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2 Recruit – advertising vacancies, shortlisting and selecting the best candidate

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Advertising vacancies – informing about a vacant position

Vacancy notices must be based on the person specification and designed in a clear and measurable way. A well-written and straightforward notice increases the chances of attracting qualified people and a strong field of candidates.

The vacancy notice should always be:

  • Published on the University and the Swedish Public Employment Service websites.
  • Published for at least four weeks.
  • Available in Swedish and English.
  • Published via Euraxess.

The vacancy notice is to be created in the recruitment system by the HR officer for the academic appointments board in consultation with the recruiting manager and the academic appointments board. The HR officer is responsible for ensuring that the vacancy notice follows the University’s templates and regulations, and to check that it is written in a way that will attract applicants.

The recruitment system also offers the possibility to use selection questions, which can facilitate the selection process.

Channels for publishing vacancies

Think about how the vacancy notice will be published in advance. Who is the target audience and how can they best be reached? 

The recruitment system offers several different channels for publishing vacancies. If you wish to use other channels, you must use our procured advertisement brokers. The HR officer for the academic appointments board is responsible for publishing vacancies.

Shortlisting the best candidates, expert review and selection days

When shortlisting candidates, the academic appointments board must use the person specification as their starting point. It must be clear which candidates meet the requirements, and the results must demonstrate a fair and non-discriminatory recruitment process. Non-discriminatory means no weight shall be given to unfair and irrelevant factors such as sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

The basis for recruitment in a public authority such as Lund University is that the person with the best qualifications and skills should get the job. In the initial selection of applicants, the academic appointments board assesses who meets the eligibility requirements and objective qualifications of extra merit. The applications that pass this first selection are normally sent to an external expert for assessment of research, teaching and external engagement qualifications.

Proposals for experts are made by the department

In the vast majority of cases, the department proposes external experts to the academic appointments board. The person responsible for contacting the external expert can vary, depending on the faculty.

During a recruitment process, the external expert must be able to make a factual and impartial assessment of the research and teaching qualifications of the applicants, but also to assess such things as experience of external engagement, collaboration skills and leadership qualities. You can find more information about the role of external experts from the HR officer for the academic appointments board at your faculty.

Selection days/equivalent

Once the expert review has been completed, the academic appointments board may invite the top candidates to selection days/equivalent for further evaluation. Selection days/equivalent may take different forms depending on the faculty. The purpose of a selection day/equivalent is to be able to make a deeper evaluation of the top candidates’ expertise within the research subject, overall research and teaching expertise, experience and other knowledge and competencies (abilities, skills and approach) through interviews and set tasks (e.g. trial lectures). An equally important aim is to provide the candidate with information about the workplace and the conditions and expectations of the position.

If you, the recruiting manager, and your colleagues attend the selection days/equivalent, be sure to give a positive, yet realistic picture of the workplace and the duties, so that the candidate’s expectations match the reality. Normally the academic appointments board initiates selection days. Check with your HR officer for the academic appointments board.

Interviews may take different forms

Sometimes the academic appointments board conducts the interviews, sometimes it is the responsibility of a working group or recruitment committee in which the recruiting manager is involved. When planning interviews, it is important to bear in mind that they are most effective if they are standardised and structured. When questions are fixed in advance and all candidates are given the same questions, it is possible to treat all candidates equally and avoid discrimination. Lund University uses competency-based interviews (read more in the course Kompetensbaserad rekrytering (“Competency-based recruitment”) in Kompetensportalen).

Contact your HR officer for the academic appointments board for support in how to set up and conduct interviews.

Occupational psychological testing is common

Today, the use of occupational psychological testing is a common and effective complementary tool in the recruitment process. Its purpose is to evaluate the candidate’s intellectual capacity and skills. Tests can provide a basis for deeper questions during an interview. Lund University has procured several different testing tools. The academic appointments board usually decides if occupational psychological tests should be used.

Taking references as a basis for in-depth questions

Taking references can be a good way of obtaining additional information about the candidate, confirming information that has arisen during the interview and clearing up any question marks. Here, too, the focus should be on evaluating the qualifications set out in the person specification.

References should be obtained at the end of the recruitment process, not before. The candidate should be told that references are being taken and they should have submitted details of referees. The manner in which faculties use references in recruitment through their academic appointments board varies. Contact your HR officer for the academic appointments board for more information about taking references.

The final candidate is proposed by the academic appointments board

When it is finally clear who is best suited for the position, the decision to propose a final candidate is made by the academic appointments board. The process involving the academic appointments board and the expert review is to be the basis for the most suitable and qualified applicant to be offered the position.