Guidance for managers on the issues to be addressed before employment is offered
Departments should read the following guidance before offering employment:
1) Authority to employ (academic-related and support staff)
Under Statute XIV, Section 1 of the University Statutes, only authorised postholders (normally the Head of Department or Administrator, or equivalent) may offer employment and sign letters of appointment for University academic-related and support staff. In the absence of an authorised postholder a formally nominated deputy may act on behalf of the authorised postholder.
Separate arrangements apply to offering employment to academic staff, and departmental administrators. Read more about who can hire and dismiss.
2) Offer of appointment
The appointment decision must be agreed by someone who has authority to offer employment (see above). Once approval has been given the nominated member of the panel (normally the chair), may make a verbal offer of employment to the successful candidate, which should be followed by a formal offer letter. All offers of employment should be made subject to the usual pre-employment checks, including taking up references.
For information on setting starting salaries and on underfilling of posts please refer to the Reward webpages.
All unsuccessful candidate should be notified by email (or letter).
HR system steps
When a verbal offer has been made:
- Update the vacancy status in the Recruitment Dashboard to Offer Made and the applicant statuses to record the outcomes for each candidate (COMPULSORY)
- Generate the formal offer of employment letter and send to the successful candidate
- Notify any unsuccessful candidates
Once an offer has been accepted:
- Close the vacancy recording the vacancy status as Appointment Made (COMPULSORY) and update the applicant statuses
- Follow the new starter process to manage a successful applicant (COMPULSORY)
- Notify any remaining candidates who were on standby
3) European nationals
European nationals resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status. Those who arrived for the first time from 1 January 2021 onwards will need a UK visa in order to undertake work.
When offering employment, it is important that we identify any European nationals who will not be eligible for Pre-Settled or Settled status and will instead require an appropriate UK work visa, such as Skilled Worker or Global Talent visa.
The following wording can be used in correspondence with successful candidates when offering employment:
If you are a British or Irish national you automatically have the right to work in the UK.
If you are an EEA or Swiss national, or the family member of an EEA or Swiss national, who was resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 you have the right to work in the UK. If you have not already done so you will have to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status before 1 July 2021 to be able to continue your lawful residence in the UK after that date. The University Staff Immigration Team provides guidance on applying for Pre-Settled or Settled status, and can help with queries.
If you are an EEA or Swiss national but you did not move to the UK before 31 December 2020, or you are a citizen of any other country, you may need a UK visa before taking up employment. We will discuss which visa route may be appropriate and will then help you through the application process, with advice and guidance from the Staff Immigration Team.
4) If no suitable candidate has been identified
Where no suitable candidate has been identified following the selection process, departments may try different routes to re-advertise the post, or consider whether revising the duties, grade or other aspects of the post which may attract more appropriate applicants.
In such cases, seek advice from the Reward team as to whether the post needs to be resubmitted for grading.
All unsuccessful candidates should be notified by email (or letter).
HR system steps:
- Close the vacancy in the Recruitment Dashboard, recording the vacancy status as No Appointment Made and update the applicant statuses (COMPULSORY)
- Notify any unsuccessful candidates
- Follow the guidance on managing unplanned recruiting events if you wish to readvertise the post.
5) Making additional (dual) University appointments
Departments should check whether candidate are already employed by the University, and if so, check during the interview process whether they intend to resign from or remain in the existing post if appointed to this vacancy. Employees may hold two (or more) part-time appointments with the University but should not be employed for more than 1 FTE.
Difficulties can arise where an employee is appointed to an additional University post. For example, if misconduct occurs in one post the impact on the other post will need to be considered. This is particularly problematic where one post is a support staff role, and the other is academic-related, as separate procedures apply to different staff groups (especially in relation to dismissal procedures, as it would be the more onerous academic-related disciplinary procedure which must be followed).
When considering making a dual appointment, follow these steps:
If the candidate is an employee already in your department
- If the candidate wishes to hold two roles, consider (in discussion with the candidate) whether the two roles could be combined and graded as a single job.
If the candidate is already employed elsewhere in the University
- If the candidate wishes to hold two roles, inform them that any appointment would be subject to the agreement of their current employing department, and that more than 1 FTE may not be held.
- When contacting the other department to take up a reference, you should ascertain the employment details and the other department’s views on the proposed dual employment and on the changes to the existing employment contract which would be required.
NB The employing department(s) must ensure that the employee concerned is working within the provisions of the Working Time Regulations.
HR system steps: follow the guidance on Additional Appointments
6) Transfers between departments
Where a University employee leaves one post to take up a new post, this should be processed as a transfer, except in the following circumstances:
- Secondments - please contact your HR Business Partner
- Additional (dual) appointments - see guidance above
- Moving from a casual engagement to an employment contract (and vice versa)
HR system steps: follow the guidance on transfers between departments
7) Giving feedback
Candidates who have been unsuccessful at interview may request feedback. Feedback should only be provided on request. Departments are not normally expected to provide feedback on the applications of individuals who were rejected at the shortlisting stage(s). Usually, candidates request feedback in order to understand how to improve future applications or interview performance, rather than to question the selection decision. If there is reason to believe that a candidate requesting feedback is seeking to challenge the decision, or is a priority candidate, advice should be sought from your HR Business Partner before responding.
Please follow this guidance:
- A nominated panel member should provide feedback, to ensure consistency
- Feedback should be objective and based on the selection criteria for the post
- Feedback should be based on notes kept during the selection process
- Feedback should be balanced; advise candidates of areas where their interview (or overall application) was strong, and explain areas where their interview/application fell short of the required skills/experience, or where they were not as strong as other candidate
- Feedback should be about the candidate who has made the request, and should not include information about any of the other candidates
- Feedback should ideally be provided in writing