Recruitment & Selection Policy
1. Policy Statement
The Scout Association recognises its staff as being fundamental to its success. A strategic and professional approach to recruitment processes help enable the organisation to attract and appoint staff with the necessary skills and attributes to fulfil its strategic aims, support the Scout values and make a difference to the young people we serve. The Scout Association is committed to ensuring that the recruitment and selection of staff is conducted in a manner that is efficient and effective and is also committed to improve diversity within the organisation, including racial diversity and the employment of people with disabilities.
This policy has been designed to provide a flexible framework which promotes good practice, adopts a proactive approach to equality and diversity issues and supports fully the Scout Association’s values and strategic plan to ensure appropriate staff are matched to the requirements of each position.
Professional advice and support is available at all stages of the recruitment process from Human Resources.
This policy applies to the recruitment and selection of all new staff to the Scout Association and internal recruitment processes for existing staff. All employees involved at any stage of the recruitment and selection of staff should be aware of and adhere to the contents of this policy and guidance. In addition, any external consultants, recruitment agencies or external experts who assist in the recruitment process must act in accordance with this policy.
3. Aims of the Policy
- To ensure that recruitment processes are fit for purpose and are conducted fairly
- To appoint and match the best person for each position
- To ensure compliance with the Scout Association policy on Equality and Diversity
- To ensure that appropriate vetting of candidates is undertaken, including appropriate Disclosure and Barring Services checks for designated posts
- To ensure compliance with relevant employment legislation
- To promote the Scout Association values
- To meet the Scout Association operational requirements and strategic aims and objectives as set out in the Strategic Plan 2018 -2023
- To ensure the financial resources of the Scout Association are safeguarded by recruiting suitable, competent staff efficiently and effectively
Managers should ensure all those involved in the recruitment process are competent and have the appropriate level of expertise and understanding of equalities principles. Recruitment and Selection guidance and training is available from the HR team. Staff involved in the recruitment process should be aware of their responsibilities under the relevant legislation which include:
- Equalities Act 2010
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975
- Asylum and Immigration Act 2004
- The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Data Protection Act and GDPR 2018
If a member of staff involved in the recruitment process has a friendship, professional relationship or family connection with an applicant they must declare this as soon as they are aware of the individual’s application and the Appointing Manager will make a decision as to whether it is appropriate for the individual to continue to be part of the recruitment process.
Documentation relating to applicants will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and in accordance with the GDPR. Applicants will have the right to feedback and to access any documentation held about them in accordance with their rights under GDPR. Documentation relating to applicants for jobs will be held securely and will be retained for 6 months after the recruitment process has been completed.
The policy will be operated in line with our current Data Protection, Employee Privacy Notice and Retention Policies which can be found on the intranet.
5. Recruitment and Selection Procedures
There are five distinct stages within the recruitment and selection process:
The Appointing Manager should, before commencement of a recruitment campaign, consider whether there is a need to recruit. Managers should consider whether the work can be distributed differently, whether the role needs to be full time and whether it should be permanent or a fixed term contract.
The Appointing Manager should complete the Recruitment Request Form (Appendix A) and obtain approval from a Director to recruit and, if this is a new or changed post, a business case with budget considerations should be submitted on this form and sent to HR for approval from the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) following formal evaluation to determine the correct grade (and salary) in line with our Reward Policy.
Positions which have not been previously evaluated or jobs which have changed in regard to content and responsibility should be evaluated. Appointing managers should liaise with HR for further information in regards to the job evaluation process. If the job is substantially the same as previously and there is no need for evaluation under the Job Evaluation scheme, approval for recruitment to commence should be obtained from the relevant Director.
