Alec Rodger’s Seven-Point Plan and Munro Fraser’s Five-Fold Grading System

Posted on Listopad 8, 2010. Filed under: bzowy, HR, knowledge management, Organizacje, satysfakcja pracownicza | Tagi: , , , , , |


These notes have been produced to assist members of appointing committees in their task of choosing the best person for the vacancy. The guidance is given in general terms and is applicable to appointments of all categories of staff. As general notes, they may not all be applicable to every post.

The Human Resources Office will send a copy of these notes to each member of an appointing committee, but Chairpersons of appointing committees should ensure that all members of the committee have seen these notes and should remind members of the guidance herein, in particular those relating to equal opportunities.

These several steps of recruitment process will help you in choose your own way of hire employees. Lets start!

Action Before Advertising

An appointing committee can only make a sensible choice if it knows what the duties of the post are and what type of person is being sought. When considering what type of person is needed, the wider needs of the unit beyond the duties of the particular vacancy may also be relevant. Proper planning at the initial stage of recruitment will save time and avoid confusion at the final stage. What should take the following action before an advertisement is drafted?

Job Description

This is a statement of the main tasks and responsibilities which comprise the job. A job description need not be unduly lengthy or complex, but will usually consist of the following elements:
The main purpose of the job; more than one sentence is not usually necessary.
The main tasks of the job. Vague statements, which give no indication of the main tasks, should be avoided.
The scope of the job. The main tasks may not indicate the scope or importance of the job, and so it may be necessary for the number of people to be supervised, the type and number of equipment etc to be given.

Person Specification

This describes the ideal person to fill the job, and is a profile of the personal skills and characteristics the appointing committee should be looking for. Examples of some commonly-used systems are given in Appendix A. These examples would have to be modified to meet the needs of particular posts. The person specification cannot form a rigid framework for the appointing committee’s decision, but it should help members to be realistic and systematic and reduce the margin of error.

It is important to bear in mind equal opportunities issues when drawing up job descriptions and person specifications.

The above documents are to assist the appointing committee and are not intended to be sent to applicants, although the job description may form the basis of the further particulars.


The purpose of an advertisement is to indicate to someone with the right skills and qualities that this is a suitable post for him or her. It has to do no more than catch the eye and arouse interest. The wording of the advertisement should state concisely what the job entails and what qualities are needed of the appointee. Care should be taken to avoid any discriminatory statement. Full details of the job should be given in further particulars to be sent to everyone enquiring about the post.

The Chairperson of the appointing committee should send the draft advertisement to the Human Resources Office, which will arrange for the advertising. The further particulars should also be sent to the Human Resources Office in all cases and not just where the advertisement advises applicants to contact the Human Resources Office.

Membership of Appointing Committees

In all cases there should be at least two people in an appointing committee, and it is desirable that the membership should consist of men and women.

The composition of appointing committees is specified only for teaching faculty posts. For all other posts the composition is determined by the head of the relevant unit under authority delegated by the Council through the Vice-Chancellor. In all cases it is desirable that the membership should include people who have received training in interviewing techniques and that a member of the committee should be familiar with the working conditions of the post.

Methods of Selection

The methods of selection adopted by an appointing committee should include an interview. To improve reliability, the selection process includes consideration of the information in the candidate’s application form and in references. Appointing committees may choose other methods of selection appropriate to the particular post, e.g. typing tests, lecture, ‚in-basket’ exercise. There are no personality or aptitude tests formally recommended for use by appointing committees in the University. If a committee chooses to apply such a test, it should ensure that the test is relevant and non-discriminatory, that it is operated by someone trained in the use of that test, and that the results are used as additional, helpful information rather than a pass/fail criterion.


There are no guidelines on the number or proportion of applicants who should be short-listed for interview or on whom references should be called. If there is a large number of apparently suitable applicants, the committee need not short-list all of them and, if it wishes, may call references on about twenty and call to interview only the number who can be fitted into one day.

Arrangements before the Interview

Proper preparation before the interviews is vital to ensure that the interviews are conducted to maximum effect.
All members of the appointing committee should read the candidates’ papers, the references, the job description and the person specification carefully before the interview.
Arrangements should be made to receive the candidates and to show them somewhere comfortable and convenient to wait before the interview begins.
All candidates should be given the names and posts of members of the appointing committee, and members should be identified at the start of the interview.
Thought should be given to the lay-out of the interview room. The candidate’s chair should be placed so he/she is comfortable and can converse easily with all members of the appointing committee.
A ‚Do Not Disturb : Interview in Progress’ notice should be placed on the door of the interview room. If there is a telephone in the room, calls should be diverted to another number.

