Last Updated 21 Mar 2017 in Joining Midcounties
We’re committed to being an equal opportunities employer and all colleagues recruiting must adhere to this policy when hiring to ensure we have a fair and open recruitment process.
Key points covered:
What it means to be an equal opportunities employer
An outline of the recruitment process
The application, interview and selection process
How we retain existing talent
The Midcounties Co-operative is committed to being an equal opportunities employer and a democratic, equal, open and socially responsible place to work.
This policy highlights the steps that are taken during the recruitment process and sources of advice.
Equal Opportunities Employer
The Midcounties Co-operative recognises and embraces the value of having a diverse workforce and we are committed to making sure that everyone has the same opportunities for recruitment or promotion. In all cases, recruitment or promotion will be based on merit, skill, experience, aptitude and appropriateness, and the principle of recruiting the person who is best suited for the job.
Discrimination in any form will not be tolerated. The Society aims to be an equal opportunity employer and this policy lays out reasonable steps to ensure that no applicant or colleague receives less favourable treatment.
The Society will monitor and maintain records where appropriate of colleagues in the following areas: colour; religion; race; nationality; ethnic or national origin; sex; gender; sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability. On-going monitoring and regular analysis of such records provide the basis for appropriate action to eliminate unlawful direct and indirect discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.
The Society has certain obligations under the equality legislation and we will be keen to support colleagues and persons in such situations throughout the recruitment process. Where a suitable applicant is for example disabled, the organisation will review possible alterations to the premises, procedures, etc, to attempt to find ways in which reasonable adjustments could be made to enable an appointment to be made. Only if such alterations are impossible, uneconomic or impractical will such an applicant be rejected. Full explanation of the steps taken will be set out in the letter of rejection.
The Society’s long-term aim is that the composition of our workforce should reflect that of the community. Any colleagues or Managers behaviour against this policy will be considered a disciplinary matter which may in some cases, lead to dismissal.
The Recruitment Process
The Society’s Recruitment Policy ensures that a consistent approach to recruitment is applied across all Trading Groups and Support Service areas. The recruitment process is inclusive of, but is not limited to:
an approved requisition for the vacancy;
if a vacancy has a salary of £25,000 or more per annum, this will need to be approved by the Financial Governance Committee which meets on a monthly basis and could cause a delay to the advertisement of the role;
vacancy posting - wherever possible the opportunity will be posted internally on the Society vacancy list for one a minimum of week prior to being advertised externally.
all candidates, including existing colleagues, apply directly or via job boards submitting a CV and completing a written application form;
person specifications and role profiles are used to aid the short-listing process alongside CV and application review;
successful applicants are invited for interview and seen by at least two interviewers whenever possible;
the interviewer completes an interview and documents the conversation which can then stand as evidence for the reasons of rejection of unsuccessful interviewees;
unsuccessful interviewees are advised as soon as possible;
job offers are made subject to the receipt of satisfactory references and relevant checks for the role;
all job offers are normally made on the basis that acceptance is required within seven days or the offer lapses.
Expenses will not normally be offered for the cost of attending the first interview. Expenses may be offered for second and subsequent interviews.
All recruitment action may only be commenced after authorisation. No recruitment, irrespective of reason, may be commenced unless the recruiter is in possession of a duly completed and authorised personnel requisition form.
Other than replacements of leavers on exactly the same terms as the previous incumbent, all recruitments must be in accordance with departmental budgets set each year as part of the planning process. Recruitments for exact replacements may be authorised by Operations Managers. In the event of any variation whatever (ie no matter how small or apparently insignificant), the prior authority of the Group General Manager or Chief Operating Officer must be obtained. Recruitment for colleagues additional to the establishment set under that planning process can only be authorised individually by the Group General Manager or Chief Operating Officer.
Personnel Requisitions Forms
All relevant parts of the personnel requisition form must be completed. The form is required to be completed by Operations Managers of each Division and submitted to their HR Administrator in PSG or the recruitment inbox: email@example.com.
If the position is one that requires hours in excess of the legal 48-hour working limit as set out by the Working Time Regulations (for example Healthcare Pharmacists), this must be specified on the requisition form and the matter raised with applicants. Only those willing to sign the opt-out form without any coercion should then be considered for the position.
Wherever possible consideration must be given to promoting from within the Society, every effort will be made to ensure that existing colleagues who might wish to be considered for such positions are appropriately reviewed. All vacancies within the Society will be advertised internally on the Society vacancy list for a minimum of one week unless there is express authorisation from the Group General Manager or Chief Operating Officer.
Where appropriate The Society will consider other recruitment sources:
Refer a Friend Scheme - Encouragement will be given to all colleagues to submit the names of acquaintances of theirs who might be suitable for vacancies. Please refer to the “Refer a Friend Policy” for further details, this can be found on the Society Intranet.
External recruitment sources – There are job boards aligned to Trading Groups and roles, these are industry specific and include LinkedIn, CW Jobs, Reed, Indeed. This list is not exhaustive.
Job Centre - The recruitment brief will be passed to, and discussed with, the Job Centre local to the vacancy location. It will be stressed that only those who fully meet the requirements will be offered an interview.
