We are committed to providing a quality service whilst safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people. We recognise that effective recruitment, selection and retention of suitably skilled and qualified employees are central to this process.

We are committed to applying our Equal Opportunities Policy at all stages of this policy. Shortlisting, interviewing and selection will always be carried out without regard to any protected characteristic.

This policy applies to all potential and existing employees. Those involved in carrying out recruitment and selection represent the Council and must promote the Council in a positive manner.

Human Resources (HR) are available to provide advice on all recruitment issues by emailing:


Stage 1 – The vacancy

Before recruiting to any post, managers should apply vacancy management principles.

All new permanent posts which are additional to the agreed establishment or cannot be implemented within existing budget require approval from Executive Committee.

The requirement to obtain approval must be taken into account when determining timescales for establishing and recruiting to posts.

How to manage and advertise a vacancy

Stage 2 – Advertising

All posts must be advertised on www.myjobscotland.gov.uk. Adverts in other forms of media, such as Facebook, can be considered in certain circumstances. If there is an internal 'expressions of interest' process then the relevant Trade Union contacts should be informed.

The system used to administer the recruitment process is called Talentlink and managers should refer to the process guidelines on the intranet.

All posts will be advertised for a minimum of 2 weeks and only in exceptional circumstances should this be reduced.

All posts must have been formally graded with an agreed job description and person specification.

Managers should agree a provisional timetable of dates for shortlisting and interview with the panel to ensure applications are processed without delay.

Chief Officer Posts

The recruitment process for a Chief Officer post is normally undertaken by Elected Members. Approval to appoint to a Chief Officer post on a permanent basis must normally be obtained from Council. Advice on this process is available from your HR Business Partner.


Stage 3 – Selection

Applicants should apply online via myjobscotland. Late applications will not be considered.

There are normally two stages to the recruitment selection process:

  • Shortlisting
  • Interview

The chairperson of the interview panel is normally the recruiting manager and is responsible for the whole recruitment process. Panel members should remain consistent throughout the process. The chairperson and panel members should be trained in recruitment and selection before participating in any part of the process.

If a panel member has a personal relationship with a candidate, for example, a relative or friend, they should tell the chairperson who will decide if the panel member is impartial. A replacement panel member may be appointed if there is any uncertainty. This also applies to Elected Members involved in the recruitment of Chief Officers.

Shortlisting should be carried out by the panel. Shortlisting will be based on the essential criteria noted in the person specification and desirable criteria if necessary. Should a high volume of applications be received for a post, the shortlisting criteria can be enhanced to facilitate shortlisting.

In the case of interviews for Headteachers and Depute Headteachers, the interview panel should be appointed in accordance with Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, Appointments (Scotland) Regulations 2007. The Appointment Procedure for Headteacher or Depute Headteacher post includes guidance in relation to Parent Council involvement.

Appointment Procedure for Head - Depute Headteacher Posts

Any attempt to influence the decision of the interview panel in favour of a particular candidate will be considered canvassing. This should be referred to the Head of Human Resources and Business Transformation immediately.

Guaranteed interview scheme & Positive action

Disability

If a candidate indicates on their application that they are disabled they will be guaranteed an interview if they meet the essential minimum criteria. We will make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process to make sure that no candidate is disadvantaged because of their disability. If a candidate requires a reasonable adjustment to allow them to participate in the interview process this should be accommodated.

Looked after children

If a candidate indicates on their application that they are a looked after child, are in continuing care or are a care leaver (up to age 26) they will be guaranteed an interview if they meet the essential minimum criteria.

If a GIS candidate has not been shortlisted or appointed after interview, the chairperson must tell them in writing of where they failed to meet the criteria.

Positive action

If the recruiting manager believes that a particular protected characteristic (age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status) suffers a disadvantage or is under-represented in the post in question, and where two candidates have scored equally in their interviews, the candidate with the protected characteristic can be selected.

Taking positive action must be a proportionate means of enabling or encouraging people to overcome the disadvantage or to address the under-representation.

All suitably qualified candidates must be considered on their individual merits for the post in question. Where one candidate is better qualified or has more relevant experience for the job than others then that candidate should be offered the job.

Positive action is allowed under the Equality Act but is voluntary. Advice must be sought from your HR Business Partner if positive action is being considered.

More details can be found in How to shortlist and How to carry out interviews:

How to shortlist for interview
How to carry out interviews

Stage 4 – Recruitment Checks

There are a number of checks which must be completed as part of the recruitment process. Some checks need to be carried out at interview and some are only carried out for the preferred candidate. Using a risk based approach, different arrangements apply to:

  • Internal candidates
    • Driving posts
    • SSSC registered posts
  • External candidates

The chairperson has overall responsibility for:

  • making sure all checks are completed and satisfactory
  • doing visual checks between the documents and dates of birth and the appearance and apparent age of the candidate
  • checking the detail of the documents, for example that they allow the candidate to do the type of work on offer and that expiry dates have not passed

All relevant checks must be completed.

