Recruitment & probation
Recruitment & selection administration guidance
This guidance is primarily intended for School and Service administrators involved in filling vacancies. It is also useful for recruiting managers to increase awareness of the process for recruiting a new member of staff and an indication of the skills and knowledge required.
Further guidance is available from the HR Recruitment Officer for your School or Professional Service.
All recruitment and selection is administered using iTrent, therefore all administrators will need to have access and be fully trained. The courses are available through MyHR. Please also consider that cover will be required and ensure that you have sufficient skilled resource in your School or Professional Service to support your recruitment requirements.
Please refer to ‘Training and Support’ section for further information.
Approval and job evaluation
All vacancies must be approved before they can be advertised.
For all vacancies at Grades 1-5 (and certain types of grade 6 vacancies), the approval is devolved as each School and Service manages the pay budget for these grades. The Operations Manager will therefore be responsible for ensuring the budget is available to fund the post.
For all other vacancies at grade 6 and above, requests will be reviewed by Finance and HR before being forwarded by Planning for final approval by Operations Committee.
There are some exceptions to to the staffing approval process for grade 6 and above, these are listed on the Planning pages, along with more information about staffing approvals in general:
If you are creating a new post, there are job description templates which can assist you in defining the role:
If your post is more specific than the templates, it may require either job matching or evaluation using a panel. Your Senior HR Officer will be able to advise you further on this requirement and ensure your role is evaluated at the earliest opportunity.
A salaried employee is placed on the redeployment register when they are served notice by the university due to redundancy or the end of a fixed term contract. All vacancies will be considered for redeployment possibilities throughout the recruitment process. Vacancies will be posted on the University’s redeployment webpage three working days prior to the advertisement being published and removed when the closing date is reached. If a suitable redeployee is identified during the three-day period the recruiting manager will be contacted by the Recruitment Team to organise an interview and advertising will be suspended until this process is complete. If a suitable redeployee is identified AFTER the three-day period but BEFORE the closing date, they should be given priority consideration at shortlisting wherever possible or guaranteed an interview.
More information about the university’s commitment to redeployment can be found here.
Once you have received approval and confirmed the grade through evaluation (if necessary), you can request to advertise the post. Recruitment will place your advert on the University website, jobs.ac.uk and Find a Job as standard.
You can select to advertise internally only or both internally and externally. The minimum recommended advert duration is two weeks or one week if you are advertising internally only.
If you require a bespoke campaign, your recruitment officer can advise how this can be facilitated. Please note that the costs of a bespoke campaign will be met by the School or Professional Service.
All adverts must include the closing date. If you receive any late applicants, please flag these to the recruiting manager for consideration. The recruiting manager can consider late applicants at their discretion however ALL late applicants must be considered in these circumstances.
It is also helpful to include the interview date(s) in the job advert. It is not mandatory to interview a candidate who is not available for the date shown on the advert.
Once the advert closes, you can download and send all applications to the recruiting manager from iTrent. There is also a shortlisting matrix template available. Shortlisting records are mandatory as applicants who are not shortlisted have the right to question the decision and request feedback. For Academic roles, any use of indicators should be in line with Loughborough’s Responsible Metrics Policy, namely to support and not supplant the expert peer review of outputs and other elements of the application.
It is expected that applicants who meet all essential criteria would normally be interviewed. If a high number of applicants fulfil the essential criteria, the recruiting manager can use the desirable criteria for a further sift if these are in the person specification.
Once shortlisting is completed, the recruiting manager is responsible for confirming the outcome to the School or Professional Service administrator. The administrator will invite shortlisted applicants to interview and send ‘decline’ letters to the remaining applicants.
Please note applicants who have met all essential but not all desirable criteria may be held in reserve however the recruiting manager must keep the administrator informed to ensure accurate communication with all applicants.
It is extremely important to be fair and consistent when shortlisting as the university is an employer of choice with a commitment to Equality and Diversity being central to our strategy and reputation. Training is available to all interviewers to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities towards Equality and Diversity.
All applicants will be invited to a formal interview as part of the selection process and the School or Professional Service is responsible for arranging both the interviews and panel.
The selection stage can also include a practical test, a group exercise or a presentation. If other selection methods are included, please ensure the applicants are fully briefed. Further advice on both selection methods and support for applicants with additional needs can be obtained from Recruitment.
For interviews at grades 1 – 5, the formal interview panel should be a minimum of 2 members of staff who are of a higher grade than the post being filled. Where possible, it is strongly recommended that the panel includes both male and female colleagues.
The university has an Appointments Committee Code of Practice for grades 6 and above interviews.
Any exceptions to the Code must be approved the panel Chair. It is also required to have both male and female interviewers on the panel.
Offer and references
Following completion of the interviews, the Chair (or their nominee) will contact the preferred applicant and make a verbal offer of employment. The starting salary will normally be the lowest point on the pay scale for the grade. Any offers above the minimum must be justified with evidence in the Request to Offer information submitted by the School or Professional Service administrator. The HR Adviser or Partner may contact you for further information about the starting salary if the rationale is not clear. During the verbal offer discussion, it is also advisable to confirm the applicant’s start date, taking into consideration their contractual notice and any holiday plans.
Once the applicant has verbally accepted the offer, the School or Professional Service administrator will send the Request to Offer information on iTrent to the HR Recruitment Officer who will send the written offer within three working days. University contracts are sent electronically via email and include a ‘Contract Acceptance’ button which starts the initial build of the new employee record on iTrent and payroll.
