Offering employment

1) Authority to employ (academic-related and support staff)

Under Statute XIV, Section 1 of the University Statutes, only authorised postholders (normally the Head of Department or Administrator, or equivalent) may offer employment and sign letters of appointment for University academic-related and support staff. In the absence of an authorised postholder a formally nominated deputy may act on behalf of the authorised postholder.

Gaining authority and communicating changes: Heads of departments (or equivalent) should email personnel.services@admin.ox.ac.uk if they wish to add or change the postholders who have the authority to offer and sign letters of appointment (and/or to dismiss academic-related staff on probation or University support staff). Please note that separate processes apply to offering employment to academic staff, and departmental administrators. For the full guidance please click here.

2) Offer of appointment

The appointment decision must be agreed by someone who has authority to offer employment (see above). Once approval has been given the nominated member of the panel (normally the chair), may make a verbal offer of employment to the successful candidate, which should be followed by a formal offer letter, and can be produced in CoreHR. (See also: QRG REC03: Managing Online Applications. All offers of employment should be made subject to the usual pre-employment screening requirements.

Appointments should normally be made to the bottom salary point of the appropriate grade. For further advice on starting salaries, see the Reward guidance. Where a post has been offered on one grade lower than the substantive post, ie on an underfill basis, please refer to the guidance outlined here.

All unsuccessful candidates should be notified by email (or letter), which can be generated through CoreHR.

If the individual is already employed by the University and the new employment would be an additional appointment, follow the guidance on dual appointments below.
steps: Manage statuses: QRG REC00 Recruitment Basics (284kb) and also refer to the Recruitment Statuses and Events (102kb) summary.

3) If no suitable candidate has been identified

If no suitable candidate has been identified following the selection process, departments may re-advertise the post, or consider whether revising the duties, grade or other aspects of the post which may attract more appropriate applicants. In such cases, seek advice from the Reward team as to whether the post needs to be resubmitted for grading.

All unsuccessful candidates should be notified by email (or letter), which can be generated through CoreHR.

4) Dual appointments (making additional University appointments)

When making an appointment departments should check whether the candidate is already employed by the University. There may be difficulties with appointing an employee to an additional University post, for example, if misconduct occurs in one post the impact on the other post will need to be considered. This may be particularly problematic where one post is a support staff role, and the other is academic-related, as separate procedures apply to different staff groups (especially in relation to dismissal procedures, as it would be the more onerous academic-related disciplinary procedure which must be followed). Check with the employee prior to or at interview whether they intend to resign from or remain in the existing post if appointed to this vacancy. Staff must also not be employed for more than 1 FTE.

When considering making a dual appointment, follow these steps:

Where an employee who is shortlisted for a post is already employed in your department: If the employee wishes to hold two roles, consider (in discussion with the employee) whether the two roles could be combined and graded as a single job.

Where an employee shortlisted for a post is already employed elsewhere in the University:
If the employee wishes to hold two roles, inform the employee that any appointment would be subject to the agreement of their current employing department, and that more than 1 FTE may not be held.

When contacting the other department to take up a reference, you should ascertain the employment details and the other department’s views on the proposed dual employment and on the changes to the existing employment contract which would be required. The employing department(s) must also ensure that the employee concerned is working within the provisions of the Working Time Regulations.

steps: PA2b Additional Appointments (477kb)

5) Transfers between departments

Where a University employee leaves one post to take up a new post, this is considered to be a transfer and is managed via the CoreHR transfer process.

Exceptions to the above are:

guidance:

6) Giving feedback

Candidates who attended an interview and were unsuccessful may request feedback on their interview performance. Feedback should only be provided on request. Departments are not normally expected to provide feedback on the applications of individuals who were rejected at the shortlisting stage(s). Usually, applicants request feedback in order to understand how to improve future applications or interview performance, rather than to question the selection decision. If there is reason to believe that a candidate requesting feedback is seeking to challenge the decision, or if the candidate is a priority candidate, advice should be sought from your HRBP before responding.

In providing feedback to candidates, please follow this guidance:

  • A nominated panel member should provide feedback, to ensure consistency.
  • The feedback should be based on the selection notes.
  • Feedback should be objective and based on the selection criteria for the post. 
  • Feedback should be balanced; advise candidates of areas where their interview (or overall application) was strong, and explain areas where their interview/application fell short of the required skills/experience, or where they were not as strong as other candidates.
  • Feedback should be about the candidate who has made the request, and should not include information about any of the other candidates.
  • Feedback should ideally be provided in writing.