Recruitment Agencies - The recruitment brief will be passed to, and discussed with, the chosen agency should all other routes to market be exhausted. There is a Society preferred supplier list in place (PSL) where terms have been agreed in line with the Society standards and there is a transparency across all of the supply chains. The Resourcing Manager will make the initial contact with the supplier and instruct them to start to source candidates for the role. The agreed fee will be paid once the introduced colleague starts employment.
Every job applicant (including internal applicants) must complete an application form. By being required to sign the undertaking at the foot of the form they will be confirming the accuracy of the details provided.
Qualifications claimed will be spot checked and all applicants will be advised that they may be asked to provide documentary evidence of such qualifications.
For external candidates at least two references will always be sought. One of which will always be the most recent employer. In the case of candidates applying for any Childcare role with the Society, two references need to be obtained one of which is an employer’s reference and one being an education reference.
All colleagues across the Society who are responsible for recruitment and/or interviewing will be trained as necessary in order to ensure possible discrimination in its many forms is avoided. When candidates are invited for an interview they must be given the opportunity to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made to the interview process if they have a disability. For example a dyslexic candidate may need extra time to complete a written test or someone who is visually impaired may need written instructions in larger font.
Similarly the successful candidate may need us to make some reasonable adjustments to allow them to complete the role effectively. Guidance should be sought from PSG if support or advice is required around making reasonable adjustments for either the interview or upon commencement of employment.
Details from an interview must always be recorded in writing. The interview should always be objective and should avoid any judgemental overtones – talents and experience vary from person to person. An interview is not an assessment of whether the applicant is ‘up to the job’, but whether the requirements of the organisation and the attributes and attitude, skills and experience of the applicant, represent a match with such requirements.
For certain vacancies where skills are essential, it may be appropriate to hold further assessments such as numerical and verbal tests or in-tray exercises.
Selection criteria (job description and person specification) should be kept under constant review to ensure that they are justifiable on non-discriminatory grounds as being essential for the effective performance of the job.
The interview panel must always be appropriate to represent the Society, the composition of the panel should reflect that of the community wherever possible.
Wherever possible more than one person must be involved in the selection and recruitment process, and must have sound knowledge in equal opportunities. Reasons for selection and rejection of applicants for vacancies must be recorded.
Feedback should always be offered to candidates who are unsuccessful having attended an interview. This feedback should be agreed by the interviewing panel ideally as soon after the interview as possible whilst the information is still fresh in their minds. It should be directly linked to the candidate’s performance, concentrating on their answers to the questions and their performance at each aspect of the selection process. Feedback should be constructive and designed to help the candidate to be more successful in future applications, when feedback is given colleagues should be mindful that the applicant is likely to be disappointed at having been unsuccessful and give some positive messages about where they performed well. Talking about other candidates when giving feedback should always be avoided, focus should be on the performance of the individual.
Eligibility to work in the UK
All job offers must be made conditional on an individual’s eligibility to work in the UK. You must ask successful candidates to bring their passport or other form of documentation proving their eligibility when making an offer of employment.
Offers of Employment
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment must be given to all colleagues within two months of their starting date. Offers of employment or confirmation of changes of job or responsibilities involving a change of contract or terms must only be evidenced in writing originating from PSG.
Providing verbal indications of terms, whether at interview or application stage or during employment, when changes are envisaged, should be avoided. If due to exceptional circumstances verbal changes need to be discussed, these should always be stated as being ‘subject to written confirmation’ and subject to receipt of satisfactory references. It should be realised, however, that in discussing terms and conditions prior to appointment and/or during the appointment process, even verbally, a contract may come into effect.
Offers must reflect the terms and conditions as laid down in the personnel requisition. Offer letters will always be sent from PSG and will follow the standard layout and contain details of:
Place of work
Other benefits where applicable
not been obtained by the start date, the appointee should be advised of this and reminded that the appointment is subject to receipt of satisfactory references and that he or she should only commence employment on the strict understanding of that basis. In the event that the reference whether verbal or written is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the appointee, or, if they have commenced work, the colleague, should be advised personally (supported by written confirmation) that the offer of employment has failed and is withdrawn since the condition to which it was subject has not been fulfilled. Should this occur, the notice required under the contract should be given, but in view of the circumstances, payment may be made in lieu of such notice.
The Society wishes to keep colleague turnover to a minimum and commits itself to policies and practices that will help attain this aim. Recruitment procedures are well-structured with all accurate data given to applicants so that unrealistic and inaccurate expectations are not created in the minds of newcomers and that applicants are accurately matched to vacancies.
All new colleagues take part in full induction process which covers at least the first 13 weeks of employment. Training is provided for all new colleagues so that they are able to develop their skills and expertise to a level required to fulfil their job role.
Managers are required to build and lead their teams in order to create motivation and maximise commitment. Regular briefings and discussions are required to encourage feedback and attain true (ie two-way) communication and involvement.
The Society has a constant regard for the personal lives, commitments and responsibilities of its colleagues. All policies, procedures and practices are applied fairly and are made readily available to all colleagues.
All colleagues are encouraged to consider their employment with the Society on a long-term basis and every attempt will be made to involve colleagues at appropriate levels in the decision-making process. All colleagues undertake a yearly review with their Manager to
requests should be sent to a named individual. In the event that a reference has understand their contribution to the Society and how they can improve their performance moving forward. The Society also supports colleagues moving into different roles across the Society for their development, further details can be found in the Internal Transfer Policy.
Should colleagues require any additional support, questions should be directed to the Resourcing Team in PSG.
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