Workforce or People Planning - Simple Steps
Workforce, or people planning, means identifying the strengths and skills you will need people to have, the work they will need to do, and when you will need them, to meet future objectives. Ideally you will be thinking and planning up to 5 years ahead.
Having a people plan, which is shared, understood and used by managers, will also help inform: succession planning for key roles; skills and leadership development; performance management; role design; vacancy management and talent attraction and selection.
As part of workforce planning, we can also begin to address workforce diversity deficits by considering the workforce needed; setting local targets for diversity which are linked to longer term strategic plans; and identifying opportunities to actively build diverse teams during attraction and selection, promotion and succession planning and development activities. Thus, people planning will, over time, help build teams of diverse, talented staff from different heritages and lifestyles, promoting inclusion of staff at all levels. You can learn more about this here [link to DbyD page].
The steps you can follow to plan your future workforce / people needs are summarised below.
Consider the attributes of your existing team at each layer to assess your team strengths, diversity opportunities and gaps. Each individual team member will have different attributes at each layer. Taken collectively you can identify any gaps you wish to fill in future recruitment that will help you to diversify your team's overall skills, strengths and outlooks.
How will you articulate and share the plan with your people managers so they understand the impact on future resourcing activity (e.g. role design; skills development; diversity of talent; attraction, recruitment and selection etc) and take necessary action?
The following should be taken into account when implementing workforce planning:
✓ It needs to start with the business plan, ‘future-focussed’, and sufficiently flexible to deal with constant change;
Adapted from the CIPD, 2017
|ATJ, criteria & recruitment plan||
Recruitment plan and design
Planning the whole recruitment at an early stage will help inform decision making and could save you time in helping you find the best candidates for your vacancy. You will also improve your chances of creating a positive candidate experience, including for those who are unsuccessful. If candidates have a positive experience, they are more likely to recommend the University to others.
By the end of this stage you will have:
Developing your plan:
ATJ and criteria
The ATJ is the University’s template for developing a person specification and job description.
By clearly identifying the criteria you will assess candidates on and including these in the person specification you will set the foundations for a fair and effective selection process.
Ideally you will be identifying the strengths, talents, skills and behaviours you need from an ideal candidate, not only to do the job, but also to bring difference and diversity to your team. This will help you to create a person specification that clearly describes the criteria you identified - i.e. the talents and strengths you will be assessing against during recruitment.
Why is the person specification so important?
✓ It will help you shape and create a selection process that will identify the best person for your role and the team.
Questions to help you create your person specification
The answers to these questions will help to develop your person specification:
Summarise as bullet points the main duties and responsibilities involved in the role in order of importance. Template generic jobs descriptions which can be used and amended are available for many roles
UKVI and Eligibility to Work – Advertising Requirements (Resident labour market test)
If you feel that your vacancy will attract non-EEA candidates than we would need to advertise the post for 4 weeks and 2 days. The 2 days are to account for www.jobs.ac.uk taking 48 hours to put the post on their site.
We are required by the UKVI (formerly UKBA) to advertise it for that period on our own site, jobs centre and www.jobs.ac.uk to meet what is called the resident labour market test and this is required to sponsor any candidate under Tier 2 which makes them eligible to work in the UK.
Considerations for this stage:
eRecruitment is the University's staff recruitment system. It provides an on-line solution covering the end-to-end recruitment process, from the requirement to recruit to the appointment of the successful candidate.
|Eligibility to work||
Eligibility to work
All UK employers have a duty to prevent illegal migrants working in the UK. Sections 15–25 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (the `2006 Act´) set out the law on the prevention of illegal working.
Therefore, it is our statutory duty to check that a prospective employee has the correct eligibility to work in the UK in place BEFORE (i) the appointee commences employment or (ii) an extension to an existing appointment is issued. Failure to do so can lead to civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance.
|Advert & sourcing||
Advert and sourcing your talent
Attracting the best talent is a priority.
There are different ways of finding a diverse pool of talented people, and your HR team can help you identify the best methods to use for each vacancy.
