Selection Committee Training
As per the approved Appointment Regulations, any individual nominated as Chair of a Selection Committee or a Member of a Selection Committee must participate in mandatory training in Recruitment and Selection for Chairs/Selection Committees Members, as delivered by the Department of Human Resources.
In order to arrange training please email email@example.com
Post Proposal Process
Once a recruitment need has been identified it is the responsibility of the Head of Unit/Department/School to complete the relevant post proposal form. This form should be approved and signed by the Head of College/Executive Manager (and also by the Research Accountant for research funded posts only.) These approvals must be in place before submitting the form to Human Resources.
The approval process for post proposals is currently being overseen by the University Management Team (UMT).
A PF3 form should be used for all posts PF3 – Posts for critical strategic Review
If the post is to be staffed through a formal competitive process, a selection committee should be put in place.
In the case of senior and specialised posts a search strategy may often be crucial to the recruitment of a broad, diverse and international pool of applicants, in a competitive market. For such vacancies a search strategy should be developed in consultation with all those who can provide information regarding effective resources that can broaden the applicant pool. Consideration should be given to the timeliness and cost effectiveness of the chosen advertisement channels.
For the selection committee, the primary documents for capturing search decisions are the Pre-Advertising Report Forms which are completed at the first meeting of the Selection Committee. This form should specify any additional appropriate public promotion venues, outside of the normal channels, through which the vacancy will be advertised. The search strategy should be directed to specific individuals who may be interested or able to provide nominations. The position should be announced in specific professional and general academic outlets.
Additionally, the vacancy announcement may go to widely read venues popular among academics of many cognate disciplines. Developing a strategy like this is not difficult. A well planned and creative strategy not only provides an opportunity to attract a broader range of candidates and to bring in new skills and perspective, but it also provides a useful marketing opportunity for UCC. For further details please review the ‘Guidelines in Relation to Search’ section of the relevant Appointment Procedures. http://www.ucc.ie/en/ocla/statutes/otherregs/
UCC have a legal obligation to ensure that they are not discriminating against any group in their recruitment practice.
- Avoid giving the impression that you are seeking a male or a female, a person of a particular race, age, or from a particular group of people
- Do not reflect stereotypes and assumptions
- Avoid using terms like ‘foreman’ or ‘salesman’ – in the past, these jobs were associated with people of a particular gender – use titles like ‘foreperson’ and ‘sales person’ instead.
- Any references to experience/qualifications and capacity of the person should only relate to the requirements of the job/position.
- Avoid inappropriate or offensive images and language
To reduce costs it is recommend that websites be used over print media and that any print advertising should be succinct with just the Vacancy title and a link to the advertisement on the HR vacancies page.
Shortlisting is the initial first stage in the recruitment process. It involves a review and evaluation of the application forms submitted by candidates and identifies those candidates who most closely meet the selection criteria established for the post. Its purpose is to ensure in practical terms a organised and manageable interview schedule by selecting a reduced number of candidates for interview.
For full details please visit the ‘Post Closing Date (Shortlisting Process)’ of the relevant Appointment Procedures: https://www.ucc.ie/en/ocla/statutes/otherregs/
At the shortlisting meeting:
- The Human Resources Representative will prepare a report on the outcome of decisions made at this meeting. Selection committees should familiarise themselves with their responsibilities in relation to the UCC Code of Conduct in relation to Conflict of Interest.
- It is important that each application is dealt with fairly on its own merit.
- All applicants should be assessed consistently and thoroughly against the criteria specified on the Job Description.
- Should a candidate not meet one or more of the essential criteria then they shall be deemed ineligible for interview.
- Board members should formulate their own independent assessment first and then, following discussion, arrive at an agreed final shortlisting.
- Ideally, a maximum of 6 candidates maye be shortlisted for any given vacancy.
- A reserve list may be created of applicants who fall short of the top six ranked candidates.
- Board members must be made aware of their responsibilities in relation to the UCC Code of Conduct in relation to Conflict of Interest
- The board must be able to stand over and justify the shortlisting findings.
- Rationale for decisions will be recorded by the Human Resources Representative and retained in the Human Resources Dept which will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2007 and may be called upon if an appeal is made.
These guidelines provide a framework for communication and training of individuals involved in the recruitment and selection process and facilitates the consistent application of related policies to promote diversity, integrity, and fairness. All staff involved in the recruitment process should familiarise themselves with the contents of the Equality in Recruitment policy .
At the start of each interview, the Chairperson should introduce each applicant to the Selection Committee and explain their roles. They should explain the purpose, expected duration and structure of the interview to the applicant and indicate that notes will be taken by Selection Committee members. The applicant should be put at ease so that he/she can answer questions to the best of their ability. This may involve asking an early 'ice-breaking' question.
