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Use this series of pages to guide you through the steps to take when recruiting staff. This includes designing, advertising, shortlisting and interviewing for the role, offering the job and inducting new staff.
When someone leaves a job, the standard notice period is usually at least a month. But recruiting someone new can take three months or more.
It’s therefore crucial to advertise the role as soon as you can. Use this page to help you decide how and where to advertise.
A job advert should engage your ideal candidate and provide them with a concise, accurate overview of the role and your organisation.
Your advert should appeal to as many people as possible. Make sure you check for any spelling mistakes. They could put off a great candidate from applying. Think carefully about the words you use to ensure they’re not biased against specific groups of people.
If you don’t have one, download this template equality and diversity form from Acas.
‘Positive action’ refers to specific measures organisations can take to reduce discrimination against people with protected characteristics.
It’s possible to take positive action to encourage people from certain groups to apply to work for you, where there’s historical under-representation in a job.
For example, you might state in a recruitment advertisement that you encourage disabled people or people from a certain gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or religion/belief to apply. But you can’t exclude those who don’t have the under-represented characteristics from applying.
All positive action must stop as soon as a vacancy is advertised. It’s then up to each individual to apply for that job and to be appointed on their own merit.
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It’s good practice to advertise (internally and externally), shortlist and interview for every role. This ensures everyone is given a chance and you make the best decision possible.
You’re not legally required to advertise a role internally and externally – you could appoint someone internal without advertising externally. However, if the post is funded by a grant, you should check whether the funder requires you to advertise externally.
There are advantages and disadvantages to only advertising and appointing internally.
If you choose to only advertise internally you should have appropriate documentation to defend the decision, should you face any claim of discrimination. This might be written policies about how to advertise, where to advertise and/or whether to advertise internally or externally.
When choosing the best place to advertise externally, think about where your potential recruits might look for jobs. This can include:
You could also consider job boards that target groups of people that are under-represented in your workforce. Examples include:
You may also want to use recruitment agencies to source candidates, but be aware that the fees can be 15–25% of the first year’s salary.
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