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Recruitment Procedure

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Contents
  1. Approval
  2. Planning the Recruitment Process
  3. Advertising the vacancy
  4. Shortlisting
  5. Arranging Interviews, presentations and selection tests
  6. Making selection decisions: holding interviews, presentations and tests
  7. Successful candidates and offers of employment
  8. Unsuccessful candidates
  9. Feedback
  10. Retention of Recruitment data
Introduction

This procedure supports the implementation of the School's Recruitment Policy. The Procedure intends to outline clear processes and the division of responsibility for the operation of recruitment exercises in the School.

The Procedure is underpinned by Guidelines on specific topics that provide advice to managers on key aspects of recruitment and selection.

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Scope

The Procedure applies to all vacancies of six months duration or over. As modified below, these arrangements apply to teaching-only and research-only posts.

These procedures do not apply to the appointment of Graduate Teaching Assistants; due to the nature of the role, such vacancies are advertised internally only to relevant SOAS students eligible for the graduate teaching programme.

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Procedure

Additional steps or measures are required in the academic (Teaching and Research) recruitment processes. This reflects both the nature of academic recruitment and the central role of the Pro-Directors in the process. These additional steps are indicated within this procedure, normally in clearly marked paragraphs at each relevant section/stage.

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1 Approval

1.1 The process for obtaining approval for the recruitment to a vacancy varies according to the funding source for the position and whether the vacancy is a new, changed or replacement position.
1.2 Teaching or research fixed-term positions must be designated as Teaching or Research Fellows (and not as temporary Lecturers) except with the approval of the Chair of Executive Board (or delegate).

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1.3 External research grant-funded vacancies

1.3.1 The Research Manager must approve all external research grant-funded vacancies either via the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Authorisers) where a recruitment advertisement is required. 

1.3.1 Where there is a named or sponsored researcher attached to the funding.  For named or sponsored researchers, the Research Manager will complete the Appointment Form for External Grant-funded Positions (Named or Sponsored Researchers) and send this to the Employing Manager, who will complete the remaining sections of the form.
1.3.2 Employing Managers should send the completed form to the Human Resources Directorate.

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1.4 New or changed School-funded positions

1.4.1 New or changed School-funded positions of six months duration or more must be authorised by Executive Board.
1.4.2 Any such vacancies arising outside of the normal planning cycle, should be approved at the next Executive Board or through obtaining Chair's action from the Chair of Executive Board (or delegate).
1.4.3 The Recruiting Manager should submit details of the vacancy on the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Requesting New or Replacement Posts) and send electronic copies of the supporting job description and person specification, to the Human Resources Directorate. 
1.4.4 The Director of Finance (or delegate) will confirm the authorisation for the vacancy via the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Authorisation)

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1.5 Replacement School-funded positions

1.5.1 Replacement School-funded positions of six months duration or more must be authorised by the Dean of Faculty, Registrar & Secretary or Head of IFCELs.
1.5.2 The Recruiting Manager should submit details on the new Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Requesting New or Replacement Posts).
1.5.3 The Director of Finance will consider and authorise the vacancy via the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Authorisation). 

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2 Planning the recruitment process

 

2.1 Preparing the advertisement

2.1.1 The Recruiting Manager is responsible for drafting the advertisement for the vacancy. Guidelines provide information on writing advertisements.
2.1.2 Recruiting Manager should send electronic copies of the advertisement to the Human Resources Directorate once the post has been approved.
2.1.3 The Recruiting Manager should indicate how the vacancy should be advertised via the Web Recruitment System. Advice on placement of advertisements can be obtained from the Human Resources Directorate . The extent and cost of advertising should be appropriate to the post, as judged by the Director of Human Resources.
2.1.4 Academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies only: The appropriate Dean must approve all advertisements for academic positions of over twelve months duration within their Faculty. The Recruiting Manager is responsible for obtaining the appropriate Dean's approval, prior to sending the advertisement to the Human Resources Directorate.

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2.2 Preparing the job description & person specification

2.2.1 Recruiting Managers are responsible for drafting job descriptions and person specifications for vacancies.  Guidelines on writing job descriptions and person specifications are available on the Human Resources Directorate website.
2.2.2 A blank template job description for use for support staff vacancies is available from the Human Resources Directorate website.
2.2.3 The Human Resources Department is responsible for evaluating and confirming the grade of job descriptions in accordance with the Grading Review and Appeals Procedure.
2.2.4 Academic (Teaching and Research), Research, and Teaching and Scholarship vacancies: The Pro-Director has approved generic academic further particulars, job descriptions and person specifications for Teaching & Research, Teaching & Scholarship and Research vacancies.
2.2.5 These generic job details can only be altered where indicated and any other variations to the template must be approved by the appropriate Dean ensuring that duties remain within the normal expectations of the role. The Recruiting Manager is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate Dean approves any such variations to generic job details prior to sending the details to the Human Resources Directorate.
2.2.6 These generic job details are available from the Human Resources website.