This includes advertising, marketing and social media and other methods. The most expensive and more traditional options are no longer necessarily the most effective approaches. Many of the best candidates won’t necessarily be actively searching for jobs online or in newspapers, journals etc.
Using a combination of approaches will help you to cast the net far and wide for key roles.
Do speak to the HR team for support; they can advise and help you blend the most appropriate approaches to help you find the best candidates for each vacancy.
Ideally combining approaches that can reach a good pool of talent who are actively searching and people who may not be searching but could be tempted for the right opportunity.
Writing Adverts – Tops Tips
Writing a compelling advert is a key aspect of this stage. The advert plays a major role in attracting the attention of potential applicants and motivating them to find out more about the opportunity.
In a short space you will need to persuade candidates to apply, stand out from our competition, and grab the interest of the reader in the opportunity and the University.
Guidance for writing a great advert is also provided in the template, downloadable below.
✓ Make sure you use a job title that is recognisable and searchable on the web – if in doubt seek advice from HR.
✓ Good adverts should attract the right candidates and deter the wrong ones.
✓ Keep the advert short and concise and use short sentences (aim for c.15 words max) – you have on average 7-10 seconds to grab the interest of the reader.
✓ Highlight what makes this a great opportunity.
✓ Be clear about the key essential criteria for the vacancy upon which you will make selection decisions (top 3 minimum).
✓ Describe any specific benefits linked to the role (e.g. support to study a professional qualification, being part of a research team) – aim for top 3.
✓ Speak directly to the reader – use you and your, rather than third person (and be consistent). Its more engaging to the reader.
✓ Be clear and succinct but brief in setting out the main job purpose and key responsibilities / duties.
✓ Use bullets to help break up blocks of text, but don’t use it to write a long wishlist!
✓ Use Textio to create compelling copy for your job ads, and to help you avoid jargon and gender-biased wording.
Tips for writing an effective online advert
It’s estimated that 70% of all vacancies begin on Google, so it’s important to write an effective advert for online channels to get the best possible reach.
From the perspective of a search engine, the following three factors are the most important:
And don’t forget to use keywords that are most likely to be commonly searched by the candidates you are hoping to attract.
Make sure you also include the job title in the opening paragraph of your advert as well as this will help your vacancy appear higher in search results. Place the most interesting, relevant information in the opener. Some jobs boards and search engines show the first line or two of the main body of the advert in the search listings so don’t waste that space with generic University information – use it to grab the attention and then keep the interest of the reader.
More guidance on writing a great advert is available in the University advert template itself.
Promoting your vacancy
Tips on using social media
Social media has become extremely important in recruitment.
You can use social media to promote your department to potential candidates. We recommend that you use Facebook and Twitter to post a variety of information to your followers to promote the University as an employer and Sheffield as a city. This could include:
Information on any jobs which are live in your department.
Tell candidates about Sheffield
People might not know much about Sheffield, but once they're here we know they'll love it.
Download a pocket guide to our friendly, hilly city and share some facts with candidates when you meet them to help sell them the city.
Have you thought of letting people know about vacancies you have through your email signatures.
Let the people you're talking to know you're recruiting.
Our Sheffield Story
Our Sheffield Story is a fourteen-slide presentation designed to give audiences a snapshot of who we are and what we stand for, from information on our history and teaching to notable alumni and recent news headlines.
The purpose of these slides is to give you confidence that the messaging you are using in your presentations is current and consistent.
High quality selection means making appointments that will ensure our future excellence in teaching, research and operations. Exceptional new staff are key to a continually improving organisation.
Effective selection action for any appointment should include, at the minimum, an interview and a combination of exercises that assess the candidates against the criteria you identified as key to undertaking the role.
It is also important to include eligibility to work checks in the selection process planning to avoid illegal working. It is also important to establish when references are to be requested, (ie before the longlisting/shortlisting process of after the interview).
Key points for the using the key criteria in selection:
Assessing candidates against the key criteria identified in the person specification is a vital tool for a fair process, and will help to tackle unconscious bias in the selection process, allowing you to move past perceptions of a candidates character based on their appearance and manner and focus on their suitability for the job.
