Recruitment of Technical and Administrative Staff
Pursuant to the strategic plan, Lund University shall work strategically on recruitment to attract and retain committed and enthusiastic employees. The University shall be attractive to international staff as well as ensuring clear career paths. The organisation shall be characterised by a good work environment, gender equality and equal opportunities.
Setting targets for recruitment
A quality-assured recruitment procedure is important to ensure we recruit the most qualified people. Recruitment is to take place on both objective and non-discriminatory grounds and should present the University as an attractive workplace for both national and international staff.
The University’s staffing needs should be planned both in the short term and the long term. The needs of the organisation, detailed in a person specification, are to guide the entire recruitment procedure. The recruitment procedure is to be well-documented, professional and follow current laws and regulations.
The recruitment procedure
The recruitment procedure at LU is divided into three steps and the procedure provides practical guidance for the laws and regulations that Lund University must comply with as a public authority. The purpose of the procedure is to ensure well-founded, effective and quality-assured recruitments.
At Lund University, a skills-based recruitment method is used throughout the recruitment procedure. The method is used to clearly define the skills and expertise required for a specific position and to decide which candidate best matches these skills and expertise. Contact your HR officer to find out more about skills-based recruitment.
Allocation of responsibilities
The head of department/equivalent has the overall responsibility for recruitments and takes the formal decision on appointments. Recruitment may not take place without approval from the head of department/equivalent.
An HR officer should always participate in the three steps of the recruitment procedure to provide administrative, labour law and professional recruitment support.
At the start of a recruitment procedure, a recruitment group should be formed composed of a recruiting manager, HR officer and possibly a professional specialist who can assess the applicants’ specific skills. The recruitment group works together on a needs analysis, person specification, interviews and selection process. Remember to address any conflicts of interest that may arise during the recruitment procedure.
A recruitment process starts with the identification of a need for work resources, e.g. because of an extended assignment, a need to replace someone who is leaving or because a particular skill set is lacking.
The first step is for a recruiting manager, with the support of the HR officer, to conduct a needs analysis of current and future staff requirements using the needs analysis template. Investigate whether it is possible to fill the gap with the staff resources available within the organisation or if a new vacancy needs to be announced. If there is a need to announce a new vacancy there must be funds to do this in both the short and the long term.
Redeployment investigation and preferential right to re-employment
Prior to each recruitment, the employer shall consider the staff on the list for preferential right to re-employment as well as the possible redeployment of staff within the organisation. Staff within Lund University may already have sufficient qualifications for the position, meaning the vacancy announcement is not necessary.
The HR officer supports this work by considering possible redeployments and staff with preferential right to re-employment.
It is hard to say how long a recruitment will take as it completely depends on how easy or difficult it is to find suitable candidates as well as on how much time is allocated to preparing for the recruitment. For international recruitment, time must also be allowed for potential residence permits, relocation and so on.
It is important to allocate sufficient time for a recruitment. If sufficient time is dedicated to the needs analysis and person specification as well as to the selection procedure and interview, it usually leads to a shorter recruitment process.
Use the timeline to structure and plan the recruitment procedure as well as to have a clear overview of who is doing what and when.
The job description is the basis for the vacancy announcement and is a guide for the entire recruitment process. The selection of a candidate should be based on what is stated in the job description and vacancy announcement. It is important to define which qualifications are required and which are desirable. To avoid the risk of discrimination, it is also important to think about whether the requirements are objectively based on the work duties.
The job description is to contain a clear description of
- the organisation the employee is to be a part of
- the work duties that the employee is to undertake
- the areas of responsibility that the employee will have
- the requirements with regard to education, experience, knowledge and skills of the employee.
- Based on the needs analysis, the recruitment group write the job description with the help of the template.
Vacancy announcement – advertise a vacant position
The vacancy announcement is to be based on the job description and designed in a clear and measureable way. A well-written and clear vacancy announcement increases the chance of attracting the ‘right’ candidates as well as having a manageable search field.
The vacancy announcement shall always:
- be advertised on the University and Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) websites
- be advertised for a minimum of two weeks
- be advertised in Swedish
The vacancy announcement must:
- have an English translation
- for appointments that include research, be advertised via Euraxess
The vacancy announcement is created in the recruitment system by the HR officer in consultation with the recruiting manager. In the recruitment system it is possible to use selection questions that facilitate the selection process at a later stage. Contact the HR officer to see which selection questions and which information channels may be suitable.
The selection shall be based on the vacancy announcement. This is in order to clearly see which candidates fulfil the specified requirements, but also to make an objective, fair and non-discriminatory selection.