At the Scout Association, we use an applicant information pack template (Appendix B) which should be used to describe the purpose and key accountabilities of the role. This document is also used to set out the person specification which lists the criteria needed for the successful applicant. Both the job description and person specification should be reviewed before commencing recruitment. The person specification is the key to a fair selection process and is used as the basis for shortlisting. All person specifications should state the essential (E) and desirable (D) criteria that will help in making the shortlisting process transparent and objective. Where regulated activity is essential part of the role, this should be clearly stated. Appointing managers will also complete a ‘recruitment plan’ (appendix C) that includes the whole timeline of the campaign and return it to HR together with the Applicant Information Pack.
Our standard practice is to advertise all jobs both externally and internally at the same time. However, in exceptional circumstances, if it is considered very likely that we have the skills, experience and abilities necessary for a role within the existing workforce, the job may be advertised on an internal-only basis. HR will place all vacancies on the TSA website and in the weekly staff email. External advertising for each job will be agreed by the Appointing Manager and HR in line with the specific role, using industry or job specific job boards, general job boards and social media such as Facebook and Linked In. All advertisements should be clearly written and free from jargon and discrimination, direct or indirect. HR will monitor and evaluate our recruitment advertising performance and cost to ensure best value for money in resourcing applicants.
Diversity considerations should underpin all recruitment activity and should be based on the principles set out in the Scout Association Diversity and Equality of Opportunities Policy. Appointing Managers where appropriate, may incorporate ‘positive action’ initiatives into a recruitment and selection process. ‘Positive Action’ is set out in the Equality Act 2010 and refers to a variety of measures designed to counteract the effects of past discrimination, for example:
- Placing advertisements in minority ethnic press or job boards, websites targeted at women and any other platform which is targeted at groups which are under-represented within our workforce
- Including statements in advertisements that encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply for the advertised position
If a particular role must genuinely be filled by an employee of a specific gender or race, or one who holds a specific religious belief, this may deemed to be a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR). Advice from HR should be taken in these circumstances. All applicants are also asked to complete the TSA ‘diversity monitoring form’, which is kept separate from their applications and only accessed and viewed by HR and not shared by the shortlisting panel. The data will only be shared anonymously with SLT with a view to monitoring our diversity targets.
As part of the Scout Association Diversity and Equalities commitment, applicants who have a disability are encouraged to apply for jobs with us and we are signed up to the Government’s Disability Confident Employer Scheme and are committed to:
- Actively look to attract and recruit disabled people
- Provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
- Offer an interview to all disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the role they have applied for
- Demonstrate flexibility when assessing applicants so disabled people have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job they have applied for
For those unable to apply for our vacancies through the online system other alternative methods of applying will be offered upon notification to HR. Clear instructions are provided on TSA recruitment page for applicants with special requirements. Standard interview invitation letter/email to all candidates should also include a question asking them to notify TSA for any special requirements to attend the interviews. Where possible accommodation should be made for e.g. adjustment for dyslexia or wheelchair access. HR will ask all new starters to declare any disability and collect and keep this information through a new starter form. Upon declaration, HR shares this information with the line manager of the new starter and provides guidance and support.
For all external vacancies, appointing managers should normally allow at least two weeks i.e. from when the vacancy goes live to the closing date. Internal vacancies are circulated for one week at a minimum. All applicants will receive an auto acknowledgement email from HR upon applying and advising them of the next step. On the closing date, HR electronically provide job applications to the Appointing manager to shortlist.
5.3 Selection Process
The shortlisting process involves assessing each application against each criteria in the person specification. Collective shortlisting by the panel is required for all the vacancies in order to prevent any unconscious bias and prejudice and the outcome of the shortlisting process should be carefully recorded. Lived experience and potential should be considered where no or limited formal qualifications or experience is evident in the application. Appointing managers should make keep their notes for the provision of feedback should applicants request it.
All internal candidates should be shortlisted if they meet the essential criteria for the job. The Appointing manager should provide thorough and constructive feedback to all internal candidates.
HR will vet the candidates selected for interview by providing details to our Safeguarding department for checking against internal Scouts records. In cases of concern after the vetting checks, individual candidates will be informed and only cleared candidates will be able to proceed further. All applicants will be informed at an early stage of the recruitment process that we will check their details against our internal Safeguarding records and they will be required to explicitly consent to the check being undertaken.