During the Interview

The purpose of the interview is to give further information through questions and observation of the candidate’s demeanour on whether the candidate has the qualities and experience required for the particular post. All of the questions must therefore relate solely to this purpose.

Members of the appointing committee should meet for 15-30 minutes before the first interview to review the papers, consider what questions will need to be put to candidates and decide on procedural matters, e.g. whether members should give each other a brief summary of their views on candidates after each interview, or whether comments should be left until all candidates have been seen. Any discussion about procedures, or the scope of duties, should be resolved at this meeting or earlier and not take place in front of a candidate. When interviewing candidates:
Listen carefully to what the candidate says, and the way it is said.
Frame your question so that the candidate has to give a full answer in his/her own words to the point. So avoid leading questions, or ‚closed’ questions which call for an answer ‚yes’ or ‚no’.
Avoid talking too much or dominating the discussion, and allow the interviewee to answer the question.
Look out for the answer that has been prepared for expected questions and that is designed to please the appointing committee rather than give the truth.
Be sure that your judgements are not based on prejudice, but solely on the evidence you have as to how well the interviewee could do the required job.
Beware the ‚halo’ effect, i.e. where the candidate gives an immediate favourable impression which then distorts your judgement of what follows.

Appointing committees should bear in mind the full range of skills, aptitudes and experience for all the duties of the post, and should ensure that they explore fully each candidate’s ability and background in these respects. The committee should do this through appropriate questions during the interview, and might also wish to set special tests to examine particular skills. For example, all teaching faculty posts have teaching as an important element of the job, and committees may wish to ask candidates to give a seminar or lecture. If a candidate has not had the experience to make such a test appropriate, the committee nevertheless should explore the candidate’s attitudes and consider whether he or she has those aptitudes that underpin competence in teaching, and not simply knowledge of the discipline.

Feel free to make notes during each interview. After the interviews, members should compare all the candidates, bearing in mind the job description and the person specification. The committee should be clear why it has chosen the successful candidate and why each other candidate was not chosen. Those reasons should be recorded in case any applicant submits a claim of discrimination to an industrial tribunal.

One way of assisting members of the appointing committee to structure their judgements on each candidate is to set up a grid showing an assessment of each candidate in respect of each quality or skill you are looking for; an example of such a grid is given as Appendix B.

An administrative officer, who is not a member of the committee, should be present during the interviews or during the final discussions, to record the key decisions. In the case of teaching faculty posts, this record should be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor with the recommendation for appointment.

Do not forget that the interview is also the opportunity for the applicant to find out more about the job and the University, and that the appointing committee will want to persuade a good applicant that this is the right place for him or her. The applicant should therefore be asked if there are any questions he or she wishes to put. It will also often be helpful to applicants to be shown around the place of work and given the opportunity to talk to other employees.
Avoidance of Discrimination

Discrimination against a person on the grounds of that person’s sex or marital status, on racial grounds or on grounds of disability is illegal in Poland.

A number of factors as well as sex, marital status, disability or race might lead to discriminatory practices in recruitment, e.g. religion, sexual orientation. For all applications, appointing committees should follow the principle that they are assessing the ability of the applicant to carry out the duties of the post, and any factor that is not relevant to this should be disregarded. They should also note when considering applicants for part-time posts that the Conditions of Service, including promotion procedures, apply equally to part-time and full-time employees. Information on applicants’ ethnic origin is not submitted to appointing committees, but this information is collected with applications, and is used for statistical analyses only.

