Often a panel will begin by discussing their individual observations and ratings and try to reach a consensus about which candidate to appoint. While this enables a full discussion, there is a possibility of one dominant opinion overriding the input from other panel members. The panel chair can avoid this by using the agreed selection criteria to structure the decision making process and more importantly ensure the applicants are assessed objectively.

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