University of Stirling

Human Resources Services

Policies and Procedures


Recruitment and Selection Guidelines for Open Ended and Fixed Term Staff




When a vacancy arises you should take the opportunity to re-evaluate the vacant post and not assume that it needs to be automatically replaced on the current basis.  To aid you in this evaluation you should consult the post holder and perhaps their key customers and examine the duties and responsibilities of the post whilst also considering:

Is a direct replacement of a member of staff the best solution?

  • Can other staff be redeployed to do this job?
  • Can the job be carried out on a part time basis?
  • Can the work be re-organised so that other members of staff cover some or all of it?

It may be that a direct replacement is needed in which case you should commence the recruitment process as soon as possible to avoid any gaps in service provision.

If you are changing the role duties and responsibilities you will need to ensure that the grading is still appropriate, and a revised role outline should be submitted to the HR and OD Department for grading as soon as possible. Please note that posts must be graded prior to advertising.

Please note that if there is a vacancy this must be advertised. Exceptions can be made if:

The appointment will last no longer than 6 months

Or if

A research grant has been awarded and has a named researcher on it.

If you have a post that falls into either of these categories, please complete an appointment form



If this is a brand new post, or if any of the duties/responsibilities have changed considerably it should be graded to ensure fair and appropriate pay. Full information on the grading process is available on this link



The first step to getting your job advertised is completing a Job Requisition in Talentlink (the University’s eRecruitment system). Talentlink will route your requisition through the appropriate steps and ensure that full authorisation takes place before your job is advertised.

Information on Talentlink is available on the portal and on the HR website. If you require a Talentlink login please contact

The job requisition form poses questions that cover all areas listed below, so you may wish to read on before completing the requisition.


All posts should be assessed to determine whether they should be subject to vetting. Information on this is available on this link


The Talentlink Job Requisition asks where you would like to advertise. You should consider whether the post could be recruited for internally.

If you do need to advertise externally, HR will provide information on advertising costs, and HR will also organise the placement of any adverts.

Online recruitment advertising has proven to be the most cost-effective and time-efficient way of advertising, as well as having the potential of reaching candidates internationally. It is, therefore, the recommended advertising method.

In addition to traditional advertising Schools/Services should make every effort to use their knowledge of the market place and networks to identify suitable and potentially suitable applicants who might be attracted to work at Stirling and where possible engage in some form of dialogue about posts that are in their School plan so that full reliance is not placed on the advert alone when recruitment gets underway.

Support Posts

All support posts that require to be advertised externally will be advertised on, in the Job Centre and on the University web pages. Schools/Services that require additional advertising for support posts will be responsible for meeting the additional costs.

Academic Posts

All academic posts that require to be advertised externally will be advertised on, in the Job Centre and the University web pages. If there is justification for additional advertising, i.e. specialist/unique role with a narrow field of applicants or it needs to be placed in a journal with no website facility then additional funds up to £850 may be provided to allow advertising in online journals, press etc so specialist applicants are reached. Schools that require additional advertising beyond this for academic posts will responsible for meeting the additional costs.

Externally Funded Posts

All advertising costs for externally funded posts should be met by the external funder.


Jobs must be advertised for a two-week period as minimum. When determining the length of advertising period, consideration should be given to how specialist the role is; when the successful candidate needs to be in post; and current job markets.

Please note that we would need to advertise a post for at least one month in order to be eligible to apply for a work permit. If you think it is likely a work permit will be required please contact HR to discuss.

HR will discuss all timescales with you ahead of advertising.



The Talentlink Job Requisition will ask for approximate dates for shortlisting and interviews. As application information is available immediately after the closing date, shortlisting can commence the following day. Shortlisting should commence as soon as is possible following the post closing.

Interviews should be no sooner than one week after shortlisting takes place to allow sufficient time for invitations to be sent and sufficient time for candidates to prepare.



The Talentlink job requisition will ask what your process will involve. You can have multiple stages to your selection process once you’ve shortlisted candidates, for example, in addition to an interview you may wish to have tests to assess skills; presentations; second round of interviews.

The Recruiting Manager is responsible for deciding the process.