The following notes are intended to assist members of appointing committees in avoiding discrimination. Further advice on general or individual issues may be obtained from the Human Resources Division.
Recruitment Action Affected by these Acts of Parliament

The Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act and the Disability Discrimination Act affect the work of appointing committees by making unlawful discrimination:
in the arrangements made for the purpose of determining who should be offered employment. ‚Arrangements’ include advertising, deciding to call references, short-listing, and the interview itself. It is unlawful to make any discriminatory arrangements, even where the person appointed is more suitable than the person discriminated against, e.g. failing to call a man for interview for what is unlawfully considered to be a woman’s job even though the woman appointed was better qualified; in the terms on which employment is offered to someone;
by refusing or deliberately omitting to offer someone employment, or
by failing to make a reasonable adjustment which would allow a disabled applicant who was otherwise suitable for the post to be employed.
Direct and Indirect Discrimination

Under the Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act direct discrimination and indirect discrimination are unlawful. The Disability Discrimination Act refers simply to ‘discrimination’. The meaning of direct discrimination is self-evident, and is unlawful even if the action is well-intentioned, e.g. appointing a woman in place of a better-qualified man to achieve a better balance between the sexes, or failure to appoint a non-white person to a group where problems had arisen in the past when such an appointment had been made.

Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer sets a requirement for a job which is not justified, is to the individual’s detriment and with which the proportion of a particular sex or racial group who could comply is considerably smaller than the proportion who could not comply, e.g. setting an upper age qualification for entrance to the Civil Service discriminated against women with different career patterns from men, and setting unnecessarily high standards of literacy in Polish discriminated against immigrants. Appointing committees setting requirements for a post should therefore consider carefully whether only a minority of a particular sex or racial group could comply with it, and then if that is the case whether the requirement is justified, i.e. necessary, rather than convenient or administratively desirable.

Genuine Occupational Qualification

It is possible in limited cases to advertise for a person of a particular sex or racial group where this is strictly necessary. This is known as a ‚genuine occupational qualification’. The circumstances where this is allowable are limited and include, e.g. where the essential nature of a job calls for a person of a particular sex for reasons of physiology (e.g. male model) or authenticity in dramatic performances, or where the job needs to be held by a man or a woman for reasons of decency or privacy, or where the holder of a job provides individuals with personal services promoting their welfare or education and services can be most effectively provided by a person of a particular sex.

Questions in Interview

Appointing committees should not only avoid making decisions on discriminatory grounds, they should also avoid asking questions of interviewees that might give the impression of a discriminatory attitude. Questions put to an interviewee should be relevant only to finding the person’s suitability for the post. In questioning interviewees, members of appointing committees are advised:
to avoid making general assumptions about the emotional or physical characteristics of members of one sex or racial group;
to avoid making general assumptions about a particular social role for members of one sex. Questions about marriage plans or family intentions should not be asked, as they could be construed as showing bias.
where it is necessary to assess whether personal circumstances will affect performance of the job (for example, where it involves unsocial hours or extensive travel) this should be discussed objectively without detailed questions based on assumptions about marital status, children and domestic obligations, and questions should be asked equally of men and women candidates.
to avoid making assumptions about what a disabled person can do and about their requirements in the workplace. However, a disabled candidate should be asked what adjustments (if any) they would require to the workplace or conditions of service to enable them to do the job.

Employment of People with Disabilities

The following notes are intended to provide brief guidelines on avoiding unjustifiable discrimination against candidates with a disability. If an application is received from a person with a disability, it is recommended that Human Resources should be contacted for more detailed advice.

The person specification should be task specific, to avoid unjustifiable requirements which would exclude disabled candidates. For example, the requirement to hold a driving licence will discriminate against candidates with a visual impairment or certain other conditions. For a job such as van driver or chauffeur, this is fair; however, for a job which merely requires the person to travel, public transport or taxis may be a workable alternative and to require a driving licence could be unjustifiable.

The job description where possible should distinguish between significant and minor duties. This will make it easier to decide which duties can be reallocated (should it be necessary to enable a suitable candidate with a disability to do the job.

Arrangements for job interviews may need to be altered to avoid putting at a disadvantage a candidate with a disability. Examples include: reserving a parking space for someone with walking difficulties; holding interviews in a wheelchair accessible room; allowing the candidate to bring with them a signer or reader; allowing a longer interview time to discuss any adjustments to duties or the workplace which might be needed.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, an employer is required to consider whether reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace the duties or the conditions of the post to enable an otherwise suitable candidate who is disabled to do the job. Examples of such adjustments include installing a ramp to allow wheelchair access to a building; allocating a minor duty (such as occasional cover for a telephonist by a person with a hearing impairment) to someone else; or adjusting the hours of work to allow a later start for someone who would find rush hour travel difficult. What is a reasonable adjustment will depend on the cost involved, the impact on other employees and how effective it would be in facilitating the proper performance of the job. It is good practice to involve the candidate in discussions about what adjustments (if any) would be necessary as they may have experience of what is most effective.

