Recruitment Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)


Good recruitment, selection and retention practices are an essential ingredient in maintaining a high-performing organisation that works for all members of our community.

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council is committed to being a fair and equitable employer with good working conditions, delivering the highest standards of service and providing value for money to our residents.

The Council is committed to equality of opportunity and all recruitment and selection processes will take place within the framework of equal opportunities legislation. Every possible step will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated respectfully and fairly and that decisions on recruitment and selection are based solely on objective and job-related criteria.

This Recruitment Policy will:

  • be fair and consistent, ensuring that the Council will always appoint the most suitable person for the job by assessing skills, abilities and knowledge using fair and transparent methods;
  • be non-discriminatory, promoting the principles of the Equality Act 2010;
  • support the Council’s commitment to safe recruitment, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults who may be at risk; and
  • conform to all statutory regulations and agreed best practice.

All persons involved in the appointment process will receive training in recruitment and selection.

The Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our residents – children, young people and adults – and as an employer, we expect our staff, volunteers and contractors to share this commitment. Our recruitment processes include measures designed to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse others and to minimise the risk of someone unsuitable gaining a position in our organisation.

The Council has delegated to its Staffing Committee powers to act on its behalf in all personnel and employment matters, including the appointment of staff.

Notification of Vacancy

When a role becomes vacant or there is an identified staffing need, the Council will review the role and its associated duties within the context of the overall staffing requirement. The review will include consideration of the number of hours necessary to undertake the job and also assess whether the nature of the role means that Criminal Record and/or Disclosure & Barring (DBS) checks are required.

Consideration will be given to whether the vacancy should be filled from internal or external sources. Where external recruitment is the chosen option, the budget for the recruitment process must be approved by the Council in advance.

All vacancies will have a Job Description and Person Specification which will be made available to any prospective candidate in a recruitment pack. They will also be posted on the Council’s website as part of the advertising process.

The recruitment pack will include:

  • a covering letter which sets out the timetable for the recruitment and appointment process;
  • job description;
  • person specification;
  • information on the job role and its place within the Council structure;
  • information on the Council itself;
  • key terms and conditions of employment, including hours of work and salary;
  • application form;
  • equal opportunities monitoring form;
  • statement on safeguarding; and
  • any other information deemed relevant to the post.

Advertising the post

Staff vacancies will normally be advertised externally and placed on the Council’s website and social media accounts. The use of other advertising outlets will be decided by the Clerk in consultation with the Staffing Committee and may include local news media, specialist publications, appropriate websites or social media platforms. The advertisement must be consistent with the person specification and job description and all requirements stated must be justifiable and objective. The closing date for receipt of applications and a contact for the Council, normally the Clerk, will be included in the advertisement.

Recruitment will be by means of the Council’s standard application form to ensure consistency and assist in the shortlisting process.

Applicants will be notified that details in their application forms will be used in accordance with Data Protection legislation. This means that information is confidential and can only be used for assessment and selection, and for  employment records if their application is successful.


All applications received by the deadline will be considered, initially by the Clerk and one other senior officer, and assessed against the person specification. A shortlist will be drawn up and presented to the Staffing Committee Chairman and one other nominated Committee representative. These two Members and the Clerk will form the shortlisting panel and will assess each applicant independently before agreeing a final shortlist. A written record will be kept for each candidate.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and requested to bring to the interview original documents that provide evidence of their right to work in the UK. (

Interview arrangements

The shortlisting panel lead by the Clerk will make the arrangements for interviews, including:

  • timetable for interviews and taking up appointment;
  • interview format;
  • interview panel composition;
  • who will chair the interview panel; and
  • interview questions for all candidates based on the job description and person specification.

The interview panel will include the Clerk (and/or other relevant senior officer), the Staffing Committee Chairman, one other nominated Committee representative and one substitute member. All candidates will be asked the same set of questions but it is acceptable to ask supplementary questions for clarification or to query any inconsistencies or gaps in their application form. The selection process may also include other selection techniques, such as written and practical assessments.

The Council recognises its obligations under the Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Act 2006. All candidates will be required to bring appropriate documents to the interview (e.g. birth certificate, passport, NI number etc) which provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK. Any offer of employment is conditional upon satisfying this requirement.

Members of the interview panel will score each candidate individually and a written record will be kept to inform the final decision. The candidate with the overall highest score will be conditionally offered the post. If there is a tie or closeness in score, the two top scoring candidates will be offered a second interview. If the score remains tied, the panel will vote on the preferred candidate.

All interview packs and associated documentation must be returned marked ‘Private & Confidential’ to the relevant Officer. The Council will retain documents relating to successful candidates on their personal file. All documents relating to unsuccessful candidates will be retained for 6 months after which time they will be destroyed.

Post interview

Offers of employment will normally be made by telephone, followed up by letter. All offers are conditional upon ratification by Full Council, receipt of satisfactory references and preemployment checks and subject to a six-month probationary period.

References will be sought and must include the current employer or immediate past employer. The Council reserves the right to make further enquiries of the reference provider where appropriate.

A start date will not be offered until all pre-employment checks have been satisfactorily undertaken, including:

  • Evidence of right to work in the UK (If not already checked);
  • Proof of relevant qualifications; and
  • Disclosure & Barring (DBS) check (if appropriate).

Documents must be verified through sight of the original documentation and copies taken for the personal file.

Unsuccessful candidates will be informed of the outcome by letter and feedback will be given if requested.

Once pre-employment checks have been satisfactorily completed, a letter confirming the appointment will be sent to the successful candidate, together with contract documents, setting out the full terms and conditions of their employment. Where the position is fixed-term in nature this will be identified to the candidate in the offer letter and contract of employment. The candidate will be required to sign and return a copy of the employment contract to confirm agreement to its terms and conditions.

All staff employed by the Council will be paid in accordance with the nationally negotiated pay scales in force at the time, and subject to the National Joint Council (NJC) terms and conditions.

All eligible staff employed by the Council will be enrolled in the Council’s contributory Pension Scheme under regulations in force at the time of appointment unless they choose to opt out.

The Council will ensure that an appropriate Induction Training programme is arranged for the employee to commence upon taking up their employment.

[Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 4th May 2022 under minute number FPC108/22. Policy due for review in 2025.]