1                             Introduction


To achieve its objectives, Helping Our Futureneeds to attract and retain high qualitystaff at all levels.It is essential that Helping Our Future employs the best people tocarry out its various functions.


Furthermore, Helping Our Future believes that its workforce should reflect thecommunity it serves and that all groups should be properly represented at eachlevel in the organisation. In this respect, Helping Our Futureaccepts that it is vital totake positive action to promote diversity and eliminate discrimination in theemployment of its staff, and in particular to achieve the aims of Helping Our Future’sEquality and Diversity Policy.


The aim of this policy is to ensure that the recruitment and selection of staff isundertaken efficiently and effectively and that the procedures adopted reflect goodpractice in terms of Human Resource Management and Equal Opportunities.


In addition, Helping Our Futures believes thatthrough efficient and effective recruitmentproceduresits image as a model employer will be enhanced.


The policy will apply to all jobs within Helping Our Futures, including not only full-time, butalso part-time, job share and temporary posts etc.


2                             Generalprinciples


The widest choice of candidates should be available to Helping Our Future and theyshould be subject to rigorous, systematic and fair recruitment and selectionprocedures.


Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.


Selection decisions will be made in accordance with fair andobjective criteria,based upon the requirements of the job.


Helping Our Future will not only comply with statutory and requirements regarding equal opportunities but will also take positive action to encourage applicants from minority and disadvantaged groups, particularly for jobswhere these groups are underrepresented.


Recruitment and selection procedures and practices will be reviewed regularly toensure that this policy is being implemented effectively, and in particular to ensurethat they do not discriminate unlawfully, either directly or indirectly.


3                             Authoritytorecruit


Appointments to the posts of Chief Executive and Assistant ChiefExecutivesarethe responsibility of the Board.


This will include approving the job description and person specification, determiningsalary level and benefits, agreeing advertising arrangements, conducting interviewsand other methods of selection, and making formal offers of employment.


The Chief Executive will chair Appointment Committees for this purposeapart fromthe post of Group Chief Executive, where the Chairman ofHelping Our Future will chair.


Appointments to all other posts are the responsibility of the Group Chief Executivewho may in turn delegate this to Assistant Chief Executives, Directors and linemanagers as appropriate.


Recruitment should not be initiated without approval of the relevantDirector andcompletion of any current authorisation documentation.


4                             Attractingcandidates


All posts to be filled will have an up-to-date job description and person specificationand these will be used as the basis for preparing advertisements and otherrecruitment material and the subsequent short listing, assessment and selection ofcandidates.


All posts to be filled will be advertised internally and externally unless there is aredundancy or redeployment situation, or in exceptional circumstances with theapproval ofthe relevant Director (see 15 below).


All posts will be available for job sharing unless specifically excluded. Posts willnormally be open for termtime contracts and non standard working hours contractsin line with the ‘Fairness at Work’ approach.’


Advertisements will include a suitable statementto reflect that Helping Our Future is anequal opportunity employer and where appropriate a positive statementencouraging applications from underrepresented groups.


An information pack will be provided to all potential candidates to enable themtomake an informed decision on whether to apply for a job. At minimum this willcontain a copy of the job description and person specification, but will normallyinclude information about the organisation, a structure chart, details of pay andconditions of employment, a copy of the equal opportunities policy, promotionalliterature and any other relevant information.


5                             Applications


All applicants will be required to complete anHelping Our Future’s standard ApplicationForm.


Applicants will be requested to complete an Equality and Diversity MonitoringQuestionnaire giving details of their age, ethnic origin, gender and any disability.


6                             Selection


Short listingwill be undertaken by a minimum of three people using the objectivecriteria set out in the person specification. Those shortlisted must meet theessential criteria in the person specification. A record will be kept ofshort listingdecisions including reasons for rejection.


A range of selection methods will be used, as appropriate to each post and inaccordance with good practice.


Interviews will be conducted by a minimum of three people, one of whom must bethe line manager for the post.


A record of the selection panel’s assessment of each candidate against the criteriacontained in the person specification will be made by the Chair of the selectionpanel.


Referenceswill normally be taken up and referees provided with relevantinformation such as a copy of the job advertisement, the job description and personspecification.


7                             Appointments


Successful applicants will be asked to complete a pre-employment healthquestionnaire, which will be passed to Helping Our Future’s Occupation Health Adviserfor advice on the person’s suitability for employment.


Prior to taking up their appointment, successful applicants will be required toprovide proof of their qualifications.


Unsuccessful candidates will be informed in writing of the decision and givenappropriate feedback on request.


8                             Induction


Successfulapplicants will be given a thorough and well planned inductionprogramme so that they integrate quickly into their new job and become effective assoon as possible.


9                             Training


Training will be provided to all Board Members and managers who may be involvedin recruitment and selection. Selectionpanels will be composed of those who haveundergone a training programme in recruitment and selection. Newly appointedmanagers, who will betrained within 6 months of taking up their appointment.


10                      Documentation


A comprehensive Recruitment File will be kept for each recruitment and selectionprocess and will be retained for 12 months.


