It’s in the best interest of your company to have a clear recruitment or equality policy so you and your staff can follow the policy as set. If you have a recruitment or equality policy and you want to deviate from it, then you’ll need to be able to justify not following the process set out in the policy.
Before you advertise
Check terms of any Equal Opportunities Policy or Recruitment Policy
See whether there is a procedure you should follow. If you decide to deviate from any set procedure, make sure you document and can justify any such change.
Prepare a job description
This should cover:
• The main purpose of the job
• How the position will fit into the structure of your business
• The main tasks and responsibilities of the position
• Any other associated tasks the job holder will need to carry out
Prepare a person specification
This should detail requirements for the job:
• Behavioural attributes
If you want to, you can split these between those which are “essential” for the job and those which are merely “desirable”.
Check that you can justify the requirements for the position
You need to make sure that you don’t discriminate against any groups of employees. So, for example, can you objectively justify any requirements relating to specific qualifications, working hours or times, travel, age ranges or dress code?
Advertising the job
Decide how you’re going to advertise the job
• Are you going to advertise internally or externally, or both?
It is generally considered best practice from an equal opportunities point of view to advertise all vacancies externally as well as internally. But it may be appropriate to only advertise internally in certain circumstances, for example where you have employees who are at risk of redundancy.
• If you are advertising externally, consider which publications and mediums you are going to use so as to reach the widest range of applicants.
• Say that you are an equal opportunities employer.
Decide how you’d like the candidates to respond
You may ask for each candidate to:
• Apply in writing
• Call you
• Complete and return a standard application form – this gives you the same format to review
• Send in a CV (with or without a covering letter/email)
You may also want your candidates to complete equal opportunities monitoring forms. If so, then make sure they are separated from the application before shortlisting and that the information is processed in accordance with data protection legislation.
• Consider using standard criteria to judge the candidates against
• Use a panel if possible
• You may want to ask candidates to undertake an aptitude test
• Be careful not to discriminate against candidates
• Make reasonable adjustments if necessary, e.g., giving disabled candidates a longer time to complete the selection tasks
• It can be just one person but a panel of two or more is better
Prepare a list of questions to ask
• Get the panel to agree a list of questions if possible
• Where you can, ask the same questions to each candidate
• Ask open questions where you can (who, what, where, when, why and how)
• Avoid questions about the candidate’s personal life unless they are directly relevant to the job
• Take notes of answers given and general impressions
• Keep a full paper trail for each candidate
• You can do this in writing or verbally
• Feedback should be objective and in accordance with any policy you have.
• Keep notes of any discussions and why you chose this candidate.
• Try to be as objective as you can and avoid making unsubstantiated assumptions based on one or more of the protected characteristics such as age, race, sex, sexual orientation, disability and/or religion and belief.
Preparing employment documentation
Prepare offer letter/email
• Set out start date, the main terms (including pay, holidays, notice periods, probation period, benefits, hours of work, place of work)
Include all the information required by law such as:
• The employer’s name.
• The employee’s name.
• Their job title or a description of work they will be doing.
• Their start date and any previous work that counts towards their continuous service.
• How much and how often they get paid.
• Their work hours and days of work and if and how they may vary.
• Their holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays).
• Their place of work and whether they might have to relocate.
• How long a job is expected to last (and what the end date is if it’s a fixed-term contract).
• How long any probation period is and what conditions are attached to it.
• Any other benefits they are entitled to (for example, childcare vouchers and lunch).
• Any training they must attend and whether or not this is paid for by the employer.
• Whether they have to work abroad for more than a month and, if so, for how long, what currency they will be paid in, any additional benefits they will get and the terms relating to their return to the UK
• Sick pay and procedures.
• Other paid leave (for example, maternity leave and paternity leave); and
• Notice periods.
You also have to give information about pensions and pension schemes; collective agreements; disciplinary and grievance procedures and any right to non-compulsory training but you have two months from your employee’s start date to do this.
Making the offer
Make the written offer to your chosen candidate
• Consider whether to set a deadline for acceptance
• Say how the candidate should respond (to whom and whether it should be in writing)
• Make it clear that the offer is subject to proof of the candidate’s right to work in the UK and, if appropriate, to proof of examinations, that they haven’t got any restrictions on them working, a satisfactory medical examination, a clear DBS check, a clear alcohol and drugs testing and to satisfactory references
• You may want to send the draft contract of employment and handbook to the candidate with your offer
Let the unsuccessful candidates know
Check the employee’s right to work
Carry out the following three-step right to work check (obtain, check, copy):
• In the presence of the prospective employee, check the original documents as sent out in the Home Office guidance. You need to make sure the documents relate to the individual and are original, unaltered and valid.
• Copy the documents and record the date you checked them and any date for follow-up checks on the back of your copies.
• Retain copies of the documents securely (this can be a hardcopy or a scanned copy in a format which cannot be manually altered, such as a JPEG or a PDF file).
Alternatively, you can carry out an online check using the government’s online checking service, but this is online able to be used in very limited circumstances.
Take up references
• Once the candidate has accepted your offer, seek their permission to approach their referees.
• Write to each referee asking for a reference.
When your new employee starts
Obtain employee’s P45
You should get their address, personal email address, mobile number, emergency contact’s details (including their email address and mobile) and bank details so you can pay them.
Give your employee a copy of your handbook and get them to sign to say they have had it
If you have a probationary period explain this to your employee and let them know how and by whom they will be assessed
Undertake the induction process
This may include a tour of the building and the emergency exits, meeting members of the team, initial training on systems, equality training, an explanation of ley policies and procedures and a setting of performance targets/assessments.
If you would like to discuss recruitment and equality within your organisation contact our HR and employment team today to arrange a consultation 01284 767 766
Please note this article is provided for general information purposes only to clients and friends of Atkins Dellow LLP. It is not intended to impart legal advice on any matter. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in this article is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.
© Atkins Dellow LLP 2021
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