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Recruitment and Selection code of practice

How we ensure that all people involved in the process for recruiting staff know their roles and responsibilities.

Code Of Practice

Information not provided
Information not provided
Approval date
13 Feb 2024
Approved by
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Date of last review
13 Feb 2024
Date of next review
13 Jan 2025

1. Introduction

The University of Bath is committed to recruiting a high quality workforce with appropriate expertise and experience.

Equality of opportunity is a core value of the University and recruitment and selection procedures have been designed to provide ways to assess and appoint the most capable and effective employees while ensuring that all individuals are treated with fairness and sensitivity. It is the University’s policy to recruit the most appropriate person for each approved vacancy regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

At the same time the University needs to ensure that all staff recruited have a right to work in the UK, with checks made before they start work and that all immigration requirements are met as specified by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

Selection is a subjective process, so a systematic framework is essential to ensure that decisions are soundly based, consistent and defensible.

Anyone involved within the shortlisting or selection process, must be aware of the University's policy relating to personal and professional relationships. If there is any possibility that a relationship could be perceived to affect a decision with any stage of the recruitment process, the Chair must be informed, so that they can seek appropriate advice from the Talent Acquisition Manager.

The Human Resources (HR) Department will ensure the recruitment and selection process is clear and up to date with regards to all elements of legislation. The department is available to provide advice and guidance at every stage of the recruitment and selection process.

2. Aims of the code of practice

  • to help departments to recruit the best people in a fair and efficient way

  • to encourage good practice

  • to ensure that the University offers equal opportunities to all job applicants

  • to ensure that all employees have a right to work in the UK and they and the University meet all immigration requirements as specified by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI)

  • to ensure there are consistent recruitment procedures throughout the University

  • to offer guidance to those involved in recruitment and selection.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Every member of staff in recruitment and selection is responsible for:

  • following in full the guidance contained in this Code of Practice.

3.2 Heads of Departments are responsible for:

  • The proper conduct of the recruitment and selection for all posts within their department in line with this guidance and the legislation and regulations behind it

  • Identifying an appropriate person within the department who will manage the recruitment and selection process for a vacancy

  • Ensuring all staff likely to be involved in recruitment are made aware of this guidance, follow it and undertake the training provided to develop the skills necessary to undertake fair and effective recruitment and selection

3.3 Recruiting Managers are responsible for managing the recruitment and selection process:

The Recruiting Manager will be responsible for:

  • writing a job description and person specification for the vacancy

  • writing a clear and concise advertisement

  • selecting candidates for interview (with other panel members) according to whether they possess the requirements identified in the person-specification for the vacant post

  • identifying panel members including the Chair and ensuring, where practical, gender balance in the panel

  • confirming an interview date and booking rooms

  • agreeing the assessment process to select candidates such as length and type of interview, use of tests and other assessments

  • ensuring the fair and effective assessment of the appointee meeting all equality, diversity and immigration requirements in line with advice from Human Resources

  • managing the induction of the new employee

3.4 Chairs of interview panels are responsible for ensuring that:

  • they have received the appropriate information and training in recruitment and selection including knowledge of relevant University policies

  • interviews are conducted in a fair and equitable way and in accordance with University policies and guidance and all legal requirements

  • all candidate records and notes are returned to HR after selection interviews and not retained by members of the panel or department

  • all panel members treat all information gained via the selection process as confidential

  • no records of any candidate are used for any other purpose without the permission of the candidate

  • a member of the panel is designated to give feedback to candidates upon request

3.5 The Panel members are responsible for:

  • questioning interview candidates in a fair and equitable manner

  • note taking during each interview

  • ensuring all their paperwork is given to the Chair at the end of the interview process

  • treating all information gained via the selection process as confidential

3.6 The Department of Human Resources is responsible for:

  • monitoring and reviewing the Code of Practice

  • ensuring that the principles of the Code of Practice are widely communicated within and followed consistently throughout the University

  • advising candidates of the outcome of the selection process

  • advising individual members of staff on any aspect of the recruitment and selection process if not covered in training or by special arrangement

  • organising appropriate training for staff undertaking recruitment and selection

  • the end to end administration process for recruitment and selection including the placing of adverts

  • managing the University recruitment budget

  • monitoring the quality, effectiveness and fairness of recruitment and selection processes including through the use of equal opportunities monitoring reports (Annual reports on the monitoring of this area of activity are made to the University of Bath’s Equalities and Diversity Committee)

  • ensuring that only applicants with a confirmed right to work in the UK are appointed to posts (including through the issuing of Certificates of Sponsorship where the applicant and role meets the requirements) and that appointees and the University meet all immigration requirements as specified by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI)

4. The recruitment and selection process

4.1 Job descriptions and person specifications

For all posts a clear job description and person specification must be written, in the agreed format for which there are approved templates − see academic & research only job descriptions.

