Selection

The most effective decisions are made when a variety of selection techniques are used. The majority of departments use interviews and referee reports as their key selection methods. Additional assessment techniques such as demonstration lectures, seminars, problem solving exercises and psychometric evaluation can provide useful supplementary information. Such tests should be approached in a structured way.

Staff applying for the position through redeployment

Before short listing, time needs to be taken to check whether an internal applicant has applied for the position through redeployment. Redeployment is set out in Part 8: Restructuring/Redundancy Provisions of the majority of Massey employment agreements and is an option available to staff who are affected by a review in their current position where it is proposed their current position is to be disestablished.

If someone has applied for the advertised position through the redeployment option this will be highlighted through either a flag in ImpelHR or on their application form. In this event, you should contact your HR Advisor as soon as possible to discuss with them your additional obligations during the recruitment process. These additional obligations relate to a situation where the applicant applying through redeployment is considered to be suitably qualified for the position. In this situation the following specific factors must be given consideration throughout the recruitment process:

  • The University has contractual obligations to recognise the serious consequences of loss of employment, and to seek minimise the consequences of the loss of employment
  • The University has  contractual obligations to consider redeployment options on a case by case basis with a view to placing as many affected employees as possible by matching individual skills with positions requiring similar skills, while acknowledging this may involve some on-the-job training or attending training courses
  • Additional costs of severance and cost of employing new staff
  • The institutional knowledge of the University the individual has and their proven ability to contribute to and be part of the University community
  • Other institutional considerations such as the impact of staff redundancies such as staff morale and collegiality

Managers are asked to confirm on the Appointment Recommendation Form, that these factors have been given appropriate consideration when determining the preferred candidate. 

Short listing

Short listing involves matching the qualifications, experience, skills and attributes of the applicants, with those required for the position, as detailed in the job description.

Depending on the number of applicants, short listing may take two stages. The first stage involves the elimination of applicants without the essential requirements e.g. essential qualifications as detailed in the job description. These essential requirements provide a structure and common standard for assessing all applicants, and minimise the possibility for irrelevant factors being applied.

The remaining candidates should be ranked using the desirable attributes for the position. Attributes may be desirable because:

  • They may be acquired within a reasonable timeframe after the appointment
  • They would enhance performance on the job but the job could still be performed in their absence.

Please use the short listing form, for positions not advertised through ImpelHR. For positions advertised through ImpelHR a short listing form can be accessed that will populate with the names of all the applicants and areas for assessing suitability. This can be accessed through ImpelHR by the school administrator and will provide a useful structure for the process.

Short listing form

Arranging the interview

Departments make all arrangements for the interview process. It is recommend that as much information as possible be provided to the shortlisted candidate, for example how long the interview is expected to take, the structure, the members on the selection committee and any additional assessment tools that will be required as part of the process. We also recommend that once you have telephoned and confirmed short-listed candidates that you follow up the arrangements via e-mail or letter to ensure ease on the day.

A template letter for shortlisted candidates is available for manager's use:

If the short listed candidates CV does not include copies of their relevant qualifications and if applicable trade and professional body qualifications then a request will need to be made to the candidate to bring a copy of these to the interview.

For high risk roles that require a criminal and/or a credit check, it is recommended that the forms are completed brought to the interview so that these checks can be progressed for the preferred candidate as soon as they have been identified. This documentation should be included in the appointment summary information that is provided to the HoI/S and PVC/AVC for approval.

For roles that require a health check, a template letter is available for use:

Some candidates need to travel to the campus from outside the immediate region, POD will contribute up to half the transport cost incurred in bringing applicants to the campus for permanent senior academic (Senior Lecturer and above) and senior management (Grade G and above) roles only.

The interview

The selection interview is designed to provide valuable information about the personal qualities of the candidates and will allow the candidate to elaborate and/or verify information concerning their skills and abilities.

The selection interview needs to be a planned, well structured discussion, centred on issues of direct relevance to the stated selection criteria. Candidates should be asked the same core interview questions (to ensure consistency and to enable a direct comparison between candidates) that are relevant to the candidate’s ability to fulfil the requirements of the vacancy. Supplementary questions may be asked to clarify issues or to obtain further information.

If, at the conclusion of the selection procedure, no suitable candidate has been identified no appointment should be recommended. Your HR Advisor can advise on appropriate options.

Reference checking

All applicants should provide the name of at least three referees who may be contacted to comment on their work performance. One of these referees must be their current employer or their last employer (line manager). Written information provided in referee reports should be considered carefully given a possible reluctance for referees to commit negative comments to paper.

Under The Privacy Act 1993 an applicant is able to request to view the comments provided by a referee. However in the course of completing referee checks, referees are able to provide comment on the basis that they, or their comments, are not disclosed to the candidate. You should always check with the referee if their responses should be kept confidential or not.

Guidelines for reference checking:

  • Referees reports should only be requested from applicants who are under genuine consideration for the vacancy following the interview process. However in the case of senior academic positions (e.g. Associate Professor and above) the referee reports for the short listed candidates may be requested prior to the interview process.
  • Referee contact can only be made with permission of the preferred applicant. Where additional referees are required this must be discussed with the preferred applicant. Again, permission must be obtained from the preferred applicant before enquiries are made with the additional referees.
  • Where written requests are made a template letter should be used or adapted to include specific question relating to the particular position. This can be emailed to the referees along with a suitable time frame for the referee to respond to the request. The time frame for this request should be mindful of the imposition on the referee’s time.
  • A job description should be enclosed with the written request so that the referee is aware of the nature of the position and the selection criteria.
  • Where telephone references are sought a structured approach should be utilised with prepared questions and detailed notes taken.  
  • Only the Chair of the Selection Committee or a nominee should request referees comments.
  • Only those involved in the selection process should sight referees’ comments.

Template letter for written referee checks

Template letter for verbal referee checks

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