Recruitment policy and guidelines
Standard applications which do not pay any attention to TEG’s requirements, as stated in the application pack, are simply acknowledged on receipt but eliminated automatically at the shortlisting stage.
The contents of any monitoring forms are not divulged or made available to the interview panel, except in the form of a statistical analysis (i.e. without names or any other reference to individuals).
All applications are considered together at the short-listing stage. Names and contact details are deleted from applications, in order to be as fair as possible to everyone.
People asked to interview will be able to claim travels expenses up to 2nd class rail fair or equivalent, on presentation of receipts provided. In exceptional circumstances, accommodation and subsistence will be allowed with prior agreement.
References will be taken up after the interviews.
Receipt of completed application forms
A fundamental principle is that applications are confidential, and the identity of applicants should not be revealed to anyone.
The deadline for receipt of completed application forms will be clearly stated, and include a time of day. Late applications will not be accepted, in part because it creates additional administration and in part because it would not be fair to other applicants. It may also show that the candidate is disorganised. Exceptions include any delay in sending an application pack to the candidate, but if they had 5 days or more to complete the application, this would not normally be a reason for an extension.
As soon as completed application forms start to arrive, the following procedure will be carried out, by someone who is not on the selection panel:
1. allocate to each candidate a number made up of a code for the post and starting from 001: e.g SM/001 for the first Seminar Manager application;
2. write this number on every sheet of the application form and then separate the page 1 from the rest: the number will henceforward be the only way of knowing to whom the application belongs.
3. write the candidate number on any monitoring form.
4. file the three parts separately:
a. the monitoring form
b. the top sheet of the application form
c. the rest of the application form
5. following the deadline, email pages 2-4 of each application form (i.e. without the top sheet) to each member of the selection panel
6. send these to the selection panel with:
a. a shortlisting form
b. a copy of the procedure on how to shortlist
c. a copy of the procedure on how to devise interview questions
Sending out applications to the panel can be time-sensitive, if the deadline is 12 noon on a Friday and the panel have a shortlisting meeting the following Tuesday.
Invitation to interview
When TEG allocates interview times, candidates who have to travel a long way will normally be offered a later time.
When scheduling the interview day, allow 10 minutes between candidates and make sure you allow enough time for tours and tasks.
If there is a task that the candidate needs to prepare for, this will be explained to them in writing, and they will be given adequate time to prepare.
When contacting candidates, ensure that they know how to get to the venue, and what time they will be needed.
Candidates should advise TEG if they have any special requirements that we need to be aware of. For example they may have a visual impairment that makes it difficult for them to face a panel with a window behind them. Or they may need to be certain of getting away at a certain time because of childcare arrangements. Or they may find getting up stairs difficult or impossible.
TEG will reimburse reasonable travel, also any child- or dependent-care (e.g. for a relative with Alzheimers), costs incurred directly in connection with attending an interview. In the case of travel, candidates should use the cheapest form of transport at off-peak rates (including Apex for British Rail) and standard class travel where possible. Subject to prior approval, they may use their own car for travel if it is cheaper than public transport or if it is more efficient, at the rate of 45 pence per mile of a return journey. Subsistence costs may be reimbursed if the interview requires the candidate to stay overnight away from home. When no meal is provided, the allowance will cover breakfast (only when not provided in a hotel or Bed & Breakfast) luncheon and dinner at a rate agreed in advance. Claims for reimbursement of expenses, together with relevant receipts, should be sent to the TEG Administrator, 29 Point Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8QW, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checklist for the interview:
Is the receptionist in the venue fully briefed, with a list of candidates, time of interview, provision for seating and refreshments whilst waiting and procedure for showing candidates in?
If the candidates are completing a test, is someone available to assist if there is a problem (e.g. a computer crashes)?
Is the room set out to make candidates feel comfortable?
The interview panel should meet half an hour before the interview, for a briefing, to check they have everything they need and to allow for late arrivals. Panel members should decide who will chair the panel. The role of the chair is to:
• welcome the candidate;
• explain that all candidates will be asked the same questions and allowed the same amount of time;
• mention that there will be a chance for them to ask questions at the end of the interview;
• intervene if a panel member behaves inappropriately;
• explain how the successful candidate will be notified
It is usual for a panel member to take control whilst the candidate is answering a question that they have asked. It is acceptable to probe and ask for more information, but they should ensure that one candidate is not probed more than another. Panel members should be positive and helpful during the interview, to try and get the best from the candidate. They should take notes.
Each interviewee should be asked to sign the top sheet of their application, so that references can be taken up if necessary.
The interview panel should not discuss candidates between interviews but save all the discussion until the end of the day. The chair should create a grid and take scores from all candidates. The aim is to select the first and second choice candidate from a consensus of scores of the highest number of points. Some panel members will score harder than others, but the panel should check that scores broadly concur. It is human to score people higher or lower for factors other than the criteria - we liked their clothes, they seemed confident, they answered a question really badly, etc – and because of stereotypes around gender, race and disability. The process at the end of the day should force discussion to focus on the criteria and iron out any discrepancies in scoring.
The panel should decide to whom the job should be offered, and any conditions that might be attached, for its first and second choices.