Policy and procedure for recruitment and selection at Cheltenham Borough Council


Here at Cheltenham Borough Council we are committed to being an employer of choice where everyone is treated fairly and feels valued and supported. We aim to provide a stimulating and rewarding working environment which encourages our people to work together, provides opportunities for them to reach their full potential and achieve a healthy work/life balance.


The purpose of this policy and procedure is to help us achieve those aims and deliver our services by:

  • recruiting the best people, on the basis of their relevant merits who are most suited to a particular job
  • recruiting in an equal and inclusive way that is consistent with employment legislation and good practice
  • using a range of selection methods, as appropriate to the job role, which are effective and cost efficient
  • ensuring that our recruitment procedures are open and transparent

Recruitment procedure

The HR recruitment team is responsible for administering all the processes in the recruitment procedure. They are the main point of contact for the recruiting manager and the candidates. They will keep both parties updated and advise about what is required of them at the different stages.

For some senior or very specialist roles, it may be appropriate to use the services of an external recruitment consultant. In those cases, the consultant will administer the process up to the point of making an offer to the candidate, when things will be passed on to the HR Team.  

Advertising job vacancies

Job vacancies will be advertised as a minimum, on the council’s website and other social media platforms as well as internally on the council’s intranet  If appropriate, depending on the job role, other, specialist external media may be used in addition to the council’s sites and platforms.

Where a recruitment consultant is used, the vacancy will still be advertised on the council’s website.

Agency workers

Sometimes, for temporary roles or to satisfy an urgent requirement, it may be necessary to source a candidate quickly through a recruitment agency, without advertising. The Council does not have a preferred supplier but a manager can contact the HR recruitment team for help with finding an agency.

If a temporary vacancy filled by an agency worker becomes a permanent post, that post must be advertised internally to give existing employees the opportunity to apply. The agency worker will also be able to apply. The same selection process will be applied to all applicants.

Making an application

Job descriptions and person specifications

A combined job description/person specification document will be drawn up for every vacancy. This sets out the main purpose of the role; lists the key duties and responsibilities and specifies the qualifications, skills, abilities and experience that a candidate must have in order to be considered for the job. This document will be made available on the website at the time of advertising.

Submitting an application

Applications should be submitted using our online system. The job advert will specify if candidates need to include any additional supporting information. Applications should be submitted by the specified closing date.


After the closing date, a selection panel, which will include the manager of the recruiting department, will draw up a shortlist of candidates to go forward to the next part of the process. Any member of staff carrying out shortlisting will have received the appropriate training. It will be done by scoring how closely a candidate meets each of the requirements in the person specification. The results of the process will be recorded.

Candidates who are not shortlisted will receive an email from the HR recruitment team notifying them that they have been unsuccessful. Candidates can contact the team to request feedback on where their application fell short.


The council is a Disability Confident employer. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria for a job role will be interviewed. Reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process will be made to ensure no candidate is disadvantaged because of their disability.

Selection process

Once the shortlist has been drawn up, the HR recruitment team will contact the successful candidates by email with details of the selection process.

The next stage will normally be an interview as a minimum. If appropriate to the job role, there may also be some form of skills test and/or psychometric testing and/or a presentation. Candidates will be advised if they need to supply any documents at the interview stage, such as proof of address; proof of right to work in the UK and evidence of qualifications and/or membership of professional bodies.

The selection panel will be a minimum of two people, who will have had the appropriate training. At all stages, candidates will be assessed consistently against the criteria for the job. Written records will be kept. At the end of the process, candidates will be told when they will know the outcome. Unsuccessful candidates can request feedback at any time up to six months after the closing date.

Offer of employment and pre-employment checks

Once a decision has been made, a verbal offer will be made to the successful candidate. This will be followed by a written conditional offer of employment by email, which is subject to satisfactory checks being carried out. The checks are:

  • Two employment references
  • Pre-employment medical questionnaire
  • For some job roles (if applicable, it will be specified in the job advert) a criminal records check

If not already obtained at the interview stage, proof of right to work in the UK, proof of address and evidence of qualifications or membership of professional bodies (where applicable) will need to be provided.

After the necessary clearances have been obtained, a start date will be agreed and a contract and new starter paperwork sent by email. 

Data protection

Applications will be treated confidentially and stored securely in accordance with current data protection legislation. All information provided by candidates will only be disclosed to those who have a role in the recruitment process.

Feedback on the recruitment process

We are always trying to improve our processes and welcome your feedback. If you would like to tell us about your recruitment experience with the council or you have a complaint, please contact us at jobs@cheltenham.gov.uk.