Resourcing policy

Introduction

It is important to the success of Registers of Scotland (RoS) that we attract, recruit and retain high calibre employees. This policy describes the key principles that underpin our aims to ensure that our recruitment activities are free from discrimination and that we recruit the best person for every job.

We are committed to ensuring that our recruitment activities are conducted in a professional, effective and responsive manner in accordance with current employment legislation and the civil service commissioners' recruitment principles.

Through the consistent application of this policy we aim to:

  • ensure that our recruitment processes meet the needs of the business
  • maximise flexibility to effectively balance supply and demand across the business
  • support our people strategy
  • make the candidate experience positive, irrespective of the outcome of an application.
  • ensure equality of opportunity

Scope

This policy and associated procedures encompass all activities associated with vacancy filling in the administrative (AA, AO), executive (EO, HEO, SEO) and director (grade 7, grade 6) competency levels within RoS. Senior civil service recruitment for grades 5 and 4 is undertaken by the Scottish government.

Responsibilities

Day to day operation of the policy is the responsibility of all people managers within RoS. Business managers and HR will ensure that the policy, procedures and associated guidance are adhered to. The commitment of all managers to participate actively in recruitment processes and to apply the policy and procedures consistently is critical to its success.  Professional advice and support is available at all times from HR. HR is also responsible for monitoring the use and reviewing the content of this policy.

General principles

RoS is committed to developing its people and as such will normally aim to fill vacancies by way of internal processes. RoS is supportive of common citizenship with other scottish government departments and, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so, we will normally advertise our permanent internal vacancies across the scottish government. 

In addition, we encourage the movement of staff throughout the home civil service and we may advertise vacancies across the civil service before considering external recruitment. From time to time this may run concurrently with internal advertising. There will be occasions when it will be appropriate to recruit from the external labour market, whether to seek specific skills or to refresh the internal market.  Vacancies advertised externally will be advertised in the most suitable media to ensure they reach a wide pool of suitably skilled and qualified job applicants. RoS staff will be able to apply for externally advertised vacancies with the same eligibility criteria.

We will apply the principles of fair and open competition to all permanent external recruitment campaigns with selection decisions and appointments made on the basis of merit.

With the exception of opportunities in the AA grade and those filled by way of managed moves, we will publicise our permanent vacancies on our intranet and staff who meet the criteria will be eligible to apply.

Before a role is advertised, line managers must consider alternatives to recruitment, including redistribution of work. If it is necessary to fill a vacancy then managers must give due consideration to any redeployees that are available and also confirm that suitable budget provision is in place.  The staffing committee will consider requests from managers to fill all vacancies, and resourcing activity will only take place once their approval has been granted. A clear role profile must be available for each role that is advertised. The role profile will set out the competencies, skills, knowledge, experience and (where appropriate) qualifications required for each job and these criteria will form the basis of selection decisions.

Managers are expected to release employees who are successful in securing a new role within four weeks of notification. In exceptional circumstances, this may be extended for up to a further two weeks.

Managers who are involved in recruitment activities must have been appropriately trained to undertake such activities including diversity awareness training and competency-based selection training. 

Internal trawl

Managers may opt to fill a permanent role on either level transfer or promotion.  The recruiting manager must obtain staffing committee approval prior to advertising their vacancy.  They will then advertise details of the vacancy (e.g. job advert, role profile, application form) on the RoS intranet site and invite interested parties to apply.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances - which should be discussed with HR - all internal vacancies that are either permanent or expected to last more than 12 months should also be advertised across the scottish government. 

Temporary promotion

Managers may opt to fill a temporary role that is expected to last 12 months or less by way of a temporary promotion.  Managers can select someone of a lower grade, either with or without competition (i.e. internal trawl), to fill their vacancy and in these circumstances temporary promotion terms will be applied. Please note that managers must obtain staffing committee approval before any temporary promotion can be confirmed.

Temporary promotion applies when someone takes on the duties of a role in a higher grade where this lasts or is expected to last at least four weeks. In order to qualify for temporary promotion terms, the post-holder must be undertaking the full range of duties of the higher graded role including staff management responsibility where applicable. Periods of occasional short-term cover for a higher grade can be required as part of an individual's role and this circumstance it may be appropriate for the individual to receive a deputising allowance.

If it is known at the outset that a role will last more than 12 months, temporary promotion should not be offered unless the job has been advertised across RoS and an internal trawl process followed.

Temporary promotion is not a suitable method of filling a permanent role, although it may be appropriate to offer temporary promotion for a short period in order to provide cover while action is being taken to fill the vacancy on a permanent basis.