The Appointing Manager should determine the selection methods to be used for shortlisted candidates but this will always include a face to face interview. Other selection methods available can be used as advice on these can be obtained from HR:
- Written or in tray Exercise
- Psychometric test
- Group exercise
- Assessment days made up of group activities and individual interviews
- Other tests specific to the role e.g. organising data into a spreadsheet
Depending on the nature of the role, one interview may be arranged or a two-stage process – the Appointing Manager should determine this. The final or only interview will be undertaken by all members of the agreed Selection Panel together and they will prepare appropriate questions designed to ascertain the extent to which the applicants met the criteria within the person specification. The panel should score the candidates against each criteria by using a rating system, Appendix D is a template recording format for this purpose. The interview is also an opportunity for the candidates to find out about the job and therefore there should be an opportunity to ask questions of the panel and/or to meet other staff within the team and be shown around the workplace. HR will set up the interviews under the instruction from the Appointing Manager.
TSA encourages a wide range of panel composition which is as gender and racially balanced as possible and may include managers from other departments or volunteers within the movement. Interviews should be conducted by no fewer than two panel members.
The selection panel should carefully select a successful candidate after thorough consideration and a fair comparison of all candidates. The Appointing manager will contact the successful candidate and make a verbal offer, allowing time for the candidate to consider the offer as appropriate. After an acceptance form the candidate, the Appointing manager should inform HR about the outcome. HR will contact the successful candidate (unless the Appointing manager wishes to do so personally) and HR will also provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates once the Appointing manager passes this through. All the notes from the selection process should be given to HR for safekeeping and will be destroyed in line with the Scouts Data Retention Policy.
HR will send a ‘conditional offer letter’ to the successful candidate, subject to pre-employment checks. The following checks will be carried out by HR:
- Right to work
- Basic DBS Checks for all staff
- Enhanced DBS checks with barring for staff in regulated activity
- Qualifications (if applicable)
- Driving Licence (for designated regional roles only)
An offer of employment may be withdrawn if a candidate withholds information or knowingly provides false or misleading information or if any of the above checks are not satisfactorily completed. New staff should not commence work until the necessary checks have been completed, with the exception of the Basic DBS check.
All potential employees are required to provide evidence of entitlement to work in the UK. Through the Asylum and Immigration Act 2008, all employers have an obligation to check the eligibility of an individual’s entitlement to work in the UK. HR will check and validate individual’s right to work by requesting the appropriate documentation and ensuring all documents are appropriately copied and stored. Please see Appendix 1 for a list of appropriate documentation. Where Appointing managers are acting on behalf of HR due to distance, HR will ask line manager to see the original documents, copy, sign, date it and return it to HR.
Obtaining satisfactory references is a critical part of the selection process. At TSA, we take the references that cover the last five years of the applicant’s employment track record where possible and from two sources as a minimum. Where a gap in employment is identified, HR will ask the candidate to provide a clarification or an additional reference. References must be checked against the applicant’s previous employment and education/training history. HR will make and validate references requests and share these with the Appointing manager who is responsible for signing off the references.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. A Basic DBS check will be undertaken for every successful candidate and roles covered by the Regulated Activity which fall into Group One, will be subject to an enhanced DBS check. Regulated Activity is defined as ‘teaching, training or instruction of children/vulnerable adults, carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period, or overnight’. The list of roles which fall into this category is kept in HR and available on request. All applicants will be made aware of the level of DBS check that will be carried out and will be required to give their explicit consent for this to happen.
It is The Scout Association policy to require applicants to disclose any 'unspent' criminal convictions as part of their application. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (amended) ex-offenders are not required to disclose to prospective employers, convictions defined as 'spent' under the Act. However certain posts, particularly those working with vulnerable groups, in positions of trust or sensitive areas are exempt from these provisions, and in these cases all convictions must be declared and DBS clearance obtained prior to starting employment. A current list of spent and unspent conviction periods can be found on the gov.uk website.