  • job descriptions describe the role, responsibilities, key performance outcomes and lines of responsibility

  • person specifications detail the essential and desirable criteria that are genuinely required by the job holder in order to undertake the role effectively e.g. qualifications, experience and the competencies they should be able to demonstrate along with an indication of how and at what stage they will be assessed

4.2 Job evaluation

All posts must have a job evaluation score attached to them to ensure equality of pay between jobs in the University. Evaluation of a job will be undertaken:

  • by the relevant HR Business Partner or Manager

  • prior to the vacancy being considered by Staff Vacancy Review Group (SVRG) or if exempt from SVRG approval or externally funded, prior to advertisement

4.3 Vacancy approval

All posts, whether externally or internally funded need to follow a certain process in order to be advertised.

Core funded: Recruiting Manager > Finance Review > Departmental Review > (SAT / Director of Finance and Director of HR Review) > HR Recruitment/Operations Review

Externally funded research: Recruiting Manager > Post Award RIS Review > Departmental Review (Head of Department) > HR Recruitment/Operations Review

4.4 Advertising

Recruitment advertisements shall be placed only for approved vacancies.

All vacancies, including temporary posts, shall normally be advertised. Vacancies shall normally be published internally and externally, with a minimum of a two week closing date. There may be specific requirements that you need to take into account when advertising a vacancy including whether it requires a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Check and/or whether it is sponsorable under the Points-Based Immigration System.

Human Resources are able to provide advice on where to advertise vacancies. Departments may wish to advertise in a way or in a publication that Human Resources does not advise. In such instances Human Resources will pay the equivalent money towards the recruiting manager’s chosen option. Any costs over this standard amount will be funded by the recruiting department.

Occasionally, in particular circumstances the University may create a post for a named individual or fill a vacant post by invitation if the University’s interests will be best served by doing so. Further guidance on the process can be found on the following page:

4.5 Shortlisting

Shortlisting is the stage in the selection process during which all applicants for an appointment are considered against the requirements of the post which are detailed in the person specification.

Candidates for interview must be shortlisted against the criteria set out in the person specification for the vacancy. No other criteria may be used. Disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria of a person specification are guaranteed an interview in line with the ‘Disability Confident' Symbol Scheme.

Please note that for academic appointments, all members of the panel must have completed the University’s online recruitment and selection training.

Shortlisting should be carried out by at least two members of staff from the interview panel who will agree the shortlisting criteria and weightings. Decisions about shortlisting are made online against supporting statements candidates have submitted in response to questions linked to essential criteria for the position.

Once shortlisting scores and, interview arrangements have been completed, this should be submitted online to Human Resources. Interview arrangements should indicate which candidates have been selected for interview, date and place of the interview and any other selection arrangements.

4.6 Interview expenses

For posts up to and including Grade 7 Shortlisted candidates residing outside of the UK will normally be interviewed via telephone or video/Skype.

Where a recruiting department wishes to call a candidate to attend an interview in the University it must be authorised by the Dean or Director of Professional Services and approved by Human Resources before the candidate is invited to interview.

In such cases the recruiting department will reimburse travel expenses incurred outside the UK, subject to the Guidelines on Interview Expenses.

Academic posts or a post that is Grade 8 or above Shortlisted candidates residing outside of the UK will normally be interviewed via MS Teams.

Where a recruiting department wishes to call a candidate to attend an interview in the University it must be authorised by either a member of the SAT, the Dean or Director of Professional Services and approved by Human Resources before the candidate is invited to interview.

HR will reimburse travel expenses subject to the Guidelines on Interview Expenses.

4.7 Redeployment candidates

In line with the University's guidance on redeployment procedures, recruiting departments should give preferential consideration, in respect of shortlisting for vacancies, to University employees under notice of redundancy or approaching the end of a fixed term appointment who are seeking redeployment. Employees seeking redeployment in these circumstances should be interviewed before any other candidates, provided the application arrives within seven days of the job going live and the applicant is able to meet the essential criteria listed for the post.

Any such interview should happen before any other candidates are invited for interview. If the interview confirms that the candidate meets all the essential criteria for the post, or could do so with reasonable retraining, he/she should be offered the post on a trial basis. This requirement does not apply should an employee seeking redeployment apply for a vacancy at a higher grade than their existing post.

4.8 References

At the shortlisting stage, if consent is given by the shortlisted candidate, Human Resources will write to their referees:

  • a copy of the job description will be included and referees will be asked to comment on the person’s suitability for the post

  • members of the interview panel will be provided with copies of references that have been returned before the interview date

  • references should be used with an understanding that they are highly subjective when commenting in particular on areas linked to competence and performance. No recruitment decision should be based purely on the basis of a reference. More detailed guidance is available on writing a reference.