Unconscious Bias and Debiasing Selection
Unconscious bias affects everyone, no matter how progressive we think we are. This is why it is called unconscious bias, because even if your conscious mind has a series of progressive beliefs, your unconscious mind may not. Unconscious bias leads you to make judgements about people based on their appearance and key characteristics. Tackling this is about recognising your inbuilt prejudices and challenging them. It is also about challenging those on the same panel as you if they are inclined to make a decision on the basis of unconscious (or conscious) bias.
We want all candidates, whether successful or not, to be positive advocates for the University. Selection is one of many ways to show off what we do here, and we want people to walk away with a good perception of us. Selection is a two-way process and we want to ensure candidates are given the chance to decide whether they feel this organisation/opportunity would be a good fit for them. We also don't want internal candidates to become dissatisfied if unsuccessful. This can be achieved by making sure we are running a smooth and timely process, assessing fairly, giving meaningful and constructive feedback, and showing a genuine commitment to development.
Longlisting and Shortlisting
Both of these terms imply a process through which applications are assessed and a group of candidates you would like to invite to final assessment is compiled.
The key difference is that in the case of longlisting there will be the inclusion of a stage before final selection known as first selection.
Based on candidate performance in this, you will produce a shortlist of candidates you would like to see at final selection.
Alternatively, you may choose to go directly to shortlisting, in which you would assess all applications against the essential and desirable criteria identified in the person specification in order to create a shortlist for final selection. You would then inform any applicants who have not been successful in getting shortlisted.
With care and effort, you will find the high quality applicants you want for final selection. Scoring and assessment at the longlisting/shortlisting stage should continue to hold importance right up to the final selection of the successful candidate.
Deciding whether to create a longlist or shortlist
The first decision to make at this stage is whether your applicant pool warrants including an initial stage of assessment known as first assessment. This would require making a longlist, which would then be lessened into a shortlist after first assessment. When coming to this decision consider the following:
There are some things to be aware of and scan for during shortlisting. These could either be immediate ‘deal breakers’ or simply areas to clarify at selection/interview. They typically include:
Informing unsuccessful applicants
Different roles require different skills and therefore the methods of assessment you use should vary accordingly. Whilst all selection processes will involve an interview and taking of references, the rest of the format can be altered to suit the needs of the post. Aside from interviews, we tend to use two other types of assessment in selection, which will be discussed in turn: presentations, and exercises and tests. This will be followed by sections highlighting key considerations in the assessment process. The section on pre-selection guidance for candidates runs in tandem with this page, helping you to give candidates informative guidance before the day of final assessment.
It is important to plan out your interviewing process in advance of the day. When doing so consider how the interview, or interviews, fit in with the rest of the selection process.
The aim of an interview is to:
Preparing for the Interview
The interview is also an interactive event and all interviewers should feel confident that it is appropriate to probe candidates further in response to any of their answers if the panel need further clarification or detail on any point.
Categories of questions
Establishing an Interview panel or selection team
Skype interviews and videoconferencing
In some circumstances it can prove extremely difficult to get a desired candidate to Sheffield for either the presentation or the interview stage of the process. In such an instance, and if no alternative date can be found, it may be necessary to use Skype to conduct a stage of the process. Skype should only be used as a last resort and at least one of the stages (ideally interview) must be conducted face-to-face.
No offer of appointment can be made to a candidate if they have not visited the University in person at some stage of the selection process.
Which roles might benefit from a presentation?
The basic premise for whether to have a presentation or not is whether the post will require the skills tested in a presentation. Posts that involve tasks such as delivering lectures, presenting in meetings or speaking at events may benefit from a presentation during selection.
Senior roles may include a presentation that explores a candidates vision for their department and/or team:
Less likely to be appropriate:
If a role does not require presenting skills then it is fairer to not include a presentation, so you don't exclude candidates who may not be good at presenting but have all the skills required for the job:
Presentation content preparation
There are two clear types of presentations: academic and non-academic. The table below will explain what the content and format of each type might be.