The Scout Association will not discriminate unfairly against applicants with a criminal record. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar an applicant from working for The Scout Association; the nature of a disclosed conviction and its relevance to the post in question will be considered. This is with the exception of; a person who has unspent convictions for violence, assault or damage to property, which are likely to be incompatible with working for The Scout Association or; a person who is barred from working with vulnerable groups. It is a criminal offence to employ a person in a 'regulated position' where they have been barred from working with vulnerable groups.
Where a conviction has been disclosed in an individual's application for a post at The Scout Association and that applicant is selected for interview, a discussion will take place at the end of the interview regarding the offence and its relevance to the position. Failure to reveal information relating to unspent convictions will lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment, or termination of employment.
All staff are required to disclose to The Scouts Association if at any point during your employment you have been subject to a police investigation or criminal proceedings. Disclosure is to be made confidentially to the line manager who will consider the effect of the offence on the employee's post. Disclosures relating to vulnerable groups will be referred to a Scout Association Safeguarding Contact who will consider whether a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service is necessary
The purpose of the qualification check is to ensure that the candidate has the right expertise to perform the job they are hired to do. Any qualifications that are required to undertake the role will be listed as an essential criterion of the person specification, for example CIPD qualified, certified solicitor or accountant. Copies of certificates will be checked with the awarding body and will be kept with the individual’s employment record.
Where driving is an essential part of the role, it will be listed in the person specification and successful candidates are asked to provide their full driving licence. A copy will be taken and kept with the individual’s employment record.
HR and the Appointing manager will liaise with each other about the progress on pre-employment checks and agree a start date with the successful candidate. HR will issue a contract of employment before the start date together with the relevant documentation. New starters are required to complete relevant documents and return them to HR. HR will compile and pass new starter information (appointment form & P45/HMRC checklist) to Payroll within the monthly deadline. If the new starter commences their employment after the 6th of the month, they will be enrolled onto the next monthly payroll and paid in the following month. HR will enter new starter details into the HR system and provides access to the self-service facility to the new starter. HR will create an electronic folders for new employees and file all the completed and signed documents.
6. Hiring Contractors/ Casual Staff
Where temporary staff are needed for a short period, on an interim basis, a more flexible approach may be taken with recruitment procedures, as is reasonably practicable in such a situation. Appointing managers may use their own networks or a local agency to find individuals to work as casual/contractors for the Scouts. Casual staff, freelance contractors and agency temps are subject to our standard non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in the absence of an employment contract. The NDA should be completed and signed by both the hiring manager and the new casual staff/contractor. Contractors/casual staff should also be given TSA Yellow Card as our standard code of practice for working with children and young people. Under no circumstances casual staff, freelance contractors and agency temps should be hired to do a role in a regulated activity without the pre-employment checks. HR advice should always be sought when individuals are employed on a ‘contract for services’ (i.e. consultants and freelancers) to ensure that the nature of the work meets the requirements of HMRC and that the contract for service is correctly drawn up.
7. Data Protection and GDPR
In line with the Scouts’ policies on Data Protection and Data Retention, information collected during the recruitment process will be destroyed six months after the completion of the recruitment campaign. All applicants will be informed of these policies and will be given access to them at an early stage of the recruitment process.
Appendix 1 Right to Work Checklist
You must obtain original documents from either List A or List B of acceptable documents for a manual right to work check. You must check that the documents are genuine and that the person presenting them is the prospective employee or employee, the rightful holder and allowed to do the type of work you are offering. You must make a clear copy of each document in a format which cannot later be altered, and retain the copy securely: electronically or in hardcopy.
- A passport showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
- A passport or national identity card showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A Registration Certificate or Document Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office, to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
List B Group 1
- A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
- A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the named person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.
- A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.
- A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
List B Group 2
- A Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office under regulation 17(3) or 18A (2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than 6 months old together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
- An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
- A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in