4.9 Selection methodology

It may be appropriate for a range of selection methods to be used, in addition to or other than interviews, as part of the selection process. Human Resources can provide advice on other forms of selection methods.

The most common methods used at the University are presentations and in-tray exercises and other tests or assessments to replicate the type of situations that the successful applicant would have to deal with.

The method chosen must be relevant to fairly assessing specific essential and desirable criteria required by the job holder and the competencies they should be able to demonstrate as highlighted on the job description and person specifications

4.10 Interview arrangements

Shortlisted candidates shall be invited to interview by Human Resources.

The chair of the interview panel or their designated nominee should ensure that all candidates with a disability are fully provided for at interview.

4.11 Composition of interview panels for academic posts

For academic appointments the interview panel will be chaired by the Dean (or nominated deputy) who will determine the composition of the interview panel with the Head of Department.

The composition of interview panels for senior academic roles such as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean and Head of School/Department are set out in the procedures for the Senior Academic Appointments Committee.

Please note that for academic appointments, all members of the panel must have completed the University’s recruitment and selection training.

4.12 Selection process

The selection process is intended to give an opportunity for the panel to assess the relative merits of the shortlisted candidates against the job description and person specification, and explore their skills, experience etc, to establish which candidate is most suitable for the job.

The selection process shall be conducted by a mixed gender panel consisting of at least two people and should include those individuals best suited to assess candidates’ capabilities against the identified criteria. Larger panels, such as four or five members may not always be as effective (dependent upon the post) as carefully constructed smaller panels. Staff should consider this when selecting an interview panel.

The person acting as chair must have successfully completed the University’s recruitment and selection training. For academic posts there is a requirement that all interview panel members have completed this training. Human Resources will undertake regular checks to ensure this requirement is met.

Prior to the selection process the panel will receive the shortlisted candidates’ applications and the job description and person specification for the vacancy.

The panel should set aside sufficient time before the interviews start to ensure adequate preparation of areas of questioning to ensure candidates are fairly and consistently assessed against the criteria in the person specification.

It is important that panels keep records of interviews to help them reach a decision and to be clear about the reasons for selecting the successful candidate. All panel members should make informal notes on each candidate during the interview and discussion with the panel following interview. These informal notes, along with all paperwork relating to the interviews must be uploaded when completing your interview decisions on Stonefish, these are kept on file for six months from when the selection process has been completed, before being deleted.

4.13 Outcome

When the selection process is complete, each candidate should, in turn, be discussed and a decision reached.

  • the Chair must document whether each candidate is appointable or non-appointable.

  • if there is more than one appointable candidate the Chair will rate the appointable candidates in order of suitability against the job description and person specification

  • outcomes should be recorded on the interview decisions tab on Stonefish

  • in the event that the panel is unable to agree, the chair has the final decision.

  • if no candidate is identified as appointable, Human Resources should be informed and next steps discussed.

  • a member of the interview panel will be designated to give feedback to all candidates. Human Resources will formally notify candidates of the outcome of their interview once the interview outcome documentation has been returned.

4.14 Offer of employment

Offers of employment are made by Human Resources for vacancies in Grades 2 to 9 and in line with the University’s guidance. Starting salaries for appointments in Grades 2 to 9 will normally be at the grade minimum unless the candidate’s experience, qualifications, or demonstrable ability to perform the job suggest it is not appropriate.

When an existing employee is appointed to a new position at the same grade as their current position, they will be appointed on the same incremental point as they are currently on. They will also retain their existing date for incremental progression.

When an existing employee is appointed to a new position at a higher grade than their current position, they will be appointed on either the first incremental point of the new grade, or the incremental point above their existing salary. They will retain the standard incremental progression date of 1 April subject to six months' satisfactory performance in the job.

These principles apply to appointments that are made through open recruitment, restructurings, secondments, regradings and promotions.

Starting salaries for appointments above Grade 9 are determined by the Vice-Chancellor.

All offers of employment are subject to Human Resources receiving:

  • satisfactory medical clearance

  • proof of right to work in the UK (The University is recognised by UKVI as a sponsor organisation)

  • evidence of qualifications

  • clearance from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) if applicable to the post

  • contracts of employment are issued to new employees by Human Resources

5. Induction

Induction of new staff into their role in the University is an important aspect in staff recruitment.

It is the responsibility of the recruiting manager, or a suitable nominee, to ensure that the new member of staff is introduced to the department and understands their job and where it fits into the local organisation. Human Resources can provide advice and support to recruiting managers about induction.

Human Resources organises a monthly introduction to the University event for new staff. New staff receive an invitation to this event as part of their employment pack.

Managers should set clear goals and objectives for the new employee, in line with the duties and responsibilities of the post as set out in the job description and progress should be reviewed at regular meetings. Further advice and support about managing the probation of a new employee is available from Human Resources. You can also read our guidance on planning an effective induction.

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