Recruitment policy

Selection criteria

We aim to recruit the most suitable person for the job. We will base this on ability and individual merit, measured against the job criteria. We will assess qualifications, experience and skills at the level that is relevant to the job.  

We base all employment decisions solely on job-related objective criteria, including: 

  • recruitment 
  • selection 
  • promotion 
  • training  
  • career development 

We will produce an up-to-date job description and person specification for all posts. The job description describes: 

  • duties 
  • responsibilities 
  • level of seniority 

The person specification describes: 

  • the qualities of the person required 
  • experience 
  • capability 
  • type of qualifications 
  • knowledge 
  • aptitudes 
  • competencies 
  • values 
  • other relevant factors to ensure adequate performance 

It is unlawful for an employer to specify that they require a person with particular characteristics for a role. The exception is where there is a genuine occupational requirement (GOR). We have to objectively justify this as a 'proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim'. Any manager wishing to apply this exemption must first seek HR advice. 

Fluency duty 

Fluency duty applies to people working in a public-facing role. We must ensure they speak a sufficient level of English to carry out their role effectively. This applies to face-to-face or telephone communication. It must be a regular and intrinsic part of their role to do this.

The duty applies to: 

  • employees 
  • workers 
  • apprentices 
  • agency workers  

It applies to both existing and new staff.  

We do not consider employees who occasionally speak to the public as working in a public-facing role. In these cases, discussions with the public are not a regular or intrinsic part of their role.  

For a worker who uses sign language, we must provide an interpreter who speaks English to the necessary standard for the role. We will apply the same standard of spoken English to agency workers as employees working in an equivalent role.  

Selection panel  

The hiring manager will establish a selection panel consisting of two or more people. The same selection panel, where possible, will carry out all shortlisting and interviewing. We will pre-book dates for this. 

Disclosure of personal relationships  

All applicants must disclose on the application form if they are related to any councillors or employees of the authority. We ask applicants to state the name of the person and the relationship.  

Any employee who is related to, or has a close personal relationship with the candidate, cannot be involved in the appointment process.  


Managers will ensure that the interview questions are not in any way discriminatory or unnecessarily intrusive. The interview will focus on the needs of the job and skills needed for the role.    

As a 'disability confident' employer, we will put in place any reasonable adjustments for candidates. We ask candidates to confirm if they require special arrangements at the 'invite to interview' stage. 

Arrangements may include, but are not limited to:  

  • allowing deaf or speech impaired people to bring a signer or interpreter with them 
  • alerting employees to be prepared to show visually-impaired people to the place of interview 
  • ensuring the interview is accessible to all candidates, or that assistance is available 
  • allocating extra time for interviews or assessments 
  • contacting occupational health for advice on additional adjustments 

In accordance with safer recruiting requirements, hiring managers must complete the candidate interview assessment form for all candidates. Candidates must explain any gaps in employment and training history. Managers should record this. 


We will ask for references after making a conditional offer.

  • Standard recruitment
    External candidates who have three years or more continuous service with their current employer must supply one satisfactory reference.

    External candidates with less than three years’ service must supply two references.  The hiring manager will confirm if the references are satisfactory.
  • Safer recruitment
    All external appointments are subject to two satisfactory work references.  One reference must be the applicant's present or most recent employer. One referee should be able to refer to their most recent work with children or vulnerable adults.

In exceptional cases, either one or both references do not need to be work references. This may apply to school-leavers, or returners to work after a long career break. Where this is the case, we will seek character references instead. 

Under safer recruitment if a candidate has lived, studied or worked overseas for a period of more than three months in the previous five years, they must provide a statement of good conduct. This is sometimes referred to as a certificate of good repute. It must relate to the time they resided in that country.

The exception is if they are serving, or living with someone who is serving, in the armed forces during that time. We would only expect an applicant to apply for this after we make an offer of employment.  

Internal candidates will be expected to provide one reference from their current line manager

If the candidate has applied for a position in a children's residential care home:

  • if a candidate has previously worked with children or adults, the manager must verify why the employment or position ended, where practical. Residential homes are audited against this requirement. 
  • both external and internal candidates must provide two references