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2.3 Recruitment schedule

2.3.1 Before the recruitment commences, the Recruiting Manager should agree a recruitment schedule with their designated Human Resources Officer. This will help ensure that timescales meet both parties' requirements, are realistic and will enable interview dates to be communicated to candidates.
2.3.2 Interview and presentation dates, interview selection panel composition and presentation venue should normally be arranged at this stage. This is to ensure an effective and timely recruitment process.

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3 Advertising the vacancy
3.1 Publishing the advertisement

3.1.1 On receipt of the vacancy authorisation via the Web Recruitment System and electronic copies of the advertisement, job description and person specification, the Human Resources Directorate will arrange the advertisement of the vacancy in accordance with the instructions on the Web Recruitment System and the principles laid down in School's Recruitment Policy. The vacancy will not be advertised until all these documents have been received.
3.1.2 The Human Resources Directorate may suggest amendments to adverts, job descriptions and person specifications to comply with equality legislation and to ensure consistency in the documents. The Human Resources Director (as delegated) will have the authority to amend any vacancy details that clearly contravene equality legislation.

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3.2 Circulating the advertisement on email-lists or notice-boards

3.2.1 The Human Resources Directorate will send a final copy of the advertisement to the Recruiting Manager.  If Recruiting Managers wishes to alert colleagues or potential applicants to the vacancy through email-lists or notice-boards, they must use this final copy of the advertisement to ensure that all candidates and potential applicants receive consistent and correct information about the vacancy.

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3.3 Applications

3.3.1 The Human Resources Directorate will distribute applicant packs via its website or in response to direct enquiries from candidates.  Applicants are required to apply online.  Job applications submitted on paper will be accepted where applicants are unable to use e-technology and logged onto the Web Recruitment System by the Human Resources Directorate for equal opportunities monitoring and administrative purposes. 
3.3.2 Recruiting Managers may choose to state their contact details on job packs for candidates who would like further information on the post. If Recruiting Managers receive requests for applicant packs or completed application forms directly from candidates, they should forward these to the Human Resources Directorate.

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4 Shortlisting
4.1 Shortlisting packs

4.1.1 Once submitted onto the Web Recruitment System, applications can be viewed on screen, and be printed (if required), giving recruiters the option to start shortlisting before the vacancy closure date.  
4.1.2 Shortlisting is carried out by scoring applications using a capability matrix which will be set up by the Human Resources Directorate for each vacancy, based on the Person Specification (see Guidelines for Interview Panel Members and Guidelines for Recruiting Managers). 
4.1.3 Detailed guidance on shortlisting using the Web Recruitment System is available in 'Applicant Selection Guidelines for Recruiting Managers' and 'Application Selection Guidelines for Interview Panel Members'

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4.2 Shortlisting timescales

4.2.1  Recruiting Managers should  ensure that shortlisting is carried out promptly to ensure that recruitment timetables are adhered to and that candidates do not lose interest in the vacancy. 

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4.3 Shortlisting candidates against the selection criteria

4.3.1 Recruiting managers are responsible for ensuring shortlisting is carried out by at least two members of the interview selection panel and in accordance with the principles set out in the School's Recruitment Policy including regard for confidentiality.  Guidelines provide further advice on how to shortlist
4.3.2 Candidates should be assessed and scored against the selection criteria listed on the person specification via the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Recruiting Managers and Application Selection Guidelines for Interview Panel Members). Shortlisting groups should agree a shortlist based on these scores. 
4.3.3 Shortlists should be proportionate to the vacancy. Note that the School will pay up to a maximum of £250 travel expenses per candidate (except for academic [teaching & research] positions or senior administrative vacancies at Grade 9/AC4 or Grade 10/AC5 of three years duration or more).
4.3.4 If no candidates are deemed suitable for shortlisting, the appropriate parts of the procedure set out below (6.5) will apply.
4.3.5 For academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies only: in order to consult with those with relevant expertise, a shortlisting group will be appointed by the Head of Department and departmental selection panel member, who will both participate in the group. The shortlisting group will include the Dean. The group should not be so large as to delay the shortlisting process.