Presentation preparation essential actions:
Once you have decided on the format and topic of presentations, shared this information with candidates, decided who should be in attendance and arranged facilities you are ready for the day.
Exercises and tests
Exercises and tests are increasingly being used in University selection processes, as they can assess a wide range of knowledge and skills. They are often useful for building a more accurate understanding of a candidate’s ability than an interview alone, as you are actually asking candidates to demonstrate a key skill. If you need any further guidance on developing an exercise or test then you can ask your Faculty Human Resources team for support. Once you have established your exercise or tests then you need to make sure that you organise the delivery of it. This includes ensuring the tests are developed and any papers or equipment needed are gathered, staff are allocated to support the exercise and rooms are booked and prepared.
Which roles would benefit from exercises and tests?
Less likely to be appropriate:
Exercise content preparation
The table below provides details of different types of tests and the possible roles they would be appropriate for. There are many opportunities to combine elements of different tests into one test, assessing multiple skills and required levels of experience at one time. When deciding whether to use a test ensure it is going to directly relate to at least one Essential Person Specification item and that performance will be assessed against the person specification item(s). In line with this, assessment should be fair to all candidates and easily measurable.
Inviting to Interview/ Selection
Once you have decided which candidates you will be inviting to your selection day, you should prepare the information you wish to send them in advance and let them know what information we need from them.
Sending information in advance can help you see the best of the candidate, helping them prepare for the day and understand the process.
It will also improve the candidate experience, showcasing us as an organised place to work and allowing candidates to request meetings or tours that are important to them. You will also need to think about what you need from the candidate.
Information for candidates – Recommended Format
We would advise you to include the University welcome to candidates letter, as well as any additional information you would like to send about the department or the University, including current strategies, structures or research information. This will give candidates a bit more information about us, and will also provide them with an insight they can apply during selection.
Details about the day
As a minimum send a timetable of the selection day to candidates, detailing what activities will take place (both formal assessment and informal elements), with timings and the location clearly stated. Indicate to whom and where the candidate should report to upon arrival.
Giving candidates an idea of when the day will start and finish is important as it allows them to arrange their day to fit around their other commitments.
You may also choose to tell candidates who they will meet and who will assess them throughout the day, as well as opportunities for candidates to input into the day (see below).
If the day includes presentations then candidates should be made aware of the topic of this well in advance.
Details of assessment
You may wish to tell candidates about certain elements of the assessment. This could include giving them an idea of how many questions they will answer, what types of questions will come up and what skills you will be assessing in any tests. You should carefully consider what will enable candidates to showcase themselves at their best, whilst ensuring you are not lessening the challenge of the assessments.
As a minimum candidates should be told of any advanced preparation that is necessary, what equipment is available (i.e. 'there will be a computer and projector for your presentation and you will only have a pen and paper for the exercise') and the composition of the audience for the presentation so they know how to pitch it (i.e. 'it will be a mixture of staff and PhD students'). Candidates must also be told whether each element is assessed or not (if there are non-assessed stages such as a lunch or a tour).
Opportunities for candidates to input into the day
Some candidates, particularly academics, may wish to arrange meetings with staff working in their field or see specific facilities or equipment they would use, this is a good time to ask candidates if they have any specific requests and is an excellent opportunity to sell the job and the department/University to candidates.
Other candidates may want a tour of specific places such as University owned accommodation or Goodwin Sports Centre depending on their needs or interests. Candidates may also want some time set aside to talk about a particular item such as local schools. For senior appointments setting aside time to talk about the logistics of relocating shows a high level of care available to the candidate. A dedicated relocation service, with detailed knowledge of Sheffield schools, housing etc can be provided at a small cost to the recruiting department. For more information about this service contact a member of your Faculty HR Team.
Details of expenses
Candidates need to be sent our expenses guidance for candidates factsheet as well as a claims form in advance of the meeting, so they are aware of what is and isn’t covered and how to claim.
