The Job Description:
Before any job is advertised, the relevant officers are required to review the job description. This is a document which details what the person getting the job will be expected to do. This is always sent out with the application form.
The Person Specification:
Once the job description has been looked at and, if necessary, updated, the relevant officers are required to draw up a person specification or update a previous one detailing those qualities required in the person best suited to do the work.
These qualities are strictly job related and cover such areas as level of skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications, etc. They are classed as:
- Essential - i.e. what you must have to do the job and without which you could not be appointed, and
- Desirable - i.e. those qualities that would be an 'added bonus' and help the post holder carry out the full range of duties of the job more readily.
The next stage is to draw up the advertisement to reflect the requirements of the job and the person needed to do it.
Checking It Through:
Once the job description has been agreed, and the person specification and recruitment advertisement drawn up, it is not uncommon for them to be passed through to Human Resources to check that they have been properly prepared, ask only for job related requirements and meet the council's Employment Equality Policy in general and, more specifically, the council's recruitment policies.
When the completed application forms are returned to the council, they are passed to the relevant officers to produce a shortlist, i.e. the list of people who will be called in for interview. Only those people who meet all the essential criteria listed on the person specification, and which are measurable from the application form, will be called in. On occasions, if there are a lot of people who meet these essential criteria, only those who meet some of the desirable qualities as well will be called for interview.
When looking to see 'who meets what', officers are trained only to use information from the application form and not to make assumptions about anyone even if they already work for the council.
Test and Submissions:
It is not uncommon to receive a large response to our advertisements such that, even after looking at those who meet the desirable criteria, there would still be more people left than we could possibly interview. When this happens, you may be called in for a job-related test or asked to prepare something and send it to us which will be used to determine who will be called in for an interview.
Sometimes a test will be set as part of the interview process to find out about your skills, knowledge and experience in a particular area and which can be better measured by the test than by asking questions at interview.
Whatever form the test takes, it will always be job-related and will be just one of the many factors taken into account when making the final decision.
During the Interview:
Interviews at the council are always carried out by at least two people. They will ask only job-related questions, i.e. those designed to find out how well you could do the job. The same job-related questions will be asked of all people being interviewed for that job. In addition, it is likely that you will be asked specific questions which relate to areas which are unique to you, e.g. previous work history.
You will also be given a chance to ask questions about the job, the section and division, the terms and conditions or any other relevant points.
Each member of the interview panel will take notes of your answers on a standard form and these will be used to recall your answers when the panel members decide whom to appoint after all the interviews are finished. At the end of your interview you will be told when to expect a decision, which will be in writing.
After the Interview:
When the panel members have decided whom to offer the job to, all their notes, the application forms, any references we have received and the list of standard questions they have asked will be sent to Human Resources.
No offer of appointment will be made until the officers in this section have been satisfied that the best person for the job, in accordance with the pre-determined person specification, is the one who is being recommended for appointment.