Interview Presentations and Lectures

Asking candidates to deliver a short presentation or lecture can be a valuable way of helping to assess the candidate’s suitability for appointment.

For academic appointments that exercise would help to:

  • Identify whether the candidates research interests can be integrated into the department’s research plan;
  • Enable candidates’ lecturing and communication skills to be assessed, including their ability to respond to questions.

For support posts a presentation allows you to:

  • Assess oral presentation skills, especially where the post holder is likely to be presenting information to groups of people;
  • Understand more about a piece of work that they may have done in the past and that is particularly relevant to the role they are being interviewed for;

Where the presentation or lecture is included in the interview process the Chairperson must select from the person specification objective criteria to be used to assess the individual candidates.

It is important that all the appointing committee should attend the presentation or lecture.

Other members of the department may be invited to attend the lecture or the presentation and if that is the case it is important that they attend all presentations or lectures to ensure equity.

The candidate should be given clear guidance on what they are expected to speak about and the criteria that will be used to assess them.  The subject of the presentation should be relevant to the post and candidates should be notified of what equipment will be available and who their audience will be.

Ensure the room is quiet and that all equipment needed is available and working.  Ensure that there is somewhere for candidates to wait with copies of University brochures available.

Time should be allowed for questions from the audience after each candidate’s presentation.


It is possible to include assessments that will compliment the face to face meeting and allow some practical assessment of skills.

A range of assessments can be used and they could include practical assessments of key skills in addition to formal interviews.  This allows a fuller picture of the capabilities of each applicant.  The range of assessments includes:

  • Ability tests for verbal and numerical reasoning
  • Personality profiling to assess work style and management style
  • Competence based tests related to the key skills of the job e.g. in tray exercise, problem solving exercise
  • Presentations on selected topics
  • Delivering a short lecture on a subject relevant to the post or on a the applicants research interest
  • Running a brief seminar involving initial input and handling follow up discussion handling

All applicants should be aware that they will be asked to complete assessments before they attend the interview.  The assessments should normally take around 15 to 20 minutes each, be careful not to ask applicants to take too many additional assessments and be clear the purpose of the assessment and how it links into the role that is being recruited.

If the assessment methods you choose involve members of the department outside the appointing committee, please ensure that all members of staff understand that they are involved in a confidential process and should not discuss any details of any of the applicants outside the appointing committee group.

If you invite applicants to visit the department to meet other members of staff or to join them for a meal, please be clear with the applicant on the purpose of the invitation and whether it is an element of the interview process or an opportunity for them to find out more about the University.  It is important that any members of staff involved in the visit are also clear about the purpose of the visit.

The Convenor should make sure that the interview day is well planned and that all facilities, equipment and members of staff needed are available.

Adjusting the process

Shortlisted candidates may require reasonable adjustments to be made to the recruitment and selection process to allow them to participate fully in line with equality legislation (for example, they may require a wheelchair accessible venue for interview). The letter sent to invite the candidate to interview asks the candidate to make contact should they require any adjustments to be made.



Your panel needs to comply with the University guidance, available in appendices

All members of the appointing panel must have successfully completed the recruitment and selection training module prior to participating in any way. The module is available from this link.



This wording will be used on an advert to tell candidates about what the role entails. This description should include

  • The purpose of the role
  • A description of the role’s main duties and responsibilities, including any supervisory or management responsibilities and any special requirements of the post e.g. travel, shift work
  • The key competences of the post – a summary of the skills and experience the post holder will need to have to fit the requirements of the role. This should link to the essential/desirable criteria – further detail on this follows
  • Details of the recruitment schedule and procedure

Talentlink has standard text on the University and your School/Service which will be included in the information candidates see.


Essential and desirable criteria are an integral part to getting someone into post. This list determines whom you can appoint, and also lets candidates know in advance how suitable they are for the role.

You should compile a list of the qualities, experience and skills needed to undertake the job successfully, making sure that you only include ones that are necessary for the post and can be evaluated during the selection process. 

You should consider each of the following areas when determining criteria, ensuring anything you specify is justifiable.