The Selection Committee should question all applicants against the same selection criteria and only questions relevant to evaluating an applicant's ability to fulfill the requirements of the job should be asked. The Selection Committee should ask all applicants the same core questions to ensure a consistent and fair approach. Supplementary questions, may be asked if required to clarify issues, obtain further information or to explore areas that arise in the interview. Please click on the links below for a list of sample questions.
- The Selection Committee should actively listen and actively seek clarification
- Members of the Selection Committee should obtain sufficient information from applicants to make accurate decisions. Assumptions should not be made about an applicant's capabilities to perform various aspects of the position under consideration
- Applicants should be asked if they wish to discuss matters that may not have emerged in response to questions raised during the interview, to add any information, or to ask any questions
- Applicants should be advised about the timing of decision-making and notification of the outcome of the process.
All Selection Committee members should be present for all interviews. If, in exceptional circumstances, a board member cannot be present for all interviews he/she should withdraw from the board. In exceptional circumstances where a board member has to withdraw, a substitute may be invited to participate on the Board in order to cover a particular area of expertise. This substitute should receive all necessary documentation and should be properly briefed to satisfactorily complete their role. The substitution should be clearly noted in interview files/papers.
The Selection Committee should meet in good time prior to the interview and draft an interview plan with specific areas of questioning for each board member. In preparing questions, Selection Committee members will need to:
- Base the questions on selection criteria as specified in the Job Description.
- Focus on the knowledge, skills, attainments, competencies and behavior required for the job.
- Ensure questions are sufficiently rigorous and searching to assess ability and differentiate between candidates
- Ensure that questions are well structured, relevant and probing.
The questions asked at selection interviews must be wholly relevant to the specific job. The Chairperson should ensure that questions asked are relevant to the position, are aimed at assessing the candidates in relation to the agreed criteria and will elicit information to assist in selecting the best candidate for the job. Selection Committees should be mindful at all times of not asking questions which could be construed as potentially discriminatory under the nine areas covered by the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and 2004 i.e.
- Marital status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Membership of the Traveller Community
Other Forms of Assessment
For some posts it may be necessary to supplement the interview with other forms of assessment. Short listed candidates should be advised in advance of any alternative forms of assessment. Such additional forms of assessment may include:
- Giving a presentation on a particular subject; (compulsory for all Academic posts)
- Completing an assessment of computing skills, for example word processing, spreadsheet or desktop publishing skills;
- Testing report writing
- Evaluating presentation skills
- Reviewing administrative and decision making abilities (e.g. in tray exercises)
When making a decision on the most suitable applicant candidates should be ranked suitable or unsuitable for appointment based on their performance at interview(s) the quality of their written application and any other form of assessment included in the selection process. The Chairperson should seek to facilitate the interview board in jointly completing the Interview Record Forms which are completed by the Human Resources Representative. This will detail an assessment of the candidate against the core competencies, knowledge skills, attainments & behavior required to carry out the particular role. In accordance with the University Interview Scoring Scheme, the selection committee is asked to reach a consensus on an individual score for each candidate under each of the selection criteria which the Human Resources Representative will record on behalf of the board. Efforts should be made to reach a unanimous decision, however if this is not reached a majority decision is acceptable. Where the Selection Committee vote is tied, the Chairperson has the casting vote.
The Human Resources Representative should prepare a final report which will include the Selection Committee’s recommendation naming the candidate recommended for appointment, or in the case of multiple posts the recommended candidates in order of merit. Where possible, reserve candidates should be named by the Interview Board and should be listed on a panel in order of merit. It is imperative that only those candidates deemed suitable to perform the job should be placed on the panel. The Chairperson together with Human Resources Representative should ensure the following is completed and on completion of the General Assessment:
- The Selection Committee Report is signed by all members of the Selection Committee.
- The individual Interview Record Forms sheets are signed by all members of the Selection Committee and includes a brief comment on the following:
- The reasons why a candidate has not been found suitable for the appointment
- The relative merit of the recommended applicant(s) on the basis of the selection criteria only.
- The score which the candidate received against each category/selection criterion.
Clear and detailed reporting will assist if post-interview feedback is requested, if an appeal is lodged or if a challenge is made by an unsuccessful candidate. Selection Committee members should be aware that any notes that they make about any of the candidates may be discoverable under freedom of information legislation. The Human Resources Representative should collect all such documents relating to the interview process.
Recruitment and selection procedures are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997 and 2003. It is therefore important that the decision making process is clearly documented and that all documents relating to the recruitment and selection process are returned to the Human Resources Representative.