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5 Arranging interviews, presentations and selection tests
5.1 Interview date and venue

5.1.1 Recruiting Managers are responsible for setting the interview date and ensuring all interview selection panel members are available on this date. Normally this should be done at the planning stage and arrangements finalised at shortlisting stage.  The Recruiting Manager should log the names of the interview panel members on the Web Recruitment System (see Guidelines for Recruiting Managers). 
5.1.2 Recruiting Managers need to ensure that the Human Resources Department are given at least three week's notice in advance to arrange interviews in line with the schedule agreed with their designated HR Officer.
5.1.3 The Recruiting Manager should notify the HR Department of the interview venue via the Web Recruitment System.

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5.2 Interview panel composition

5.2.1 Recruiting managers should ensure that interview panels are of mixed gender composition and, wherever possible, include individuals of different ethnicities.  N.B. Staff involved in the recruitment process and in particular, Chairs of Selection Panels are required to attend the School's Recruitment & Selection training.  As a minimum, at least one member of each Selection Panel must have undertaken this training.
5.2.2 For Support Staff vacancies : Interview selection panels may include a member of staff from outside the department or section, and should include staff of appropriate seniority for the appointment. Interview selection panels should be of a minimum of three people. Panels for very senior non-academic vacancies will normally include a senior academic and an external member and be chaired by the appropriate line manager.
5.2.3 For Teaching & Research vacancies : For Professorships or Readerships, the appropriate Pro-Director should approve the panel composition and sign the appropriate Interview Arrangements Form  (R6 form) to confirm his/her approval of the panel and arrangements.  For Lecturer or Senior Lecturer vacancies, the Dean of the employing Faculty should approve the panel composition, using the R6 form to confirm approval.
5.2.4 For Lecturer or Senior Lecturer vacancies , Recruiting Managers are responsible for ensuring that interview panels for Lecturer or Senior Lecturer vacancies have the following composition:

  • The Dean of the employing Faculty as Chair
  • Two (or in exceptional circumstances, three) members of the department including Head of Department
  • One employee external to the employing Department
  • An external expert who will not be an expert of the School.

 5.2.5 For Professorships or Readerships: In addition to the interview selection panel outlined in 5.2.4 above, Recruiting Managers must ensure that interview panels for Professorships or Readerships are chaired by the Director or by one of the Pro-Directors with the Dean of the employing Faculty in attendance as a member of the Panel. 
5.2.6 For Teaching and Scholarship and Research Vacancies; The Dean of the employing Faculty should approve the panel composition and sign the appropriate Interview Arrangements form (R6 or R7) to confirm his/her approval of the panel and arrangements.  The interview panel should comprise:

  • The Dean of the employing Faculty as Chair or, by delegation, the Associate Dean or Head of Department
  • The Head of Department (if not present as Chair)
  • Another member of the Department (normally the Principal Investigator for research posts)
  • A member of another Department (either from within or outside the Faculty).

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5.3 Planning presentations

5.3.1 Recruiting managers are responsible for booking the presentation venue, setting the presentation date in line with the agreed recruitment schedule (both should normally be done at preparation stage 2 above). Managers are also responsible for inviting the presentation audience.
5.3.2 For academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies: Normally, all candidates for academic positions will be asked to give a presentation on their research and their future plans for teaching and research as part of the selection process. At least one member of the interview selection panel (normally the Head of Department) should ensure they are available to chair the presentations and provide feedback to the interview panel.
5.3.3 For Support Staff, Research and Teaching & Scholarship vacancies: Recruiting Managers may also decide that a presentation on a topic related to the person specification is appropriate.

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5.4 Preparing selection tests

5.4.1 Recruiting Managers may decide that candidates should undergo a test (e.g. a work-sample test, a written exercise, or a typing test) as part of the selection process.
5.4.2 Recruiting Managers are responsible for ensuring that selection tests relate to the person specification, are valid and a fair method of selection. Please refer to the Guidelines on selection tests.
5.4.3 Recruiting Managers are also responsible for setting the test, determining the test date in line with the agreed recruitment schedule , booking the test venue and making any arrangements required for the administration of the test.

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5.5 Interview Arrangements and Venues

5.5.1 Recruiting Managers should notify the Human Resources Directorate of the arrangements and venues for the interview and any test and presentation. 
5.5.2 For Support Staff,Research, and Teaching & Scholarship vacancies: Recruiting Managers should use the R7 form (Interview Arrangements Form).
5.5.3 For academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies: Recruiting Managers should use the R6 form (Interview Arrangements Form).

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5.6 Inviting candidates to interview

5.6.1 On receipt of the Interview Arrangements form, and confirmation of the shortlist, the HR Directorate will update the Web Recruitment System and formally invite all shortlisted candidates to interview and liaise with candidates over travel arrangements if required. Candidates are responsible for making their own visa arrangements as applicable.