  • Education, qualifications and training necessary for effective job performance
  • Type and quality of experience
  • Skills, aptitudes and knowledge directly related to the job
  • Personal attributes
  • Any requirements which may require pre-employment medical check (for further details please see the guidance on pre-employment medical checks)
  • Any other skills or qualities necessary for features of the job e.g., language skills, knowledge of specific environments.

When determining the criteria try to ensure that they are not too strict as this would prevent people from applying, but it is also important not to make them too broad as this will make it difficult to select candidates at short listing stage.  All criteria must be capable of being assessed through interview or assessment exercises.

The criteria must be split into two categories, Essential and Desirable – essential criteria are the criteria required to do the job, and desirable criteria are ones that would enhance job performance.  The criteria must be measurable to be used as selection criteria.

Please note that the list of criteria is what you will use to shortlist candidates. You cannot shortlist a candidate if they do not meet all of the essential criteria. If many do meet the essential criteria you can then refer to the desirable criteria to shortlist further.



The Recruiting Manager: Is responsible for ensuring that the University’s Recruitment and Selection procedures are followed throughout the selection process and by all members of the Appointing Committee.  This includes:

  • Selecting the Appointing Committee (in line with composition guidance)
  • Contacting the Deputy Principals’ Office to book one of the DP’s as Chairperson
  • Agreeing essential/desirable selection criteria (included in post advertisement)
  • Arranging a short listing meeting for the Appointing Committee, and any other meetings that are necessary
  • Deciding appropriate assessment tools to be used in addition to the interview

Others on panel are responsible for shortlisting and selecting candidates using the process as determined by the Recruiting Manager.

All members of the appointing panel must have successfully completed the recruitment and selection training module prior to participating in any way. The module is available from this link.



All members of the appointing committee are required to take part in a short listing exercise to assess the full applicant list against the criteria identified in the advert and further particulars, which contains a person specification and definition of the role.  No new criteria can be introduced at short-listing stage and if you introduce requirements that are not essential you may be open to allegations of discrimination. It is essential that the reasons for rejecting an applicant relates to the requirements for the job as described in the advert and further particulars and can be justified.

Short listing should take place as soon as possible after the closing date for receipt of applications.

All members of the Appointing Committee should compile an individual shortlist.  Where a large number of applicants meet the essential criteria, you should use the desirable to narrow your list.

Each member’s assessment should be discussed at a meeting of the Appointing Committee and a final short list compiled. 

All assessments must be based on the information presented by applicants and no assumptions should be made in the absence of information.

Under the Data Protection Code the completed short list must be retained as a record of the decisions made for no less than six months, as applicants have the right to access data we hold on them, including any notes made during the short listing process and may request more details on the reason they were unsuccessful.

Where applicants have applied for the post on a job share basis their suitability for appointment is determined based on their match to the criteria, as per any other application.

Applications must be treated as confidential to the Appointing Committee and not shared beyond that forum by any member of the Appointing Committee.



Applicants are asked to declare previous convictions on their applications.

Applicants should not declare any “spent” convictions, except where the post involves working with children and vulnerable adults.  For these posts Disclosure Scotland/PVG vetting will be completed by HR.

When convictions are not “spent” applicants should not automatically be deselected, as the conviction may not be relevant to the post. 

You will receive a report from HR detailing if any applicants have declared a conviction. If you shortlist someone detailed on this report please contact your HR Partner immediately to discuss taking the application forward.



Invitations to interview and emails confirming a candidate has been unsuccessful should be sent at the same time where possible.

Candidates will be informed they are unsuccessful by email through Talentlink, so it is important that this is updated once shortlisting has concluded.

It is essential that the reasons for rejecting an applicant relates to the requirements for the job as described in the advert and further particulars and can be justified.

Candidates may request feedback on why they were unsuccessful. When giving reasons for rejection it is better to give brief, clear reasons e.g. you do not meet the essential criteria of having relevant managerial experience.  You do not have to go into a lot of detail; a summary of the main reasons for not selecting will be sufficient. If candidates do request feedback consider whether it would be most appropriate to discuss in person or by phone, or whether it would be more suited to write/email.

Internal applicants

It is important that the Chairperson and all members of the Appointing Committee handle applications by internal candidates sensitively.