The focus shall be on merit and skill and candidates are primarily selected who fulfil the requirements in the vacancy announcement. It is good if the whole recruitment group (recruiting manager, HR officer and possible specialist) reads and assesses the applications.
In the recruitment system there are many different ways to sort and rate the candidates, or the selection matrix can help. Contact your HR officers for support for your selection procedure.
When appointing international staff the individual may require a residence permit to work in Sweden. Extra time for an application for a residence permit must in these cases be included in the process. Remember that it is illegal to employ someone before they have a valid residence permit.
The aim of the job interview is to assess the candidate’s education, experience, knowledge and competences (ability, skills, and approach) in relation to what is described in the vacancy announcement. An equally important aim is for the candidate to be provided with information on the workplace and the conditions and expectations of the position. Remember to provide a positive but realistic picture of the workplace and work duties so that the candidate’s expectations match the reality.
Interviews are most effective if they are standardised and structured. This means the questions are predetermined and all candidates face the same questions. In this way, we can treat all the candidates equally and avoid discrimination. At Lund University a competence-based interview technique is used. Contact your HR officer for support in the design and implementation of the interview.
Tests and work samples
Pre-employment psychological tests
Nowadays it is fairly common to use pre-employment psychological tests in recruitment and they are a good tool to use as a complement to the recruitment procedure. The aim is to evaluate the candidate’s cognitive ability and skills. At Lund University there are several procured test tools.
Works samples and simulation exercises can be used to evaluate qualifications that are difficult to examine during an interview, such as analytical ability or practical knowledge.
These may be examples of work duties that candidates have carried out previously or aim to simulate realistic work-related situations in standardised formats.
Contact the HR officer for more information on tests, work samples and other selection instruments.
References should always be checked as it is a way of obtaining complementary information on the candidate, confirming information that has come up at interview as well as answering any remaining questions. Here, too, the focus should be on evaluating the qualifications specified in the vacancy announcement. References should be checked in the final stages of the recruitment procedure and the candidate should always be informed.
Use the reference checking template and contact your HR officer for more information on reference checking.
Ensure you are making a structured evaluation of the final candidates based on the information received from the interviews, references and any tests. Pay attention to what extent the candidates fulfil the requirements in the vacancy announcement by filling in the evaluation matrix.
The statement is to provide a clear account of how the selection process took place and which qualifications determined the choice of the candidate. The statement is to include the name of the candidate proposed for appointment as well as the initials of the other candidates considered. The statement is an important document in case of appeal or report for discrimination.
The department’s salary proposal is submitted by the salary-setting manager, according to the delegation rules at the relevant faculty/equivalent via the HR officer. Salaries are NOT to be offered to candidates before they are approved by the head of department/equivalent and the faculty/equivalent.
Salary setting is to take account of:
- the degree of difficulty and responsibility of the position
- the personal expertise of the individual
- the significance of the individual for the results of the organisation
- the salary levels at the department/faculty/LU
- market sensitivity (potential competition/risk of defection)
Decision on appointment
It is important to be aware that verbal agreements are valid. Therefore, the recruiting manager and head of department/equivalent must always check with the faculty/equivalent (often via the HR officer) before a final offer of employment and salary can be sent to the candidate.
The decision on appointment is created in Primula by the HR officer in consultation with the recruiting manager.
It is important to leave candidates who were not successful in their application for employment at Lund University with a positive impression of Lund University as a workplace. It is therefore important that those who have been interviewed receive verbal feedback about why they were not offered the position. Candidates who were not interviewed will receive a letter from the HR officer via the recruitment system.
It is possible to appeal a decision on appointment at a public authority. Only candidates who have applied and not been offered a position can appeal the decision. It is therefore important the recruitment procedure is followed by a clear person specification and a documented selection and interview process.
The first impression as a new employee can determine how things will develop with work and relationships with colleagues. A good introduction into the new workplace generates well-being and a sense of belonging. It allows the new employee to quickly get going on the job, which benefits the organisation both in human and financial terms.
A person responsible for the introduction should be assigned for each new appointment. The person responsible for the introduction is supported by the self-study course ‘Att arbeta med introduktion av nya medarbetare’ in Kompetensportalen.
All new employees are offered the possibility of taking part in the Welcome Days that are held at least once per year in both Swedish and English. These days are inspirational days where Lund University is presented and the employee is given a taste of the enormous breadth on offer at the University.
Moreover, each faculty and department is responsible for the introduction of new employees. Talk with your HR officer for help to prepare for the introduction.
Since each appointment is a considerable investment of time, engagement, and funds, it is essential to follow up for three to six months to check whether the new employee has had a real opportunity to get into the organisation and do productive work. Check what training initiatives may be necessary to facilitate the process of getting to grips with the work. This is about being sensitive to the needs of the employee.