Confirmation of attendance and receipt of information
Ensure that candidates send a confirmation of attendance to you. If this is not asked for and a candidate does not attend then valuable time is wasted and an opportunity to see another applicant is lost. You should also ask candidates to confirm that they have understood all of the details of the day and clarify any questions if asked, provided this does not give one candidate an advantage over others.
Information of the need for reasonable adjustments or additional assistance
Ask all candidates to confirm if they require any additional assistance or adjustments to the programme to undertake the selection process. See below for dealing with requests.
Proof of eligibility to work in the UK
Ask all candidates to provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK and make arrangements to check documents / take copies on the day.
Dealing with Reasonable Adjustment Requests for any disabled candidates
If a candidate states that they require adjustments then you may need to provide them with further details of the assessment day to help them decide if they need adjustments (particularly the accessibility of venues and format of exercises- i.e. written or typed).
Treat any requests for reasonable adjustments as a matter of priority. It is important that you do not ask a candidate what their disability is if you have a request for reasonable adjustments, rather what adjustments they require. If you need further advice, do speak to your HR contact.
Making sure that reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates have been agreed well in advance is vital in ensuring a smooth day for everyone involved. Remember to enact these adjustments as agreed on the day without the need to be prompted, and account for any knock-on effect on timings.
Some adjustments can be easily resolved, such as ensuring a wheelchair- accessible venue is chosen or computer voice recognition software is enabled for an exercise. Other adjustments may seem like a complex task. It is best to get in touch with your Faculty HR team for support in providing them if you are at all unsure about the correct course of action.
Build in opportunities for candidates to ask questions of you
Selection is a two-way process. Candidates will often be keen to find out information about the University and/or department they are applying to work in. This can be especially true for academic posts, where candidates may wish to talk to other academics working in their research area. Providing time for and assisting with establishing these meetings will give candidates a positive impression of the University.
After the final assessment, panel members should discuss their notes and compare scores.
Scoring and the decision
For almost all jobs at the university a scoring system can be used to assess candidates. The only possible exception to this is for joint appointments (particularly those in Medicine, Dentistry and Health) and in certain senior appointments, where ability to lead and inspire large staff groups may be harder to score. For other appointments every element of selection should correspond to the Person Specification and should therefore be scored accordingly.
Key points for scoring and the final decision:
The scores in this scale could be adapted to need and the categories could be changed for desirable criteria to represent the role of potential as well as experience. Whatever scoring system you choose you should record your method alongside the notes taken about candidates, to ensure the process is transparent.
Decisions must be fair, objective and transparent. Decisions must not be made on the basis of:
|Appointment & induction||
Making the Offer
Following the assessment process, the interview/selection panel may approach the successful candidate and inform them that the panel will be recommending them for appointment to the role (subject to the completion of any pre-employment checks)
Selection panels do not have the authority to make an offer of appointment. Only the Director of Human Resources has the authority to appoint individuals to University posts and confirm their salaries, including externally funded posts. When communicating with your preferred candidate, make clear to them that your recommendation is subject to formal confirmation by Human Resources.
Suggested format for discussion of the offer:
All salary decisions should be fair, transparent and mindful of equal pay legislation.
* The recommended salary level must be within the range of funding confirmed for the required period provided by the Department of Finance, as specified within e-Recruitment prior to advertisement.
The University operates a formal probation system of up to 3 years for all open-ended appointments to Clinical and non-Clinical Lecturers. Probation does not apply to direct appointments into senior posts.
The panel must agree a probationary period reflecting the appointee’s experience and a probationary advisor. Ideally this should be the line manager of the appointee or someone in a position to assess the individual's progress and development on an ongoing basis.
All appointments at the University are subject to candidates passing all relevant pre-employment checks.
All University posts will be subject to:
Work Health Assessments
All new employees undertake a Health Assessment Questionnaire. The questionnaire is to assess the individual’s fitness for the job role which they have been offered and ensures appropriate health advice and guidance can be provided.
Relocation support for new staff, partners and families
The University of Sheffield recognises the importance of supporting its new staff by making the move to take up a position at the University as straightforward as possible. As well as our generous relocation packages to assist with removal costs and practicalities (see Guidance on reimbursement of costs of relocation), we recognise that changing work location is both a practical matter and also a major life change, often affecting partners and families too.