If an internal applicant is not short-listed they should ideally be notified verbally or by e-mail of the decision with clear reasons for the decision.  If an internal applicant is unsuccessful at interview stage they should be notified by the Chairperson verbally as soon as possible after the process is complete.

Every effort should be made to notify internal applicants verbally before an email is issued to them.




The format of the interview/selection process should have been decided prior to the post being advertised. The format should be communicated to any member of the appointing committee who is not already aware.

If it has been decided that candidates will carry out a presentation/lecture please ensure

  • Panel members know they must attend all presentations/lectures
  • Other attendees are aware that they attend all presentations/lectures to ensure equity
  • The candidate(s) have clear guidance on what they are expected to speak about and the criteria that will be used to assess them.  The subject of the presentation should be relevant to the post and candidates should be notified of what equipment will be available and who their audience will be.
  • There is a quiet and suitably equipped venue, with suitable area for candidates to wait with copies of University brochures available
  • Sufficient time is given between presentations/lectures to allow for questions from the audience

If it has been decided that candidates will complete an assessment please ensure

  • The candidate(s) have clear guidance on what they are expected to do, and what criteria will be used to assess them.
  • If the assessment methods you choose involve members of the department outside the appointing committee, please ensure that all members of staff understand that they are involved in a confidential process and should not discuss any details of any of the applicants outside the appointing committee group.


If you invite applicants to visit the School/Service to meet other members of staff or to join them for a meal, please be clear with the applicant on the purpose of the invitation and whether it is an element of the interview process or an opportunity for them to find out more about the University.  It is important that any members of staff involved in the visit are also clear about the purpose of the visit.

The Convenor should make sure that the interview day is well planned and that all facilities, equipment and members of staff needed are available.

Shortlisted candidates may require reasonable adjustments to be made to the recruitment and selection process to allow them to participate fully (e.g. they may require a wheelchair accessible venue). The letter sent to invite the candidate to interview asks the candidate to make contact should they require any adjustments to be made.



It is important to ensure that all information related to the interview and selection process is detailed in the email inviting short listed candidates in to interview. 

These candidates must meet the “essential” criteria defined in the further particulars.

A template invitation is available on Talentlink, but this is adaptable so that you can add any additional detail as required e.g. if you are including an in tray exercise as part of your selection process detail of this should be added to the invitation

The convenor should make sure that all appointing committee members have confirmation of the timetable for interviews and presentations or any other assessment method being used.



References must be taken up for all posts.  Two references will be requested for all support posts and three references for academic posts. 

References may be requested once a shortlist of candidates is identified unless candidates have requested that their referees are not approached.  In this case the School/Service must wait to offer stage before making the requests. If references are obtained prior to interview they should not be considered until all interviews, presentations and tests have been completed and a preferred candidate is identified.  References should be used to check factual information, such as qualifications and experience and to confirm the information obtained from the interview and selection process.

References should be treated with caution; they are often subjective assessment and can be discriminatory.  The information contained in the references is often confidential and the contents may raise issues that have not been discussed with the applicant.  As a general rule it is advisable not to discuss the content of any references with the applicant at any time during the selection process.

Any concerns highlighted within a reference should be brought to the attention of the recruiting manager.

All job offers are made subject to the receipt of references satisfactory to the University of Stirling.



The aim of any interview is to collect as much information as possible from the candidate to allow the appointing committee to assess their suitability for the role.

Prior to the interview taking place the appointing committee should meet and agree

  • The questions that each member of the appointing committee will ask and the order in which they asked, so that the interview is structured and there is no duplication
  • The weighting of each element of the selection process, based on the further particulars
  • The areas of each individual application that need to be explored in more detail during the interview

The basis of the interview should be a series of core questions that should be asked of all applicants and there will be more general questions covering non-specific areas.

Some example core questions might be:

  •           Why did you apply for this position?
  •           Why do you want to work at the University of Stirling?
  •           What key skills and experience can you bring to this position?

Some example questions designed to probe areas of skill and expertise might be:

  • Can you give me an example of a situation where you have had to work unsupervised?
  • Can you tell me about a team that you had to lead and what was the most challenging part of that role?

