Last Updated 28 Jan 2022 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. Recruiting a diverse, talented and inclusive colleague workforce.
This policy provides sources of advice and highlights the steps that are taken during the recruitment journey.
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 role.
Discrimination in any form will not be tolerated. The Society is an equal opportunity employer and this policy outlines the reasonable steps the Society takes to ensure that no applicant or colleague receives less favourable treatment throughout the recruitment process.
The Society is committed to applying its Diversity and Inclusion policy at all stages of recruitment and selection. Shortlisting, interviewing and selection will always be carried out without regard to gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, age, pregnancy or maternity leave.
Any candidate with a disability will not be excluded unless it is clear that the candidate is unable to perform a duty that is intrinsic to the role, having taken into account reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process will be made to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged because of their disability.
The Society’s long-term aim is that our workforce reflects that of the communities in which we operate in. Any colleagues or Managers behaviour against this policy will be considered a disciplinary matter which may in some cases, lead to dismissal.
Role Evaluation and Authorisation
It is the Society’s policy that our hiring managers are responsible for recruitment in conjunction with the Resourcing team. A hiring manager who wishes to recruit a role must first obtain approval from their line manager. If the vacancy has been created to backfill a leaver, approval to backfill the role is required from your line manager and the details of the replacement will be requested. If, however, the hiring manager wishes to change a role, or to create a new role – a role profile must be presented, as well as receiving a full role evaluation (benchmark) from our HR Reward team. If the role is a new non-trading role and is benchmarked at over £25k, the line manager must receive finance governance approval before the recruiting journey can begin.
Before embarking on the process of recruitment, the hiring manager must ensure that there is an up-to-date role profile for the post and a clearly drafted colleague specification. The role profile will describe the duties, responsibilities and level of seniority associated with the post, while the colleague specification will describe the type of qualifications, training, knowledge, experience, skills, aptitudes and competencies required for effective performance of the role.
Society vacancies will be posted on the internal careers’ website for a minimum of one week. In very exceptional circumstances a vacancy may be filled externally without being advertised internally. Examples of these circumstances include, but are not limited to, recruitment through our ESG agenda, particularly through Bright Future and Work Experience programmes; recruitment into a role requiring a bespoke skill set or experience which is not available in the current colleague pool; in rapid response to a unique Society opportunity/issue or a short fixed term contract (under 12 months) which would formally have been filled by a contractor.
The appointment of an external candidate or advertising of a role externally, without having advertised internally, must be approved by the CEO and the Chief HR Officer in advance of advertising or an appointment being made.
All colleagues and external candidates will apply for vacancies via the career’s website, if they have the appropriate qualifications, experience and skills. To find out information on the Society’s vacancies, how to apply or to set up vacancy alerts, please visit our Colleague Connect Career page. It is recommended the Society’s vacancies are also advertised on our external careers’ website and other career platforms, but this decision is at the hiring managers discretion. The advertisement platform or approved agency usage for your vacancy will be advised and approved by the Resourcing team.
Where appropriate the Society will consider the below additional sources:
Refer a Friend Scheme - Encouragement will be given to all colleagues to submit the names of acquaintances who might be suitable for vacancies. Please refer to the Refer a Friend Scheme for further details.
Advertisement sources – There are job boards aligned to Trading Groups and roles, these are industry specific and include LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Centre, Reed & Totaljobs. This list is not comprehensive.
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 agency 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 team will make the initial contact with the supplier and instruct them to start to source candidates for the role.
Selection & Shortlisting
The Society always aims to recruit the person who is most suited to the role. Recruitment will be solely on the basis of the applicant's abilities and individual merit as measured against the criteria for the role. Qualifications, experience and skills will be assessed at the level that is relevant to the role.
The Society is committed to applying its Diversity and Inclusion policy at all stages of recruitment and selection. Reasonable adjustments will be made to the recruitment journey to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged.
All individuals regardless of race, age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership are encouraged to apply for vacancies.
Shortlists will be determined by the extent to which a candidate’s experience, knowledge and skills match the role requirements as demonstrated within their application.