How to carry out recruitment checks

Stage 5 – Offering employment

Offers of employment must only be made once all recruitment checks have been received and are satisfactory. No offer can be made during or at the end of an interview. It is the chairperson's responsibility to ensure checks are satisfactory.

A letter can be used to notify the preferred candidate that recruitment checks such as Occupational Health clearance and references will now be taken up.

Once satisfactory recruitment checks are received a formal offer can be made.

Template letters are available on the intranet.

The chairperson must ensure that Talentlink is updated to reflect the outcome for successful and unsuccessful candidates and close the vacancy.

Salary placement

Placement within grades, including on promotion, will normally be on the first point on the grade. Chief Officers have discretion to appoint individuals at any point within the appropriate grade in specific circumstances. Consideration should, in the first instance, be given to ability and skills of the successful candidate and the impact on other jobholders to ensure equality. If the decision to place higher on the grade is taken, the reason for this and the Chief Officer approval must be noted on the on-line new appointment form.

Returned acceptance of offer

Once the candidate has returned a signed copy of their offer letter the manager must ensure that all appropriate paperwork is completed to set up the new employee on the HR & Payroll system.

Informing the unsuccessful candidates

The unsuccessful candidates should be advised of the outcome using Talentlink. All application forms and associated recruitment material should be held for 6 months then destroyed. If it has been agreed that Staffing & Recruitment will hold this paperwork, it should be sent to them in a single envelope, marked at the top with the post ID, job title, interview date and 'unsuccessful’.

New start process and documentation

The recruiting manager must ensure that a New Appointment Form is completed on HR Forms Plus (HRFP) before the start date. The form cannot be approved until the start date to avoid them being paid if they do not start employment.

Payroll will approve HR forms as soon as possible after manager approval. At this stage an employee number will be created on Resourcelink. Staffing & Recruitment must then issue a Statement of Particulars (SOP) to the new employee within eight weeks of the start date.

An electronic personal file will be created around the same time as the SOP is issued and the recruiting manager must ensure that supporting paperwork as detailed on the Recruitment Checklist is uploaded to MyView. This will be held for the duration of employment and kept for a further 7 years in archive after the termination date or for 25 years for those working with children or protected adults in regulated work.

Induction

On the first day of employment, the manager should do a further identity check to make sure that the person interviewed is the same person starting employment. Where recruitment checks have been carried out, the manager should check the person’s appearance against the photographic identification provided on the day of interview.

For posts that require disclosure checks/PVG membership, managers should ensure that a payroll deduction form has been completed to allow deductions to be made from the employee’s salary to pay for fees if this has not already been completed.

An induction pack should be completed for all new employees. An online induction training course called The Welcome Induction is available for all new employees. Line managers must ensure that where facilities allow, new employees complete this course within three months of starting employment.

Induction pack - a manager's guide

Pension arrangements

All employees of the Council with contracts of three months or more and who are under age 75 are eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or the Scottish Teachers Pension Scheme (STPS). All new employees who meet these conditions will be automatically enrolled in one of these pension schemes unless they specify in writing that they do not wish to become scheme members or opt out of the scheme.

Employees on temporary contracts of less than three months or casuals, who are under age 75, will be eligible to opt into LGPS or STPS.

Any enquiries regarding the LGPS should be directed to the Pensions Section

by telephoning 01324 506329 or email pensions@falkirk.gov.uk.

Any enquiries relating to STPS should be directed to the Scottish Public Pensions Agency

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

Recruitment & selection complaints procedure

Our Recruitment and Selection Complaints Procedure reflects our commitment to equality. We will ensure that all candidates are treated equally in relation to all recruitment and selection within Falkirk Council.

It is necessary to carry out careful monitoring of all appointments and of all recruitment and selection procedures and policies. There is a need to fully investigate all complaints received from job candidates.

This applies to all candidates and deals with complaints relating to recruitment and selection only. Existing employees should use the internal grievance policy to register any complaint.

Candidates have the right to make a complaint about the recruitment and selection process.

The complaint should be submitted within 3 months of the appointment decision and a response will normally be provided within 7 working days.

If a candidate wishes to complain about Falkirk Council’s recruitment and selection process, they should be issued with a copy of the Recruitment & Selection Complaints Procedure.

Recruitment & Selection Complaints Procedure

This policy is effective from June 2019.