If the role for which has been identified as requiring pre-employment medical checks to be undertaken and the person specification has been written accordingly, question(s) should be asked as to whether the candidate has any medical conditions that would prevent them from undertaking any of the duties. For further information please see the guidance on pre-employment medical checks.


Interview Questioning Techniques

It is important that the questions you ask at interview have been prepared beforehand.  This ensures that there is no duplication and also that there is consistent information gathered on each candidate to allow a platform from which to make a selection decision.  Questions should be designed to clarify and investigate information provided in the application form and CV, and should be directly related to the criteria already used in the further particulars and the short list exercise. When phrasing questions try to ensure that the candidates give evidence based answers.

You should aim to use the following questioning techniques:

  • Open questions: these questions encourage the candidate to give a detailed response.  Generally you would introduce a question using words such as “why”, “how”, “please explain” and “can you describe”.
  • Probing questions: these questions allow you to gather more information on specific points in more detail.  An example might be “When you were managing your team what aspects of this role did you most enjoy and why?”
  • Analytical questions: these questions try to elicit evidence of the candidate’s ability to assess situations in an analytical way.  An example might be “How did you assess the priority?”
  • Closed/factual questions: these questions can be used to get specific information.  An example might be “How many times a year did you hold team meetings?”

You should avoid using the following questions:

  • Leading questions: these are questions where you encourage the candidate to answer in a certain way.  An example might be “I see that you have recently completed a leadership course.  Did you do it to help you move into a management role?”
  • Multiple questions: this is where you ask several questions at once.  These can be confusing and make the candidate uncomfortable, as they cannot remember everything that was asked.  An example might be “Can you tell me when you started being responsible for teams and what you found the most challenging part of that role?”
  • Hypothetical questions: this is where the interviewer describes a made up situation and asks the candidate to describe how they would behave in that situation.  The candidate may not be able to imagine the situation and their answer is not likely to be how they would really behave.
  • Discriminatory questions: any questions about personal and domestic circumstances or childcare are potentially discriminatory.  An example might be “I see that you have two children, will the shift work be a problem for you?”  If you have a role that has a pattern outside the standard one, you should explain the requirements to all candidates to make sure that they are aware of it.



Before the interview/selection process all panel members should clearly understand what their role will be:

Role of the Recruiting Manager

The Recruiting Manager is responsible for managing the interview process.  This includes:

  • Making sure that all logistical arrangements are in place for the interview e.g. room booked, refreshments for interview panel and candidates if appropriate, ensuring someone is available to meet and greet candidates
  • If a presentation or lecture is required as part of the interview process the Chairperson should identify the criteria that should be used by panel members to assess that part of the exercise
  • Agreeing questioning strategy with panel members in advance
  • Ensuring that questions relate to criteria specified in the job description and the person specification
  • Ensuring that questions are asked consistently of all candidates
  • Ensuring there is no discriminatory questioning
  • Setting a timetable for interviews and ensuring the interviews run to plan
  • Introducing the panel to all interviewees
  • Giving all candidates an opportunity to ask questions
  • Ensuring Talentlink is updated appropriately throughout selection process

The Recruiting Manager is responsible for ensuring the room is appropriate for interviews and there are no interruptions.  They should introduce each candidate to the interview panel and explain the format of the interview so the candidate knows what to expect.

The Chairperson should make sure that a consistent approach to interview questions is taken for all candidates and that the candidate has opportunity to ask any questions they wish at the end of the interview.

Once all candidates have been interviewed the Chairperson should gather input from the appointing committee on all candidates and reach consensus on an appointment.  The record of the interview process must reflect the decision taken based on selection against criteria specified at point of advertising.

If more than one person is considered appointable it may be appropriate to wait for the candidate who is first choice to accept a verbal offer before advising other candidates that they have been unsuccessful.

Please see the checklist for the recruiting manager

Role of the Chairperson

A Deputy Principal or University Secretary nominee is appointed as Chairperson for each interview and their role is to manage the interview itself and ensure that a fair process has been followed and a fair selection decision made.

