To attract the right candidates

To attract the highest quality of candidates, all of the information available on our web site and in the public arena needs to reflect the role, the college or Department and the University in the most positive way possible reflecting that Swansea university is a great place to work.

The templates on the left will enable a consistent approach to attracting and recruiting to posts but are flexible enough to be able to add specific attraction materials.

The documents needed:

The Job Description

The purpose of the job description is to give potential applicants an accurate account of the main duties and responsibilities of the post. It is a tool through which individuals will decide if they wish to apply for the post or de-select themselves at an early stage. The temptation at times is to embellish the job description to attract applicants but if the actual job is not reflected accurately by the job description the applicant appointed may become disillusioned with the actual job and leave employment at an early stage. This is commonly referred to as the induction crisis.

A common misconception is that the job description is a definitive list of all tasks to be undertaken. This is not the case. 

  • The job description should include:
  • Job title and grade of post
  • The contract type and hours of work
  • The Section/Department/Campus where the post is located
  • The purpose of the job and the main duties of the role holder
  • Relationships, accountability and responsibilities

It is implicit in the contract of employment that any job holder will undertake all reasonable duties commensurate with the level and grade of the post. This will also be explicitly stated in the published job description with the following statement:

"Any other duties as directed by the Head of College / Department / School or their nominated representative expected within the grade definition"

When preparing the job description it is worth noting that not all applicants will be familiar with some terminology commonly used within the University and care should be exercised therefore when using abbreviations or acronyms.

The Person Specification

The purpose of the Person Specification is to clearly define the evidence that is required of candidates to prove they are able to undertake the role, as described in the Job Description. 

It is important that due care and time is spent upon the preparation of the person specification.  This document will provide the framework for the rest of the recruitment process.  If the person specification is carefully prepared it will make each subsequent step of the recruitment process easier for those involved.

Care must be taken when writing the Person Specification to ensure that there can be no discrimination in the criteria.  Each criteria must be required for the role so that it is fair.  For example :

The requirement for full time working could discriminate women if the requirement is not justified and applicants could suggest alternative suitable working patterns.

Good communication skills as a requirement could discriminate applicants with a disability such as Autism (for further information see so the actual requirement should be explicitly described eg.

  • The ability to give clear directions may be a requirement of a front line reception post. 
  • The ability to deliver high quality presentations to staff and management
  • The ability to write concise and accurate management reports
  • The ability to log accurate incident reports

The Person Specification should be seen as the cornerstone of the Recruitment and Selection process and should be included/referred to at each of the following stages:

  • Advertisement - included with any information sent to prospective candidates 
  • Shortlisting - to assess whether candidates reach required levels of education, experience and competencies to enable them to undertake the role   
  • Interview - questions should relate to the contents of the Person Specification and therefore assist the interview panel to assess whether candidates reach required levels of education, experience and competence to enable them to undertake the role.

In applications where the essential criteria of the person specification are not met, the individual should not be shortlisted.

The Role Description

Following the implementation of the Framework Agreement all roles within the University have been evaluated.  In order to ensure that new posts fit in the new grading structure the Transformational team will always grade new posts before advertising.  The Role Description form will provide all of the details required to grade the new job accurately and contains most of the HERA elements.

Now that the grading structure and the role profiles are available it is possible for current staff to compare their grades with new posts being advertised.  The Recruitment team have on occassion had to justify the grades of new posts so it is important that this form is completed fully and accurately.

Although the role description will not be sent to applicants there may be examples on this form which could be copied into the job description or the person specification so may be made available to applicants.

For Academic or related posts the process is different and is that the grade agreed by the funding will stand but the recruitment pack will need to follow the appropriate proforma.  There are proformas for all levels of academic jobs and you should ensure that you use the correct one.

For more information on the HERA process

The Advert

The advert is the means by which your vacancy is published so it needs to be right.  The style and content can be adapted to suit the potential audience and where the post is advertised very much depends on the job.  As recruiting manager you will have the greatest knowlegde about your audience and where and how you can best attract the right applicants.

All posts are advertised on our website at and in the Job Centre Plus at 

All academic and Senior Administrative positions are also advertised on

There are many other forms of advertising such as:

  • Printed National or Local press
  • Specialist publications
  • Online Jobs sites
  • Online Specialist websites
  • Jobs boards
  • Twitter

We can offer advise on timescales, deadlines and costs of any method of advertising.

For tips on writing the advert please see "Attracting the Right Candidate"