For full details of the interview process please visit the ‘Selection (Seminar, Assessment and Interview Process)’of the relevant Appointment Regulations on the OCLA website
Generic Job Descriptions
- Professorship Generic Job Description
- Senior Lectureship Generic Job Description (109kB)
- Lectureship Generic Job Description (108kB)
- Senior Research Fellow (13kB)
- Advertising Template for Senior Research Fellow (59kB)
- Research Fellow (14kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Fellow (56kB)
- Senior Post Doctoral Researcher (12kB)
- Advertising Template for Senior Post Doctoral Researcher (46kB)
- Post Doctoral Researcher (14kB)
- Advertising Template for Post Doctoral Researcher (48kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Assistant (62kB)
- Research Support Officer - Admin (23kB)
- Research Support Officer - Lab Manager (17kB)
- Research Support Officer, Clinical (55kB)
- Research Support Officer (17kB)
- Research Assistant (16kB)
- Research Assistant, Admin (18kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Assistant - Admin (23kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Assistant - Technical (22kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Support Officer (55kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Support Officer - Clinical (23kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Support Officer - Lab Manager (24kB)
- Advertising Template for Research Support Officer - Admin (24kB)
- Research Assistant Technical (28kB)
Short Term Appointment Pack
Step by Step Guide to Administering the Recruitment Process
Step 1. – Advertising
- Once the post is approved by UMTO a Selection Committee should be identified in line with the Regulation on Short Term Appointments.
- A draft advert and job description should be prepared by the hiring head (in consultation with the HR Manager for your area).
- The draft advert and job description should be circulated to the full Committee using the draft email (1. Advertising) of the Short Term Appointment Pack.
- Agree shortlisting and interview dates with the Committee.
- Send final agreed advert and post particulars to HR (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advertising.
Step 2. – Shortlisting
- Acknowledge all applications as received.
- No late applications can be accepted and any late submissions should be advised accordingly.
- Following the closing date for receipt of applications circulate to the Committee a copy of all applications received using the draft email in the Short Term Appointment Pack (2.Shortlisting).
- Prepare the Shortlist Meeting Report and the Shortlist Report Form in advance of the shortlisting meeting (drafts in the Short Term Appointment Pack 2.Shortlisting).
- At the shortlisting meeting the remainder of the Report Form and Meeting Report should be fully completed including details of those shortlisted for interview and those not shortlisted for interview.
- Detailed feedback must be recorded for those not shortlisted for interview.
- Inform those candidates not shortlisted for interview and provide feedback on request using the draft not successful at shortlisting email and draft feedback email provided in the the Short Term Appointment Pack (2.Shortlisting) .
Step 3. – Interviews
- Invite to interview candidates selected at shortlisting using the draft email provided in the Short Term Appointment Pack (3. Interviews) .
- Include where relevant details of seminar and seminar title.Request references for candidates shortlisted for interview using the draft email provided in the Short Term Appointment Pack (3. Interviews.)
- Prepare the Interview Meeting Report, Interview Record Forms (one per candidate), Question Record Form (one per committee member) and Interview timetable (drafts in the Short Term Appointment Pack 3. Interviews).
- Email the Selection Committee the interview timetable and references received to date using the draft email provided (3. Interviews )
- Order any required catering for the day of interview. Include in the order water for individual candidates.
- At the interview the Meeting Report should be fully completed including details of those deemed appointable and unappointable.
- Detailed feedback must be recorded for those candidates deemed unappointable and the Interview Record Form must be completed (including feedback) for those deemed appointable.
- Once deliberations have concluded a nominated member of the Selection Committee may call all candidates to informally advise of the outcome of the process. A formal offer cannot be made at this stage.
Step 4. – After Interviews
- Email the unsuccessful candidates with the outcome of the process and provide feedback on request using the draft not successful at interview email and draft feedback email provided in the Short Term Appointment Pack (4. After Interviews )
- Email the successful candidate with confirmation that s/he is being recommended for appointment using the draft email provided.
- A formal offer including details of commencing salary can only issue from the Department of Human Resources and no discussion should take place with the candidate in this regard.
- Forward the complete documentation as follows to the Department of Human Resources (email@example.com):
- Interview meeting report
- Interview record form for successful candidate
- CV/ Application form for successful candidate
- References received for successful candidate
5. All other records of the process should be retained locally for 12 months and shredded thereafter.
Forms & Emails
The University recognises the need for Research Centres to be in a position to recruit research staff in as expeditious a manner as possible while adhering to best practice methods of recruitment and selection and in compliance with legislation.
As holders of the HR Excellence in Research logo the University is formally acknowledged as adhering to the Charter and Code of the EC HR Strategy for Researchers. Through open and transparent advertising and recruitment we contribute to the attractiveness of UCC's research infrastructure and to the attractiveness of the European Research Area and uphold the principles of the Charter and Code.
HR Research will assist and advise staff of Research Centres, Institutes and Units in managing the recruitment of research staff.
For full information see the HR Research Webpages