The Deputy Principal (or nominee) may choose to be present at the short list meeting but is not required to be at this meeting.  The recruiting manager is responsible for the management of the short list meeting and the formal record of selection for interview that is formalised after it.

The Chairperson is responsible for managing the mechanics of the interview and making sure that a consistent format is following for all candidates.

Role of the Appointing Committee Panel Members

All Appointing Committee members have a duty to conduct selection interviews fairly and without bias.  If a Committee member has a personal relationship with any of the candidates they should discuss this with the Chairperson as early as possible.  Normally this member of staff will be replaced to avoid any conflict of interest.

All interviewers should have read the job description, person specification and applications in detail before the interviews.  Before the interviews the panel should meet to agree a set of questions and ensure that all areas of questioning are covered.

Please see the checklist for appointing committee panel members

It is important to gain as much information as possible from the candidate and to encourage them to talk as much as possible about applied examples of their experience.  Questions should be short and clear and the candidate should do most of the talking.

Generally all the candidates should be asked the same questions but that does not mean that an individual line of questioning cannot be pursued with one candidate based on information they have supplied or as a follow up question.

Appointing Committee Members should take clear, relevant, concise notes during the interview as this helps ensure that correct information is remembered for each candidate. These notes may be requested by candidates post-interview.

Once all the candidates have been interviewed the panel should discuss and agree which candidates are appointable when measured against criteria specified. 

Candidates should not be discussed individually in between interviews, they should been discussed as a whole at the end of session.

The panel should agree a second choice and further appointable candidates in order of preference to be offered the post in the event that the first choice candidate does not accept the offer.


It is important to remember that the interview is many applicants’ first exposure to the University and we should ensure that we make them feel as welcome as possible and ensure that our service is professional at all times.

Any staff that will be involved in receiving the candidates should know where the interviews are being held and they should have a list of names and interview schedule.  All arrangements should be suitable for all applicants taking into account any disabilities declared or requests for specific support.

Arrangements for assessments should be in place and in an appropriate location so that the applicants have the appropriate environment to complete the exercise. Arrangements for this should be in place so that logistical issues do not interrupt the interview schedule.

Preparing the Candidate

At the start of the interview it is important to ensure that the candidate feels as relaxed as possible.  The Chairperson should cover some general points to introduce the applicant to the appointing committee:

  • Introduce all members of the appointing committee, giving their role and relationship to the post
  • Explain the format of the interview and how it will be structured
  • Confirm that notes will be taken to ensure as much information is captured as possible (notes must then be held as a record of the interview and copies may be requested at a later date)
  • Ask the candidate if they have any initial questions before starting the interview

Structuring the Interview

A structured interview allows the appointing committee to gain a consistent level of information about each applicant’s application to make a fair decision.  Each of the Appointing Committee should ask their questions that should be clear and succinct and the applicant should talk for most of the interview.  Appointing Committee members should probe beyond their initial question if the applicant gives an answer that could lead to more detailed and relevant information.

All members of the Appointing Committee should listen to all the answers the applicant gives to all questions.  Applicants should feel that they are being listened to and that they have had an opportunity to convey all the information that they wanted to during the interview.  If the candidate feels that the Appointing Committee has listened to what they said they are more likely to be satisfied the that Appointing Committee has made an informed decision, even if they are not successful in being appointed.

When all questions from the Appointing Committee have been covered the Chairperson should draw the interview to a close by asking the applicant if there are any questions that they would like to ask or if there is any further information they would like to give that has not been covered in the interview process.

Finally the Chairperson should advise the applicant of the next steps and the timescales involved and thank the applicant for attending the interview.

Administering the Interview

Each Appointing Committee member should record evidence obtained in the interview relating to how well the applicant met the selection criteria.  This can be done during the interview individually or a collective Interview Evaluation Form can be completed that summarises the Appointing Committee’s view at the end of the interviews when discussion takes place on each candidate.

Under Data Protection legislation any notes taken should be kept for a minimum of 6 months.  Candidates may seek to disclose interview notes via the Data Protection Act and seek disclosure of the notes for the successful candidates (if they were unsuccessful).  The discussion and notes kept following the interview process should assess the applicants in line with defined role requirements and competencies.




