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Recruitment and Selection Policy.

1. Purpose

  • True North recognises that its staff are fundamental to its success. True North therefore needs to be able to attract and retain staff of the highest calibre and a strategic, professional approach to recruitment is essential to do this.

  • The purpose of this policy is to provide a sound framework for the recruitment and selection of staff based upon the principles outlined below, which also meet the requirements of True North’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, the Equality Act 2010 and all other relevant employment legislation.

2. Scope

This policy and procedure cover all activities that form part of the recruitment and selection process. It is applicable to all staff recruitment. For the policy and procedure to be effective it is essential that any employee who is involved in any aspect of the recruitment and/or selection of staff is aware of this document and follows it. 

3. Core Principles

  • True North has a principle of open competition in its approach to recruitment.

  • True North will seek to recruit the best candidate for the job based on merit. The recruitment and selection process should ensure the identification of the person best suited to the job and the company.

  • True North wishes to encourage the recruitment of staff with disabilities and will make reasonable adjustments to all stages of the recruitment process and as required for a successful candidate with a disability to undertake the post.

  • True North will ensure that the recruitment and selection of staff is conducted in a professional, timely and responsive manner and in compliance with current employment legislation.

  • True North will provide appropriate training, development, and support to those involved in recruitment and selection activities in order to meet this core principle. 

  • Recruitment and selection is a key public relations exercise and should enhance the reputation of True North. True North will treat all candidates fairly, equitably and efficiently, with respect and courtesy, aiming to ensure that the candidate experience is positive, irrespective of the outcome.

  • True North will promote best practice in recruitment and selection. It will continuously develop its recruitment and selection practices to allow new ideas and approaches to be incorporated.

  • True North will ensure that its recruitment and selection process is cost effective.

  • If a member of staff involved in the recruitment process has a close personal or familial relationship with an applicant, they must declare this as soon as they are aware of the individual’s application and avoid any involvement in the recruitment and selection decision-making process.

  • All documentation relating to applicants will be treated confidentially in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. Applicants will have the right to access any documentation held on them in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.

4. Recruitment & Selection Procedure

There are several key stages in recruiting and selecting for a post. This procedure outlines the key stages. 

4.1 Preparation Stage

  • The recruitment and selection process should not commence until a full evaluation of the need for the role against True North’s strategic plans and budget has been completed.

  • The recruitment of staff will consider True North’s need for new ideas and approaches. Additionally, it should support True North’s commitment to ensuring a diverse workforce by proactively seeking to attract groups that are under-represented.

  • Recruitment should form an integral part of the staffing strategy for the business and should take account of the need for any ‘positive action’ initiatives in process.  ‘Positive Action’ is lawful under the Equality Act 2010 and refers to the steps that an employer can take to encourage applicants from people who share a protected characteristic (e.g. a certain gender or race) who are under-represented in a particular area of the workforce, for example:

    • placing advertisements in the minority ethnic press, the women's press and any other publication which is targeted at groups which are under-represented;

    • including statements in advertisements that encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply for the advertised position.

  • Formal authorisation to recruit to a post should be sought from the Board of Directors before commencing the recruitment process.

4.2 Job Description & Person Specification

  • A job description and person specification must be produced or updated for any vacant post that is to be filled.

  • The job description should accurately reflect the elements of the post.

  • The person specification should state both the essential and desirable criteria in terms of skills, aptitudes, knowledge and experience for the job, all of which should be directly related to the job and applied equally to all applicants. Care should be taken when writing the person specification to ensure that criteria used do not indirectly discriminate against certain groups of applicants.

4.3 Advertising

  • All positions will normally be advertised internally within True North initially. This will help maximise equality of opportunity and provide staff with opportunities for career development, thus maintaining the skills and expertise of existing staff. In exceptional circumstances the Board of Directors may waive the need to advertise internally. This is likely to include the following circumstances:

    • positions requiring specialised expertise where it can be demonstrated that a comprehensive search has been conducted and the nominated individual is the most suitable person for the position;

    • where True North can verify that the work is required for a specific purpose of no greater than twelve months duration.

