Person specification selection criteria should be:
- Non Discriminatory
Selection criteria should be specific rather than general. This is to ensure that the person specification properly reflects job requirements. It also helps ensure that candidates understand the qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience you, as the Recruitment Manager are looking for. In addition, it helps ensure consistency of selection decisions by shortlisting or interview panel members and avoids confusion.
The criteria “verbal and written communication skills” covers a range of possibilities. It would be more effective to specify the nature and level of communication skills that the job requires. The use of the following criteria for example would still relate to communication skills.
- The ability to draft complex correspondence.
- Good report writing skills.
- Effective presentation skills.
- The ability to converse with a diverse range of people at all levels.
Selection criteria must be justifiable in relation to the job tasks and requirements. Non-justifiable criteria could be deemed discriminatory and prevent suitable applicants from applying for your position.
An essential requirement for a Faculty Administrator to be educated to degree level could be deemed unjustifiable as the role is an administrative one (in most cases) and an experience administrator could perform all the functions of the role effectively without a degree.
In examples such as these, this requirement (criteria) would be best placed as desirable and it should be made clear to candidates that equivalent relevant experiences would be considered as sufficient.
When writing selection criteria, you need to consider how you are going to assess how each candidate measures against the requirement.
The third column of the person specification template, available below, should be used to indicate at what stage of the process you will be assessing the candidate against the criteria:
- Application Form stage
- Interview Stage
- Presentation Stage
- Test Stage
- Or a combination of the above.
It is important to consider the wording of the criteria to ensure that what you are asking can in fact be measured.
How would you assess the criteria “A commitment to equal opportunities”?
You could question or test candidates on their knowledge of equalities legislation and best practice but arguably, this would not test commitment only understanding and therefore the criteria should be rephrased as “An understanding of equal opportunities legislation and best practice”.
Alternatively, at the interview stage, you could ask candidates to explain how they have demonstrated their commitment to equal opportunities through their work, however, if this was the evidence you were seeking, it may have been better to phase the criteria as “Demonstrable evidence of promoting equal opportunities through work experience”
The University now undertakes online shortlisting and the criteria that you state is measurable at the application stage or application/interview stage will be added to the application form that all applicants are required to complete so that the applicant can respond to the criteria and demonstrate how they meet it.
Selection criteria must be fair, objective and directly relevant to the job requirements.
Discriminatory language or statements concerning the protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act 2010 must not be used.
These protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race (which includes ethnic or national origins, colour and nationality)
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
The Recruitment Team will review job further particulars prior to any advertisement going live and we may therefore make changes or ask for further clarification on any content that could be deemed discriminatory.
Further information and guidance on equality and diversity considerations can be found in our Recruitment and Selection Best Practice Guidance Handbook.