Various schemes exist to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities. These include arrangements for a trial period of employment; a government subsidy to compensate an employer where an employee with a disability is less productive than an able bodied person would be; and grants towards the purchase of special equipment or building modification.

Majority Voting

In all cases it is desirable that decisions should be arrived at by consensus rather than by voting, but if voting is necessary the Chairperson has a casting vote as well as an initial vote. In the case of teaching faculty posts, if the division of opinion has been sharp and the voting close, this should be referred to the Personnel Officer, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor, as appropriate and the ‚minority’ have the right to request that the Vice-Chancellor should be informed of their views with the recommendation for appointment.

Communication with Candidate After Interview

In some cases the Chairperson may wish to speak to the favoured candidate after the interview but before any necessary formal approval has been obtained (e.g. from the Vice-Chancellor in the case of teaching faculty posts). It must be made clear that formal approval has to be obtained, and no letter should be sent which could be read as an offer of employment.

Formal Approval of Appointment

In the case of appointments of teaching faculty, the Vice-Chancellor’s approval is required. The Chairperson of the appointing committee should forward the committee’s recommendation on a form supplied by the Human Resources Office. Please note that it may take a few days for this form to be returned to the Recruitment Office; a letter of appointment will be sent out within 48 hours of receipt of the form. Please advise the appointee that this is the case, and not that they will be sent a letter the day after a decision has been reached.Other appointments are made on the recommendation of the Chairperson of the appointing committee.


All proceedings of appointing committees, including the names of candidates, are strictly confidential and must not be divulged to those who are not members of the appointing committee, other than authorised University officers and in relation to short-listed candidates for teaching faculty posts in the following circumstances. The Chairperson of the appointing committee may decide at the time of advertising that certain details of short-listed candidates who are called to give a presentation should be available to members of the Subject Group or the School, as decided by the Chairperson; these details will consist only of the names and lists of publications. It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to arrange for these details to be available in the relevant School Office after the short-listing. This process may be followed only if the further particulars of the post have stated what will happen and that the candidates may specify at the time of application that their application should remain confidential throughout the appointing process. In such cases, the appointing committee should decide how the confidentiality could be maintained whilst still requiring the candidate to give a presentation.

Communications with Unsuccessful Candidates

The Human Resources Office will write to candidates to inform them that they have been unsuccessful, but not until they are asked to do so by the Chairperson of the appointing committee. It is good practice for the Chairperson to speak promptly to any internal candidates who are unsuccessful to inform them of the decision and to give feedback on their candidacy, if requested.

APPENDIX A: Person Specification

A person specification describes the ideal person to fill the job, and is a profile of the personal skills and characteristics you will look for in the recruitment and selection process. Two well-known systems are suggested in drawing up a person specification: Alec Rodger’s Seven-Point Plan and Munro Fraser’s Five-Fold Grading System. Each of these gives certain headings under which the attributes of the ideal candidate can be classified. The characteristics listed below are examples only. The person specification will list those characteristics that are required for the particular post. Particular care should be taken to avoid unnecessary requirements which would unjustifiably discriminate against applicants with a disability.

Alec Rodger’s Seven-Point Plan

1)Physical make-up health, appearance, bearing and speech.
2)Attainments: education, qualifications, experience.
3)General intelligence: intellectual capacity.
4)Special aptitudes: mechanical, manual dexterity, facility in use of words and figures.
5)Interests intellectual, practical, constructional, physically active, social, artistic.
6)Disposition acceptability, influence over others, steadiness, dependability, self-reliance.
7)Circumstances: any special demands of the job, such as ability to work unsocial hours, travel abroad, etc.

Munro Fraser’s Five-Fold Grading System:

1)Impact on others physical make-up, appearance, speech and manner.
2)Acquired qualifications education, vocational training, work experience.
3)Innate abilities quickness of comprehension and aptitude for learning.
4)Motivation individual goals, consistency and determination in following them up, success rate.
5)Adjustment emotional stability, ability to stand up to stress and ability to get on with people.

The characteristics identified as necessary through analysis of the job description are then entered against the appropriate heading. It is usual to enter two levels, indicating what would be sought in the ideal candidate, and what would be the minimum acceptable level to do the job. It is also important to indicate those personal characteristics or circumstances which would definitely be unacceptable in the prospective job-holder.


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