  • In certain circumstances it may be more effective to use a recruitment agency. This should be discussed and agreed with the Board of Directors. This will, however, not eliminate the need to advertise the position internally and any external agencies or consultants who assist in the process must act in accordance with this policy and with respect to our equal opportunities requirements.

  • Applicants should be provided with sufficient information to make an informed decision regarding their suitability for the role.

  • Staff who have been in an acting position that subsequently becomes vacant will have to apply for the position when it is advertised, but in such cases the position can be advertised, in exceptional circumstances on an internal basis only.

  • Applicants are asked to provide equal opportunities details when making their application to enable a robust means of monitoring the success of recruitment in relation to our diversity aims. This information is separate from the job application and applicants are free to indicate that they do not want to provide these details.

  • True North has a legal obligation to comply fully with the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

5. Selection of Candidates

5.1 Shortlisting

  • Shortlisting may involve the whole panel but must be carried out by a minimum of 2 people to avoid any possibility of bias, one of whom would normally be the direct line manager.

  • Shortlisting and selection panels should be constituted with due consideration to the promotion of Equality and Diversity.

  • Notes of the shortlisting decisions for each candidate should be recorded by each member of the panel.

  • Shortlisted candidates should be provided with details of the selection process, including any tests, in writing giving as much prior notice as possible and a minimum of 5 working days before the interview. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, they should also be asked to advise if there are any particular arrangements or reasonable adjustments that could be made so that they can participate fully in the selection process.

  • All candidates (internal and external) should be assessed objectively against the selection criteria set out in the Person Specification, and only candidates who meet all the essential criteria should be short-listed. Assumptions about the qualities of internal candidates should not be made.

5.2 Selection & Interview

  • Interview should normally be carried out by a minimum of two people.

  • Selection is a two-way process: candidates are assessing the role and True North. Those involved in recruitment should consider how best to convey a positive image.

  • It is recommended that a range of selection methods, that are suitable for assessing both the essential and desirable criteria in the person specification are established as this will enhance objective decision making which is difficult through interview alone.

  • Interview questions and the structure of the interview should be consistently applied to all candidates and should be based on the person specification.

  • Notes recording the salient points of the interview should be taken, ideally by the interviewers, so that they can refer back to these when assessing candidates against the person specification and making decisions. Notes of the interview and any other notes on the candidate taken during the recruitment and selection process should be given to CFO following the selection process and will be kept for a minimum of 6 months following the selection process.

  • In situations where there is more than one candidate who is suitable for appointment, selection shall favour diversification of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

  • In the event that a candidate requests feedback about their performance in the selection process this should be arranged by the Chair of the panel.

  • Unsuccessful interview candidates should be dealt with courteously and sensitively and will, as a minimum, receive telephone or written notification of the outcome of the selection process.

5.3 Referees & Background checks

  • Information sought from referees should be structured around the requirements of the job and the job description should be provided. It should be noted that many organisations have a policy of not providing personal references and therefore references provided may only confirm details of current appointment. 

  • Two references will be taken up, normally for the selected candidate and after the interview, one of which should be from the current or most recent employer.

  • Referees should not be contacted without the candidate’s consent and the information provided should be treated as confidential by the panel members.

  • In certain circumstances a school or personal reference is acceptable.

  • Background checks via an appropriate provider will be carried out for all prospective employees and a satisfactory outcome must be obtained before an appointment is made.

5.4 Making the appointment

  • It is recognised that in many cases it is desirable to make a verbal offer very shortly after the selection process to enhance True North’s ability to recruit the selected candidate. In such cases the verbal offer will normally be made by the Chair of the selection panel, although he or she has the discretion to delegate this responsibility if felt appropriate.

  • Once a selection decision has been made the CFO will produce a written offer of employment. Offers of employment are normally subject to satisfactory references, medical clearance, checks of qualifications and any other checks as appropriate, such as Right to Work checks.

5.5 Induction

  • Induction is the final stage of the recruitment process. Once the successful candidate has accepted the offer of employment and a start date has been agreed the line manager is responsible for preparing a comprehensive induction programme for the new employee.

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