Managed moves

While RoS will usually fill vacancies following a competition, there will be times when it is appropriate to fill a vacancy by way of a 'managed move' i.e. without advertisement or competition. The circumstances in which this may be appropriate are varied but include:

  • a response to a request for a compassionate transfer from an existing member of staff
  • to meet operational needs, for example responding to peaks and troughs in work demands in a department or departments
  • a solution to a workplace dispute
  • to resolve a mismatch between an individual and their current role
  • to facilitate a recognised development need
  • to accommodate an employee who has been declared surplus in their current role

Managed moves are arranged at managers' discretion, can be temporary or permanent, and will be on level transfer terms only i.e. across the same grade.

Transfers

Transfers into RoS can occur as a result of an internal trawl, external recruitment campaign or managed move.

Anyone who is a substantive, serving member of another home civil service department and is successful in their application for a vacancy with RoS will be offered transfer terms. This means that, unlike other new entrants who are offered a starting salary at the bottom of the pay band, RoS would match as closely as possible their existing salary (exclusive of any allowances, bonuses etc.) where this is higher than our band minimum for the grade. If the salary falls between two points on the pay scale their salary will be the higher of these two points.

For those who transfer to RoS we will recognise their continuous home civil service employment as qualifying service for the purposes of earning a higher annual leave entitlement.

The pension arrangements of the employee will be unaffected by the transfer.

Loans and secondments

An inward loan is a temporary work opportunity with RoS for someone who is a substantive civil servant. An inward secondment is a temporary opportunity with RoS for someone other than a substantive civil servant.

Inward loans can occur as a result of either an internal or external recruitment campaign or a managed move. Inward secondments occur as a result of an external recruitment campaign. It is essential that any manager considering making an offer of a loan or secondment should discuss this with an HR adviser in the first instance. HR services will liaise with the individual's employer to agree the terms and conditions of the loan or secondment.

For loans, it is normal for the person on assignment to retain the terms and conditions of their employing organisation in most cases. For secondments, it is normal for the person on assignment to become an employee of RoS and be paid in accordance with RoS salary scales and arrangements.

Recruitment

External recruitment can be an option if either the internal pool has been, or is likely to be exhausted, or if the role requires specialist skills that are in short supply or not available internally.  Even though the role is advertised externally RoS employees can apply on the same criteria as external candidates. 

Three different contract types can be offered as a result of external recruitment:

  • permanent appointments 
  • 'fixed-term' appointments
  • 'casual' appointments to roles in the AA and AO grades

Both fixed term and casual appointments can be for up to a maximum of two years for which fair and open recruitment, while encouraged, need not take place.  All permanent posts must be advertised on the basis of fair and open competition in order to ensure the successful candidate is chosen on the basis of merit and satisfy the civil service recruitment principles.

Reappointment

People who have previously secured employment through fair and open recruitment with RoS may be offered reappointment terms through either of two routes.

Candidates who are successful in applying for an external recruitment campaign may be granted reappointment terms if their previous employment with RoS ended no more than two years prior to the new employment by RoS and it is felt that they can offer particularly valuable and relevant skills or experience because of their previous civil service employment. Candidates who do not meet these criteria will be offered a fresh appointment with no recognition of their previous work with the civil service.

Speculative applications for reappointment can be considered only if an internal trawl has taken place and has failed to identify a suitable candidate. In these instances, reappointment can only be considered to the equivalent or a lower grade than that the candidate held substantively when they left the civil service. There is no obligation for RoS to consider reappointment and no applicant has a right to be reappointed.

Support

HR staff can be called upon for professional advice and guidance at all times and remain the sole authority for making formal offers of employment.

Complaints

Complaints about our recruitment process or procedures will be dealt with under RoS's grievance procedures. Complaints must be made in writing, clearly stating the grounds for dissatisfaction and submitted to the learning and organisational development manager in HR and may be contacted at hr@ros.gov.uk. Please note that appeals against individual recruitment decisions, eg an unsuccessful application for a job vacancy, will only be heard if there are allegations of discrimination or procedural unfairness.

Where the complaint relates to an external recruitment campaign, and where someone is unsatisfied with our response following the conclusion of our grievance process, they have the right to lodge a complaint with the civil service commission. The civil service commission can hear complaints from anyone who believes a department has breached the requirements of the recruitment principles.

The Commission publishes a guide that outlines its approach to handling a complaint under the recruitment principles. The recruitment principles – a guide to bringing a complaint to the civil service commission explains what you should do.