A recruitment policy provides a framework for recruitment, outlining how an organisation will appoint new personnel and formalising their commitment to fair and consistent procedures. 

To fill positions effectively and efficiently, organisations should have processes in place to ensure the right people are recruited in an open, transparent and structured way. Though processes may differ slightly depending on the role you are recruiting for – for example, whether it is a volunteer, a committee member or a paid member of staff – the key considerations of your policy should underpin your efforts.

Why should organisations have a recruitment policy?

A recruitment policy demonstrate that an organisation understands the importance of its workforce by having planned processes to recruit, appoint and induct new personnel rather than acting on an ad-hoc basis. Further benefits include:

  • Having clearly defined processes in place to ensure safe, effective recruitment of individuals.
  • Supporting an organisation to recruit in a fair and consistent way.
  • Demonstrating an organisation’s commitment to providing equal opportunities.
  • Generating a positive experience by ensuring that the interests and needs of new personnel are met.
  • Helping to identify any training and development opportunities.

What should your recruitment policy cover?

Every organisation is different, so it is important that your recruitment policy reflects the size and nature of your organisation. Organisations should have appropriate levels of formality in their policy to ensure processes are safe and effective, but without intimidating potential members of the workforce, particularly if they are volunteers. It is also important that your recruitment policy is developed in consultation with your existing workforce to ensure that the processes in place are suitable and reflect the needs of your organisation. Examples of what you could include in your policy are shown below, but this list is not considered to be exhaustive:

  • Introduction – provide a brief overview of your organisation, including your mission, culture and values, to clearly show what matters to your organisation. Increasingly, paid staff and volunteers alike are attracted to organisations whose values align with their own.
  • Purpose – outline the purpose of the recruitment policy (e.g. to be used as a reference point to ensure that the processes for recruiting new members of the workforce are followed). A primary driver of your recruitment policy is to ensure that the approach you adopt is clear, compelling and designed to attract the attention of the type of people you want to recruit. 
  • Equal Opportunities statement – organisations should provide a statement that outlines their commitment to providing equal opportunities to all during recruitment efforts. If your organisation has an Equal Opportunities policy or statement within your Governing Document, you may want to refer to it.
  • Process of recruitment – outline the steps that your organisation will take when recruiting new personnel. Examples of some steps that organisations may consider have been included below.

There are a number of steps that might be part of your recruitment process and should therefore be covered in a recruitment policy. These might include:

  • The development of role descriptions. These should clearly set out the skills and experiences your organisation needs. Role descriptions should include explanation of the role and responsibilities, expectations, time commitments, support available and, importantly, the personal qualities that are well-suited to the role. For more information on role descriptions and template documents click here.
    • It is important that any role descriptions for volunteer roles are different to those for any paid employees. There are several differences between volunteer and paid roles which should be outlined within role descriptions. For example, a role description for volunteers must not require volunteers to work particular hours, something which can be included for paid roles. For more information on the differences, click here.
  • How vacant roles will be advertised. This may include outlining where and how you will advertise roles. You could also cover the information that will be included in any advertisement, what platforms will be used and if there is a process to advertise roles internally before they are promoted externally. Where you promote your vacancy is particularly important if you are striving to create a more diverse workforce. For more information on advertising volunteer roles click here.
  • The process of applying for vacant positions. You should outline the steps a candidate needs to complete when applying for a role, which could range from an informal chat to the completion of an application form.
  • How applicants will be shortlisted. If you get multiple applicants for the same post, you should define how you will list them. This may be based on selection criteria to determine their suitability including skills, experience and required qualifications.  
  • How you will select the appropriate applicant. Once potential candidates have been shortlisted, a process to determine how a candidate will be picked should be outlined. This may include an interview or trial shift.
  • How safe recruitment will be ensured. Your policy should outline the measures you will undertake to ensure personnel are recruited safely. This may include DBS checks, qualification requirements, self-declarations and reference checks. For more information on safe recruitment click here.
  • How you will confirm appointment. For some roles within your organisation, appointment will need to be confirmed at an AGM, EGM or committee/board meeting.
  • The induction process for new members of your workforce. Outline the process you will take to welcome and induct new members of your workforce and support them in their new role. This may include a handover period, induction pack, mentoring or shadowing, as well as understanding and signing up to key policies like Codes of Conduct, health and safety policies, safeguarding policies etc. For more information on inductions click here.
  • How you will identify any training and development needs. Outline how you will identify and track any training and ongoing development needs of new personnel. This could be completed as part of your initial induction process, the completion of a workforce development plan, regular appraisals or informal discussion.

Once your recruitment policy has been agreed and signed off by your committee or decision-making body, it should be regularly reviewed. It is important to ensure that your policy continues to be implemented effectively and that it is still appropriate and applicable to your organisation. Whilst there are no set timescales for review, you should do this in a timely manner which is appropriate for your organisation. Reviewing your policy annually can ensure that it remains fit for purpose and that any changes can be agreed at AGM meetings
Last modified: Tuesday, 12 April 2022, 12:58 PM