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Selection and induction process

The IT Services department is trialling a new recruitment process to further enhance the inclusiveness of our practices.

Lessons we learn from this trial will feed into the wider University.

We've amended processes in three main areas - please familiarise yourself, so you know what to expect at each stage:

If you have a physical or mental health condition or disability, please have a look at the Access to Work scheme, run by the Government, which can help with getting and staying in work.

The selection process

Firstly, a 'long list' of applicants is drawn up. This list is based on the CVs submitted and the answers given to the 'yes' and 'no' type questions during the application process.

Next, there are several rounds in which we look at applicants' skills and experience, identifying those who are suitable to continue on to the next round. The interview round is typically the last round, and this is known as the 'short list'.

The number of rounds needed, and the type of rounds, vary for each role. This depends on:

  • The type of role: For example, a developer may be asked to complete a screening test, a task and an interview, with more points being available for the test and task because of the practical nature of the role - whereas a management role may include a task, a presentation and an interview, with the presentation and interview being more highly weighted because of the 'people and communication' skills required for the role.
  • Declarations by applicants: For example, if you declare that you need to use a screen reader, then a time-based online multiple-choice screening test may not be suitable. In this case, the round may either be removed for all applicants, or replaced with an alternative round that is suitable for everyone - like a verbal test. If you didn't declare a disability when you applied for a role, it's still possible to do so at any point by completing the declaration form, and a reasonable adjustment will be made (if there is sufficient time). We encourage you to let us know about a disability, if you are dyslexic, or anything else that you feel may have an impact on being able to perform your best throughout the selection process.

Examples of the type of rounds

Note: To ensure fairness, questions and tasks used for the rounds are the same for each applicant.

  • Online screening test: Timed multiple-choice questions on a selection of skills from the role specification. Usually, the test remains live for a few days, so you can choose the best day for you to take the test. You'll need a web cam (required for test invigilation), or you can choose to visit the campus physically to complete the test.
  • Performative task: This may be a task like fixing a computer with a preconfigured fault, writing a piece of code, or identifying the critical path for a project plan. Performative tasks are usually carried out physically on campus (or may be in an online meeting where you share your desktop with a member of staff).
  • Technical exam: A more detailed test with open questions this time, rather than multiple choice.
  • Presentation: Usually you'll be given a topic in advance and asked to deliver a presentation on the subject.
  • Interview: Usually this is the last recruitment round and happens physically on campus, online (via a Microsoft Teams meeting), or by telephone, depending on requirements. There is a panel of three people, normally chaired by the hiring manager, and includes a mix of genders. The panel will ask questions about your experience - for example, "how have you done X" rather than the hypothetical "how would you do X", so we can identify your skills and experience. Questions focus on trying to identify the skills and experience marked as 'essential' and 'desirable' in the full role description. We understand that interviews can be very daunting. We want to assure you that we will always be friendly and patient when asking questions. Our aim is to help you as much as we can in performing your best - it's in our interest to get the best out of you, after all!

What about 'essential' and 'desirable' criteria?

If you don't demonstrate enough skill or experience for criteria marked as 'essential' in the full role description, you won't be invited to continue to the next round.

And if you do meet 'essential' criteria, but you don't meet 'desirable' criteria, you may still continue through to the next round. We only take 'desirable' criteria into account right at the end of the process - the interview round - when each applicant is assigned an overall score for all of the 'essential' and 'desirable' criteria across all of the rounds. 

If your overall score is the highest, you will be offered the role.

Note: The interview panel won't necessarily cover all the essential and desirable skills in their questions, as many of these will have already been assessed in earlier rounds.

The induction process

Once you start your role, a training plan will be put in place by your manager, and this will:

  • prioritise areas for development (if any were identified in the recruitment and selection process).
  • set progression objectives (related to these areas for development) which will form part of the new starter probation process.

If you've declared a disability or additional requirements, your manager will also work with you to develop a support plan.

Alternative formats

If you prefer a different format for any of the materials used in our section of the website, you can make a request to our IT Services team. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.