There are some basic principles which are important to the shortlisting process:

Be objective

Remember that shortlisting involves objectively assessing each applicant against the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification. It is very important that you don't let other aspects of the application influence your decision. Making decisions based on things such as gaps in service or the fact that an application is handwritten, could be seen as discriminatory. For example, a gap in service may be due to long term sickness and a handwritten application may be linked to a disability.

When shortlisting, remember to take into account skills gained from the applicant's full life experience. For example, an individual may have managed a budget for a sports club or playgroup even if they have not done so in paid employment. It is, however, for the applicant to draw your attention to that experience.

Equality and diversity

You should have a good understanding of equality and diversity before taking part in a recruitment and selection process and must have completed the University's required diversity training for all staff. Always be mindful of protected characteristics and stick objectively to the person specification. Refer back to the equality and diversity guidelines if you are uncertain.

The recruitment panel should be as diverse as practicable. There are a number of ways to do this, for example, in order to get gender balance you might consider including a less experienced colleague on the panel which will also have the advantage of improving their knowledge of the recruitment process. Please seek HR advice if you have a problem achieving panel diversity.


You should endeavour to be fair and unbiased. If there is a conflict of interest or potential 'nepotism' you should avoid involvement in the recruitment process. However, there are times when prior knowledge of a candidate is unavoidable. In such cases panel members should declare their position and during assessment of candidates known to them allow other panel members to assess first before stating an opinion.

Do not add further criteria

On no account should any additional criteria be introduced into the process after the role had been advertised. Whilst candidates may provide evidence of a particular ability, quality or qualification if it is not within the essential and desirable criteria of the role it must not be used to assess the candidate in relation to the role, and must not be then considered for other candidates.

Recruitment experience

It is expected that all Chairs of recruitment panels will have undertaken the University recruitment and selection training and it is strongly recommended that all panelists do so prior to taking part in a recruitment process.

You should also be aware of eRecruiter. During the process you will receive emails from eRecruiter and HR Services to register you on the system and to advise you when the advertisement has closed.