All applicants are requested to provide at least two referees as part of the contract request offer. References will be taken up by the School or Professional Service, but a written offer can be made subject to receipt of satisfactory references.
- All applicants for Grade 1-5 jobs must provide the names of two referees one of whom must be their current or most recent direct line manager.
- All applicants for Grade 6 and above must provide the names of three referees one of whom must be their current or most recent direct line manager. Applicants cannot provide alternative managers as referees unless their current or most current line manager is no longer contactable.
- For posts involving configuration, development or management of corporate IT systems or carrying out other work that requires privileged access to applications and data applicants must provide details of referees including their current line manager covering the three years prior to their application to a post at the University.
- For posts involving a requirement for working with under 18s and/or vulnerable people and requiring DBS clearance, written references will be sought and considered from all referees prior to confirming the contract.
- Written references and notes of the verbal reference must be retained and loaded into iTrent as attachments.
Posts Involving Access to Money or Involvement with Young or Vulnerable People
- All employers provided covering the last three years of employment will be contacted to ascertain the suitability of the preferred candidate for a job where there is potential for exposure of the University to financial risk. References will be sought in writing.
- All referees will be contacted with a request for a reference in writing for prospective employees applying for posts where DBS checks are required.
- References will normally be taken up following interview for the preferred candidate.
References are covered by Data Protection legislation and the candidate has the right to ask the University for a copy of the references they have received from their referees. In these instances, the University will seek permission from the referees prior to releasing details of the references to the candidate.
Acceptance, right to work check and induction
Once the successful applicant has accepted the offer, the employee record will be activated on iTrent. This enables IT to generate an email address, and adds them to payroll and security databases. It is essential that there is a minimum of 3 working days between the acceptance of the offer and the start date so new joiner processes can be completed in time.
It is also a legal requirement for the new joiner to visit HR (or a nominated contact) before their first day to complete their right to work document check. All new employees are informed of this requirement on their offer of employment and they also receive a reminder email just before they join us. Any exceptions to this must be notified to the HR Intern using the address HR@lboro.ac.uk. For example, this could be a later start time agreed with the line manager due to the new joiner working a shift pattern.
Please note if the new joiner does not present their right to work documents by the before they start their employment HR will have no option but to delay the start date by 24 hours.
It is the responsibility of the School or Service to plan the new employee’s induction, however they will be automatically booked to attend the ‘Welcome to Loughborough’ event run by Organisational Development. They will be notified of their attendance date shortly after they join.
Most new employees have a probation period included in their offer of employment.
Further information on probation for Professional Services (or non-academic) staff can be found here.
Newly appointed Lecturers are expected to complete Academic Probation, typically a 3-year developmental probation which includes training provided by the School and Centre for Academic Practice. Further information can be found here.
Successful completion of probation will be confirmed by the probation adviser to their Senior HR Officer, who will then confirm completion to the employee.
Senior Lecturers, Readers and appointees at Grade 9 (including Professors) do not normally have a probationary period in their offer of employment.
Staff training in recruitment and selection
The university expects all interviewers to complete Recruitment and Selection training run by Organisational Development. The one-day course is mandatory for all interview panel Chairs. Interviewers may also find it helpful to complete Unconscious Bias training.
Training courses are available for booking via MyHR.
Reimbursement of travel costs
Candidates will be reimbursed by Human Resources for the cost of their travel to the formal interview, unless the round-trip mileage (home to University and return) is less than 20 miles. Those travelling by car will be reimbursed the appropriate standard class rail fare or the equivalent mileage whichever is cheaper. Where candidates are travelling from overseas, Human Resources will reimburse the costs of an economy return flight and one night in a hotel equivalent in standard to Burleigh Court. If the candidate requires more than one night in a hotel or chooses to travel business class, the School or Professional Service may be required to pay the additional cost. All expenses claimed for interviews will be processed by Recruitment. Candidates who require reimbursement to a non-UK bank account will be requested to complete a foreign payments form. Original receipts must be submitted for all claims. Please be aware that the University reserves the right to refuse to refund travel expenses if a candidate declines an offer of employment.
Storage of applications
Application data for all applicants will be retained within iTrent for a period of time primarily to enable the University to respond to any employment tribunal and/or discrimination claim which may arise from the selection process and also for management information reporting. These are managed by Human Resources.
Recruiting staff to work with children
The Government has issued clear guidance on the recruitment of staff who will be required to work with children as a significant part of their duties (e.g. Social Workers, Care Assistants etc). Whilst the University is not obliged to follow this guidance, it is advisable that the following guidance is complied with:
- Make it clear on the advert or job description and person specification that because the role requires interaction with children, a disclosure check will be obtained. Senior HR Officers have standard statements for such instances.
- Ensure that every gap in employment or education history is discussed with any shortlisted candidate.
- Request sight of certificates obtained. This helps to confirm the identity of the candidate.
- Ensure that proof of identification is obtained to confirm the identity of the candidate. A passport or other photo documentation should be requested.
- Conduct a face to face interview with the candidate. A telephone interview is not appropriate.
- Ensure that original references are obtained from current and previous employers (especially where the candidate has been required to work with children in the role). Do not appoint a candidate unless they have provided details of employment/education referees rather than personal ones.
- Do not offer a candidate the position subject to references. Always obtain these first.
- Ensure the induction that the candidate receives draws their attention to the University’s safeguarding policy and clearly sets standards of behaviour and conduct deemed appropriate when working with children.
- Conduct regular review meetings during the probation period (and beyond) to ensure that the member of staff is coping with the work and is behaving appropriately. For students the personal tutor or project supervisor should conduct regular review meetings.