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5.7 Reasonable adjustments

5.7.1 Shortlisted candidates will be asked if they require any adjustments (e.g. wheelchair access, signer) to be made in order to attend the interview, selection test and/or presentation. The Human Resources Directorate will endeavour to make any adjustments requested by disabled candidates and will notify the selection panel of any special arrangements made.

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5.8 Requesting references

5.8.1 The HR Directorate will normally request references prior to interview for shortlisted candidates for academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies, unless candidates have not given the School permission to request references prior to interview.

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5.9 Catering and audio-visual equipment

5.9.1 The Human Resources Directorate will arrange the audio-visual equipment or catering requirements as requested by the Recruiting Manager on the Interview Arrangement form.

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5.10 Changes to interview or presentation arrangements

5.10. 1If there are any late changes to the arrangements, with regard to venues or presentation timing, it is the responsibility of the Recruiting Manager to inform all those involved directly, copying the information to the Human Resources Directorate.

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5.11 Interview packs

5.11.1 The Human Resources Directorate will circulate an interview pack to the interview selection panel in the week before the interview. The pack will include shortlisted candidates' application forms, an interview schedule, job description and person specification and related recruitment forms.

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6 Making selection decisions: Holding interviews, presentations and tests
6.1 Holding presentations

6.1.1 Information on how each candidate's presentation has been assessed should be recorded on the R10 Presentation feedback form.
6.1.2 For academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies: The member of the interview selection panel attending the presentations (normally the Head of Department) should chair the proceedings.
6.1.3 Time should be allotted at the end of the presentations for discussion. For academic presentations, twenty minutes should be allocated for student feedback and a further twenty minutes for staff feedback. Staff should not give feedback in the presence of students.
6.1.4 The feedback should be recorded on the R10 Presentation Feedback form by the Chair so that it can be reported to the interview selection panel.

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6.2 Holding Selection tests

6.2.1 The outcome of selection tests (including scores and any comments) should be recorded and reported to the interview selection panel.
6.2.2  Guidelines provide advice on selection tests.

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6.3 Interview questions

6.3.1 Interview questions must relate to the selection criteria and should be prepared before the interview.
6.3.2 The preliminary discussions prior to the interviews should be used to approve the questions and allocate broad areas of questioning to each panel member.
6.3.3 Guidelines provide advice on interview questions.

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6.4 Conducting interviews

6.4.1 The Chair of the interview panel should ensure that the interviews are conducted fairly, appropriately and to schedule.
6.4.2 Candidates will have been instructed to return Interview Expense forms directly to the HR Department following the interview; the Chair should not collect forms during the interviews.
6.4.3 Following all the interviews, selection decisions (including the decision not to appoint) made by the majority of the panel must be recorded for each candidate on the R11 - Interview Record Form.
6.4.4 Guidelines provide advice on conducting interviews.

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6.5 Non-appointment

6.5.1 If the interview panel is unable to agree to appoint a candidate following a review of the evidence obtained during the selection process against the selection criteria for the post, the panel should refer the issue to the appropriate Pro-Director, or to the Human Resources Director for consideration
6.5.2 Following consultation, the appropriate Pro-Director or the Director of Human Resources,  will decide whether:

  • to re-advertise the vacancy or
  • if the Recruiting Manager should review applications for the vacancy including those interviewed but not rejected as not appointable against the selection criteria.

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7 Successful candidates and offers of employment
7.1 The Appointment Recommendation form

7.1.1 The Chair should record the outcome of the interview and should indicate the successful candidate on the R12 Appointment Recommendation Form or delegate this responsibility to the Recruiting Manager. If there are any reserve candidates, this should be clearly indicated, along with any order of preference and conditions.  
7.1.2 For Support Staff, Teaching & Scholarship and Research appointments : The Recruiting Manager should recommend a starting salary for the successful candidate on the R12 Appointment Recommendation form . For senior appointments, the Recruiting Manager should consult any relevant senior managers as appropriate (such as the Registrar & Secretary) when recommending starting salaries.
7.1.3 For academic (Teaching and Research) appointments; immediately after the decision of the interview panel, the Chair should ask the Dean of Faculty and Head of Department to nominate any salary comparators and specify any conditions of appointment (e.g. submission of PhD). These details should be recorded on the R12; Appointment Recommendations form . The Chair, on receipt of this information, and before returning the candidate's papers, should propose a salary level for consideration (see 7.2 ).  The Dean of Faculty and Pro-Director or Vice-Principal, as appropriate, will countersign the R12 Appointment Recommendation Form to confirm his/her approval of the appointment. 
7.1.4 For External research grant funded posts; If the post is funded by an external research grant, the Recruiting Manager should send the R12 form to the Research Manager for authorisation. The Research Office will send or fax the approved form to the Human Resources Directorate
7.1.5 For School-funded vacancies: The Recruiting Manager (or Chair for academic appointments) should ensure that the R12 form is returned to the Human Resources Department as soon as possible after the interviews with the other interview papers . The R12 form may be faxed or emailed to the Human Resources Directorate to avoid delays in making an offer of employment.