It is important to remember that all members of the Appointing Committee should have equal input into the decision making process.  Each member should make their own evaluation of the candidates against agreed criteria and these opinions should be discussed.  Each candidate should be assessed against the criteria for the role first and then they can be compared against each other.

Applicants should be evaluated on the basis of their performance at every stage of the recruitment process including any meetings, assessments or presentations.  Appointing Committee members must make their assessment based on the evidence presented during the recruitment process.


The decision to appoint should be reached by consensus if possible and the evaluation process must be recorded so that the reasons for selection or non-selection are captured.  The evaluation record should be centralised so that one record is kept of the process and the Appointing Committee decision.

The record must be kept as the Chairperson may be asked to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates and Data Protection requirements mean that the record must be kept for a minimum of 6 months following the interview.

If none of the candidates fit the criteria and meet the requirements of the role then an appointment should not be made and contact should be made with your HRP to re-advertise or re-define the role.

The Recruiting Manager is responsible for:

  • Gathering input from all panel members and reaching consensus on appointment decision.  Where appropriate the recruiting manager should also gather panel feedback on a presentation or lecture if that has been part of the selection process.
  • Updating Talentlink, clearly identifying the reasons for selection and rejection of each candidate.  This record may be disclosed if requested by any of the candidates.


The following should be considered when deciding placement on salary scales:

  • The level and breadth of the individual’s knowledge, experience and skills
  • The degree of responsibility and accountability expected in the role
  • Consider the salary of other members of staff in the Department and their levels of skill, knowledge and experience
  • Previous salary may not be a good indicator as salary levels differ across organisations
  • It may not be possible or appropriate to match an existing salary
  • Market considerations

You need to consider a higher starting salary than would be normal for placement within that grade. If this is the case speak to your HRP before making any commitment to the candidate.

Do not appoint within the contribution ranges as these points are not active and will not be accessible until the University has agreed the basis for progress into them with campus unions.

A general rule of thumb is that the job should be offered at the first spine point in the grade unless there is a strong case to deviate from that point. If you feel that there is a case to deviate from this rule of thumb then you should speak to your HR Partner about salary positioning before any verbal offer is made.

If at selection stage it is apparent that there is an outstanding candidate but the advertised salary range will not be sufficient to attract them to the University, the recruiting manager should seek advice from their HRP before progressing discussions with the candidate or making any verbal offer. It may be possible to consider other benefits such as funding an external training course/qualification.

Salary Scales



Verbal Offer

A verbal offer may be legally binding. The objective of a verbal offer is to establish that the candidate is still interested in the position and that we are about to put the offer in writing to the individual. It is also an opportunity to give an understanding of what the salary is likely to be. It should be made clear that the verbal offer is provisional and that a formal offer of employment and related conditions will be in writing and sent from HR.

It is also important to make it clear that the offer is subject to satisfaction of all pre-employment conditions i.e. references, health screening and proof of right to work in the UK. In some cases there may be work permit considerations. Please refer to the section below.

Written Offers can only be issued by the HR and OD Department.

Following confirmation of the verbal offer, Talentlink should be updated. An email to the candidate may be sent confirimg that written offer of employment will be sent from HR & OD in due course.

Once Talentlink has been updated HR will issue the written offer electronically and also by first class mail.

All other documentation gathered during the recruitment exercise must be forwarded to HR at this point i.e. proof of right to work in the UK and references.

No employee may commence employment until a signed copy of their employment contract is received along with satisfactory references, medical clearance and proof of the right to work in the UK.

The Recruiting Manager is responsible for:

  • Make the offer of employment to the successful candidate – the initial offer can be verbal with the formal offer being made in writing by the HR and OD Department
  • Ensuring that all unsuccessful applicants receive written communication and feedback, if requested.  If appropriate, consult with your HRP before giving feedback
  • Authorising expenses submitted by interview candidates
  • Completion and Authorisation of Staff Appointment Form
  • Liaising throughout the process with the HR and OD Department
  • Updating Talentlink



Work Permits

If the recruiting department wishes to appoint a candidate that is a national of a non-EEA country, a Certificate of Sponsorship may be required. The department will be issued with a form to complete that will provide HR with information regarding the candidate and the recruitment process with written justification for employing a non-EU national, i.e. why all EU candidates were not appointable. The criteria for issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship are as follows:

  • The job is in a ‘designated shortage’ occupation
  • It passes the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)
  • The job is at NVQ3 level or above
  • Minimum salary levels are met
  • It is essential to the application that the vacancy has been advertised nationally and through the JobCentre for a minimum of a month.