The Recruitment File will contain the job description and person specification, allapplicationforms,the recruitment advertisement,a timetable and details of therecruitment and selection process, any correspondence with candidates, copies ofall references received, notes of assessment records made by selectors at eachstage of the process and any monitoring information.Reasons for rejectingcandidates will be clearly recorded.


Helping Our Future is aware of its responsibilities under the Data Protection legislationand will ensure that all sensitive personal data is collected and processed only withconsent and is destroyed within reasonable timescales.


11                      Monitoring


Applicants for jobs will be monitored in terms of their ethnic origin, gender anddisability to assess the effectiveness of Helping Our Future’s recruitment and selectionpolicy, employment targets and procedures.


The recruiting officer must keep proper records as required to allow for propermonitoring.


Reports on recruitment and selection will be submitted to the Senior ManagementTeam and Board at regular intervals. The reports will presentdata relating to recruitment and selection activities over the previous year, includingequal opportunities data, and if necessary will make recommendations forimprovingpractices and procedures.


In addition, periodic audits of recruitment and selection procedureswill beundertaken to assess their effectiveness and to promote good practice.


12                      Probity


Any applicant for appointment or promotion who has canvassed a Board Member,member of the Senior Management Team, orany member(s) of the selection panelwill be disqualified.


Board Members and officers of Helping Our Future may give a written reference for acandidate, but must not in any way try toinfluence the choice of a candidate for anyappointment.Under no circumstances must those who have agreed to act as areferee for a candidate take any part in the recruitment andselection process.


Candidatesfor any appointment must statein their application if they are related toa Board Member or any member of the Senior Management Team. Anyone whofails to do this may be disqualified, or ifappointed, liable to dismissal on grounds ofgross misconduct.


Board Members and membersof the Senior Management Team must inform theChief Executive if they know that anycandidate for appointment is related tothem.The Chief Executive must ensure that the selection panel is madeaware of the relationship.


Any person who is involved in a recruitment process must make a declaration tohis/her Director, Assistant Chief Executive or the Chief Executive, asappropriate, if any applicant is a relative, or friend from outside the workenvironment.That person cannot then take any part in the recruitment process. Ifthere is any doubt as to what constitutes a relative or friend, then the Director,Assistant Chief Executive or Chief Executive will decide whether or not it isappropriate for the person to take any further part in the recruitment and selectionprocess.


Similarly, any manager or supervisor who learns that a relative, or friend fromoutside the work environment, has applied for a post in a section under their controlmust declare that fact to the Director, Assistant Chief Executive or ChiefExecutive as appropriate. This applies whether or not the officer intends to takepart in the recruitment and selection process.


13                      Exclusionsfromappointment


Helping Our Future will not normally recruit people aged 65 and over. Any exception tothis will be rare and must have the express approval ofthe relevant Director,ensuring that the cost of recruitment and induction training isnot prohibitive. This isin line with current Age Discrimination legislation.


Helping Our Future will not re-employ persons previously dismissed for reasons ofmisconduct or poor performance.


Advice should be sought from the HR Department in the above circumstances.


14                      Responsibilities


The Senior Management Team (Chief Executive and three Assistant ChiefExecutives)is responsible for ensuring that the recruitment and selection policy isimplemented consistently across Helping Our Future and that staff engaged inrecruitment and selection have received training and understand theirresponsibilities under employment legislation.In particular, the SeniorManagement Team is responsiblefor ensuring that the requirements for probity, asset out in section 12 of this policy, are brought to the attention of Board Members,employeesandcandidates.


Selection panels are responsible for following Helping Our Future recruitment andselection policies and proceduresand ensuringthat they are followed by all otherpeople assisting them.


The Director Human Resources is responsible for:-


v  Managing the effective implementation ofthis policy and developing appropriatesupportingprocedures;


v  Providing advice and support to selection panels and line managers onrecruitment and selection issues;


v  Monitoring applications, appointments and the composition of the workforce andreporting to the Senior Management Team and Board at regular intervals;


v  Organising training programmes for Board Members and staff involved inrecruitment and selection


15                      Exceptionstotherecruitmentandselectionprinciples


There are certain limited circumstances in which exceptions to the principles offairness, openness and merit are permitted. The objective of allowing theseexceptions is to provide flexibility where it is genuinely necessary to meet the needsof Helping Our Future.Trade Unionswill be consulted on the application of theseexceptions. The exceptions are:



Helping Our Future is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies and indeedhas a legal obligation to seek redeployment for those employees in aredundancy situation. People on the redeployment list will be considered for allvacancies. Therefore a “redundant” employee may be appointed to a vacantpost without the need for open competition.


vTemporaryappointments of up to 3 months

To meet genuine, urgent, short term needs appointments of up to 3 months    maybe made without the full fair and open competition process.


v  Specialistskills

In very exceptional cases a job to be filled may require very specialised skillsand experience.This may narrow the field so much that open competitionwould be an expensive formality. In such cases, an exception to the normalrecruitment requirements would be appropriate.


v  Secondments

Normally staff of Helping Our Future will have the facility to apply for any secondmentopportunities within the organisation. However, where a short-term secondmentis required urgently, this may be considered as an exception to the recruitmentand selection policy.The facility for external secondments will be available.


Exceptionswill only be permitted with the approval of the relevant Director, inconsultation with the HR Department.