Toolkit Index Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Before making a new engagement

When a new staffing opportunity arises it is important to consider your needs appropriately before making a new engagement. This initial consideration will help determine:

  • how the role would fit into the wider needs of your department;
  • what is required of the individual(s) undertaking the work to fully meet your needs;
  • how the work would be performed to best to meet your needs.

Once you have explored these considerations, if a new engagement is necessary, you will then need to determine the appropriate contract of employment.

Should you require any assistance with these considerations, please contact your faculty HR contact.

Consider your need

Consider core responsibilities

Core responsibilities

If you are seeking to replace a colleague consider:

  • Are any parts of the role no longer required?
  • What sort of skills, experience and attributes will you need to fulfil the work?
  • Could parts of the role be allocated to other staff as a development opportunity? If so, how quickly/easily could the necessary skills be developed?
  • Should any new responsibilities be included?

How should these responsibilities be delivered?

  • Does the role have to be performed on a full-time basis at set times to meet business needs or could a more flexible and/or part time arrangement be accommodated? For example are the work needs temporary, e.g. due to short term absences, peaks in demand, seasonal variations, one off events etc.
  • If this need is likely to reoccur, depending upon its predictability, can it be scheduled into future planning activity e.g. departmental strategic plans, SRDS objectives?
  • If the need is a result of planned absence e.g. maternity leave, sickness absence, is it feasible to identify essential activity required over the period of absence and ensure alternative plans are put in place to address these?
Consider opportunities

Developing existing University staff

  • Could existing staff be considered for this role, or an element of it, as part of the department's action on succession planning and talent management?
  • Are there any departmental staff on fixed-term contracts that could be redeployed into the vacancy, thereby retaining skills and experience within the University? We have a legal obligation to explore the possibilities for suitable alternative employment for staff that are at risk of redundancy (including the expiry of fixed-term contracts).
  • Could the work be considered suitable for a secondment opportunity?
Consider departmental context

Departmental context

  • Where does this role fit in with your departmental strategic plan?
  • Is the workload or departmental structure likely to change within the near future?  If any changes are likely, does this impact on how you could fill this new vacancy/need?
  • Is it essential, operationally and/or strategically, that this activity is undertaken or do objectives need to be reviewed?
Consider cost saving

Cost saving possibilities

  • Could you restructure responsibilities to offer other staff development opportunities and create a vacancy/need at a lower level?
  • Could you hold on filling the vacancy/need for a reasonable period prior to filling the post/authorising the work?