Civil Service Commission

Managing External Competitions

Things to bear in mind when involved in organising external recruitment exercises

  • Plan ahead – good planning saves re-working later
  • Have the right permissions arranged to go to external competition before advertising
  • Give yourself enough time for each of the stages
  • Think about record-keeping from the start
  • Consider your criteria carefully: essential skills versus desirable skills
  • Consider the impact of the criteria:
    • Make the criteria “sell” the job, attraction and selection are both important in establishing merit
    • who are you excluding and why?
  • Be honest about your process in the advert
  • Set standards before each sift stage.
  • In volume exercises with multiple panels, check results afterwards (eg random checks; comparisons between independent sifts)
  • At the end of the process there should be one merit list and successful candidates should be appointed in merit order.
  • Contact the Commission, and seek our advice, if you are unsure about any aspect of running an external recruitment process.