Applicants cannot apply for a work permit on their own behalf; a Certificate of Sponsorship will be applied for by HR, on behalf of the University. If a Certificate of Sponsorship is approved, the individual must then apply for entry clearance/ leave to remain through the UK Border Agency and provide personal evidence of competence in English and ongoing maintenance.

The process can take up to three months and staff cannot under any circumstances be employed until permission is given. Successful candidates already in the UK should be advised not to make any travel arrangements while the work permit application is being considered.

Once the successful candidate has both a work permit and entry clearance, he/she may travel to the UK to take up employment.

For more detailed information about current immigration regulations please go to the UK Border Agency website:

Nationality Check

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, the University has a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK. Under sections 15-25 of the Act employers are required to make document checks on every person they intend to employ.

Therefore, before the successful candidate commences work, the University must confirm their eligibility to live and work in the UK. To confirm eligibility candidates should be asked to bring certain original documents to their interview and a copy will be taken. Departments should be satisfied that the potential employee is the rightful holder of the documents presented and the documents allow them to do the work that is offered. The following steps should be taken;

You must carry out the following reasonable steps when checking all of the documents presented to you by a potential employee:

  • check any photographs, where available, to ensure that you are satisfied they are consistent with the appearance of your potential employee;
  • check the dates of birth listed so that you are satisfied these are consistent with the appearance of your potential employee;
  • check that the expiry dates have not been passed;
  • check any United Kingdom Government stamps or endorsements to see if your potential employee is able to do the type of work you are offering;
  • if your potential employee gives you two documents from List 2 which have different names, you should ask them for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage certificate, divorce document, deed poll, adoption certificate or statutory declaration.
  • You should make a photocopy of the following parts of all documents shown to you:
  • the front cover and all of the pages which give your potential employee’s personal details. In particular, you should copy the page with the photograph and the page which shows his or her signature; and
  • any page containing a United Kingdom Government stamp or endorsement which allows your potential employee to do the type of work you are offering.

You should keep a record of every document you have copied and pass to HR Services in order for this to be out on the employee's file. By doing this the Immigration Service will be able to examine your right to the defense if they detect anyone working illegally for you:

Once you have checked and copied documents, you should write on them ‘copies of original documents seen by [Name] on [Date]’ before they are placed on the individuals file.

All offers of employment are made subject to verification of eligibility to work in the UK.

If the successful candidate is not already eligible to live and work in the UK, and they meet government set criteria, the University of Stirling may offer to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (previously Work Permit). The UK Border Agency will then consider this application alongside the person’s ability to meet other requirements and they will determine their eligibility to live and work in the UK.



At the short listing meeting you will identify candidates who don’t meet the criteria outlined in the further particulars document. These candidates should be notified as soon as possible that they have been unsuccessful in their application through Talentlink.

The standard regret email on Talentlink is short and does not give detail of reasons for not appointing, although this information should be supplied if subsequently requested. For internal applicants it is good practice to advise the reasons for not appointing.

If an unsuccessful applicant requests feedback on the reasons for no selection at shortlist or interview stage, they should be advised to put this request in writing and receive a response in writing to avoid misinterpretation of content.

All panel members must agree on the feedback given, and where appropriate your HRP can review the feedback before it is sent out. Feedback will normally be provided by the Chairperson.

The feedback must be accurate, unbiased and relate to the criteria that have been advertised in the advert and further particulars and used for the selection grid. The feedback should identify the areas where the candidate did not demonstrate the skills, knowledge or experience required for the role and what areas might be improved to gain more experience in relation to the selection criteria.

Never feed back on points that were not discussed during the selection process and on points that are not linked to the defined criteria.

Candidates have the right to access information recorded about them during the selection process including notes kept at the interview process.