Candidates will be notified of the decision made in respect of their application by phone or email. Due to the volume of applications, specific feedback will not generally be provided at shortlisting stage.
Before you begin interviewing, the selection process must be defined and agreed with the Resourcing team. A minimum of one interview is to be carried out for every vacancy prior to an offer being made. Hiring managers conducting recruitment interviews will ensure that the questions that they ask candidates are not in any way discriminatory or unnecessarily intrusive. The interview will focus on the needs of the role and skills needed to perform it effectively. A record of every recruitment interview must be made and saved on the Your Coop Hiring Manager portal to be retained for a suitable period of time.
Psychometric testing may be used as part of the recruitment journey but only with prior advice and guidance from the Resourcing team. Any test used must have been validated in relation to the role, be free of bias, and be administered and validated by a member of the Resourcing team.
Offer and Feedback
Offers of employment must reflect the terms and conditions as disclosed in the vacancy details. Offer letters and contracts will be sent via our careers portal or by email from the HR Administration team. Offers of employment or any changes to Term’s & Condition’s must be evidenced in writing from HR Admin.
For some of our roles, a cleared DBS check is compulsory as part of the role requirements. The Society will seek the applicant's agreement to make a joint application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Where the individual is a member of the DBS update service, the Society will, with his or her permission, carry out a status check on any current certificate. The Society is committed to ensuring that all information provided about an individual's criminal convictions, including any information released in disclosures, is used fairly and stored and handled appropriately and in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 . Data held on file about an individual's criminal convictions will be held only as long as it is required for employment purposes and will not be disclosed to any unauthorised person.
Once a candidate has been offered, the Society will request the successful candidate's consent to obtain two written references and ask for documentary proof of qualifications where applicable. Any offer of employment will be conditional on these requirements being satisfactory. 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 in line with our probation policy. 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. All role offers must be made conditional on an individual’s eligibility to work in the UK and candidates will need to provide proof of their right to work. The hiring manager must ask successful candidates to bring their passport or other form of documentation proving their eligibility when making an offer of employment.
Note: It is the Manager’s responsibility to ensure a colleague has the necessary Right to work documents. If a colleague is allowed to work before the relevant Right to work checks have been conducted, this could constitute as a disciplinary offence, which will be dealt with under the Society's disciplinary procedure, which may in some cases, lead to dismissal.
The hiring manager and Resourcing team will provide feedback to all candidates who have not been successful during the recruitment journey to support with their interview technique and personal development. A candidate will be given the opportunity at all stages of the recruitment journey to ask for more detailed or specific feedback.
The Society processes personal data collected during the recruitment journey in accordance with our Data Protection Policy on processing special categories of personal data and criminal records data. In particular, data which is collected as part of the recruitment journey is held securely and accessed by, and disclosed to, individuals only for the purposes of managing the recruitment exercise effectively. Inappropriate access or disclosure of candidate data constitutes as a data breach and should be reported in accordance with the Society’s Data Protection Policy immediately. It may also constitute as a disciplinary offence, which will be dealt with under the organisation's disciplinary procedure.
Hiring managers may wish to use a contractor or temporary worker to complete the assignment of a fixed term role. The use of a contractor or temporary worker must be advised and approved by the Resourcing team, who will carry out the relevant worker status checks to ensure the Societies compliance in accordance with the IR35 legislation act 2021.
Fast-track recruitment is a modified recruitment journey to recruit candidates in a shorter period of time. This process replaces a two staged recruitment journey with one single interview, which is conducted over the phone or via teams. Where the candidate’s will be assessed on their suitability for the role before proceeding to offer or rejection. This journey removes the face to face interview and final offer decision carried out by the Hiring Manager. The decision for a fast-track recruitment journey is to only be advised and conducted by the Resourcing team.
The Society reserves the right to offer guaranteed interviews to candidates where we can demonstrate it supports our CSR agenda i.e. Bright Future and Work Experience schemes.
The list is not exhaustive and will be discussed with candidates and Managers on an individual basis.
Should colleagues require any additional support, questions should be directed to the Resourcing Team in HR.
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