Changing work location and relocating homes is both a practical matter and also a major life change, often affecting partners and families too so it is important to be able to offer information to candidates about local services.
Candidates may request information about accommodation in Sheffield. The Accommodation Services team is there to help new staff find the right accommodation to meet their needs. They can be contacted at email@example.com or on 0114 222 4488 (select option 2).
The University also keeps up to date lists to help staff find private rental properties locally; please see Smart Move Sheffield. (Requires a password therefore only of use once the candidates have been enrolled as staff).
Schools and Nurseries
Candidates with children may request information about transferring their children to Sheffield. Information regarding this is available on the city council website. There is also a list of nurseries and childcare providers on the council website.
Relocate to Sheffield
For eligible staff, a personalised service can be offered.
Maintaining Momentum with your selected candidate
Once the interview process has concluded and candidates have been informed that they are being recommended for employment it is extremely important to ensure that momentum in the process is not lost.
Candidates often need some time to consider the offer; maintaining contact demonstrates that we are keen to conclude the offer and ensures that we provide any additional support or information they may require to confirm their decision. They may wish to talk to someone or be sent more information on the department, the University, the city or aspects of the role itself. Departments should liaise regularly with candidates to ensure the relationship with them stays warm and continues to develop positively.
Ensure your HR contact is kept up to date at all times and that you communicate to them the specifics of the offer agreed at the negotiation stage.
Informing and giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates
Offering feedback to unsuccessful candidates is an essential part of selection. It is important that applicants feel respected and their efforts recognised. We also want to encourage strong unsuccessful candidates to re-apply and improve their performances with the feedback they receive.
Not all candidates will contact you for feedback but you should encourage it as an important part of learning and development.
Key points for giving feedback
Why is it important?
Giving good feedback to unsuccessful candidates is an essential part of selection. There are different ways to achieve this and recruiting managers will often offer feedback in different ways. As an organisation with lots of internal and repeat applicants it is vital that we support unsuccessful candidates well, as they are invested into our organisation and its future. We want to encourage strong unsuccessful candidates to re-apply and improve their performances with the feedback they receive.
Deciding how to give feedback
When you decide who you would like to recommend for appointment and that candidate has accepted subject to final checks, you should start the process of providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates. You can provide the initial response in two ways, either via a phone call, where you offer feedback either immediately or once the news has sunk in, or through an email that explains to the candidate that they haven't been successful and offers a telephone call for further feedback. Not all candidates will contact you for feedback but you should encourage it as an important part of learning and development. The following key points should be considered before giving feedback.
Key points for feedback
Supporting a colleague fully as they commences a new role with the University of Sheffield is a key element of the recruitment process. Investing in the development and delivery of a relevant and informative induction programme is an extremely positive starting point for the working relationship.
Make sure staff know what their role is in your new starter's induction process.
Staff induction within each department is normally co-ordinated by the Recruiter in conjunction with the line manager/HoD. It’s important to plan an individual programme to suit the needs of the appointee and the post in question. A manager’s induction toolkit is available online with guidance about what needs to be included in the programme as well as useful templates for welcome letters etc. The following should be included in the programme as a minimum starting point:
The Induction Portal
The portal brings together information about the University and the city of Sheffield for new staff along with key information and activities by timescale to provide a clear induction path for them to follow. New starters will automatically be sent a welcome email including a link and password to the portal three months before their start date (or later if applicable), so all that is required of the recruiting coordinator is to continue to focus on providing an excellent local departmental/faculty induction programme for your new staff.
|Roles & responsibilities||
Recruitment is one of the most important tasks the University undertakes. Recruiting high-quality staff is essential to ensuring we remain a highly competitive and diverse university.
The Power of Difference: Recruitment at Sheffield
We are making changes in how we attract, recruit and select to help us create greater diversity in our teams.
If you are interested in taking part in these early trials that will help shape the University's approach to creating diverse teams, please do speak to your HR Manager.