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7.2 Starting salaries

7.2.1 For Support Staff, Research  and Teaching & Scholarship  vacancies : on receipt of the R12 Appointment Recommendation form, the Director of Human Resources (or nominee) will approve the Recruiting Manager's starting salary recommendation or consult with the relevant manager on the salary level in the light of internal salary comparators and the candidate's skills, qualifications or experience.
7.2.2 For academic (Teaching and Research) vacancies : on receipt of the R12 form , the Human Resources Directorate will collate salary and any other relevant information on the comparators identified on the R12 form. This information will be circulated to the Pro-Directors, the Director of Human Resources (or delegate) and the appropriate Dean of Faculty. These individuals will determine the successful candidate's starting salary based on the candidate's experience, skills and qualifications in comparison to the internal comparators identified.

7.2.4 Once the starting salary has been approved or the authorised R12 form received from the Research Office, the Human Resources Department will make a formal offer of employment via the web recruitment system.

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7.3 Offers of employment

7.3.1  Recruiting Manager (or Dean of Faculty for Teaching & Research vacancies) should normally notify the successful candidate that they are the preferred candidate as soon as possible following the interview, but must not enter into any discussion of salary or contractual conditions. They should inform the successful candidate that offers of employment with the School are subject to the receipt of satisfactory references (if not yet received) and eligibility to work in the UK, and that the Human Resources Directorate will make a formal offer once a starting salary and any other conditions have been agreed.
7.3.2 Please refer to the Guidelines on offers of employment .
7.3.3 Once the starting salary has been determined or the approved R12 form received from the Research Office, the Human Resources Directorate will make a formal offer of employment which will be subject to the receipt of satisfactory references and eligibility to work in the UK. The offer will normally be made first verbally and when accepted, a written offer will follow from the HR Directorate.
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7.4 References

7.4.1 For Support Staff, Research and Teaching & Scholarship vacancies, references will be requested for successful candidates after a verbal offer of employment has been accepted. At this stage, references will also be requested for successful candidates for academic vacancies, who have not given permission for their references to be requested before interview.
7.4.2 Start dates for successful candidates will not be confirmed until satisfactory references have been received.

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8 Unsuccessful candidates

8.1 As soon as possible, following interviews, the Human Resources Directorate will notify unsuccessful candidate in writing of the outcome of their application. This will normally occur after the successful candidate has accepted the formal offer of employment. Recruitment Managers or Heads of Department should exercise care in communicating with reserve candidates.

9 Feedback

9.1 Those candidates who wish to receive feedback should contact the Human Resources Directorate who will arrange verbal feedback from the Recruiting Manager. Feedback should normally be requested within one month of the selection decision at shortlisting or interview stage.  If candidates require written feedback, they must request it in writing.
9.2 Recruiting Managers are also advised to give feedback in person to internal candidates in addition to written feedback.
9.3 For academic (teaching and research) vacancies: The Chair of the Interview panel should agree feedback in consultation with their designated HR Officer. Feedback must be approved by the HR Department prior to being communicated with the applicant.
9.4 For non-academic vacancies: Recruiting Managers should agree feedback in consultation with their designated HR Officer. Feedback must be approved by the HR Department prior to being communicated with the applicant.
9.5 Please refer to the Guidelines on giving feedback.

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10 Retention of recruitment data

10.1 The Chair's interview pack should be promptly returned to the Human Resources Directorate together with any notes, test results or completed recruitment forms from other members of the interview panel. The Recruiting Manager should ensure that all other interview packs (excluding any completed recruitment forms or notes) are confidentially destroyed.
10.2 The R12 Appointment Recommendation form will be retained on the successful candidate's personnel file.
10.3 All other recruitment papers will be stored in the Human Resources Directorate for one year in case of requests for feedback or litigation.

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Definitions

Recruiting Manager : The person responsible for the recruitment process within the recruiting department. This will normally be the Dean of Faculty/Head of Service Area/Independent Centre or their delegate.

Senior member of academic staff: Senior Lecturer, Reader or Professor 

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Associated forms

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Associated policies

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