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Manager’s Toolkit for Academic Recruitment

The aim of this toolkit is to provide information, guidance and supportive documentation for managers. It is intended for recruitment of academic posts. 

Review of Requirements and Role

Managers should take the opportunity provided by a vacancy to consider the overall functions and structure within a subject/service area and assess whether any changes are required to the job or if, indeed, the role is still required.

Further guidance is provided on the Preparing to Recruit section.

Managers should review the role to provide the basis for the job description and person specification. Further particulars from previous vacancies that incorporate this information may be requested from Personnel to provide a benchmark for comparison.

Authority to Recruit

Managers need to complete an ‘authority to recruit’ for every vacancy. This needs to be signed by the relevant parties before a vacancy can be advertised by Personnel.

To avoid unnecessary work, permission to recruit will firstly be granted by the Vice-Chancellor. Following this, the composition of the committee, the actual date for the interviews and confirmation of the availability of committee members will be formalised. At the initial stage of considering the need to advertise for an academic post you may wish to meet with Barrie Holmes from Personnel in order to discuss the various implications.

Advert and Further Particulars

Managers should draft the relevant advert and further particulars. Templates of previous adverts/further particulars may be requested from Personnel as a starting point but it is important that each new vacancy is reviewed on its own merits. This will ensure that ongoing changes within the Faculty and any individual elements of the post itself are fully captured.

The advert should ideally be no more than one page and the further particulars of appointment should contain background to the University and Faculty/Department; details of the post with key duties outlined; person specification; and brief terms and conditions of the appointment.

Further guidance is provided on the Attracting and Managing Applications section.

The advert and further particulars, including the job description and person specification, should be attached to the ‘authority to recruit’ form for approval by either Professor Newport (up to and including Grade 8) or Professor Pillay (above Grade 8). Where a PhD or any other minimum qualification is required this should be clearly detailed in the advert.


The closing date for applications will normally be on a Friday. Personnel will email short-listing packs to those involved on the following Monday. You will need to get the provisional short-list back to Personnel within a week for Professor Newport to sign off.

Short-listing decisions should be based on the criteria for the post, taking into account what is essential, as well as desirable, to undertake the role effectively. The interviewing committee shall also prepare the provisional short-list.

Please note that a PhD is required for all posts with the exception of lecturer and senior lecturer posts in teaching on QTS programmes and in one or two more professionally-orientated or performance-based subjects (Professor Newport can advise on this if there is any doubt). In exceptional cases please place a note in the file indicating why a person without a PhD should nevertheless be interviewed for the PVC to consider.

Candidates who have not completed a PhD but are at an advanced stage can be short-listed and interviewed but if offered the post will be required to complete the PhD within the 12 month probationary period. This will be clearly spelt out in the letter of appointment and adhered to.


Managers are responsible for deciding the most appropriate selection process for the position. An interview is normally a minimum requirement but other supplementary elements can include one-to-one meetings, etc.

An interview date should ideally be determined before the advert is placed. This will normally be within two calendar months from the advert appearing and not longer than two weeks after the sign off of the short-list. All members of the selection panel must be committed to this date at the outset. Also, as it will not be known at this point how many candidates will need to be interviewed, a full day should be set aside for this purpose. The advert and further particulars should include the sentence:

'Short-listing for this post will take place on DATE and interviews for short-listed applicants will take place on DATE'.

The committee will review candidates until an appointment is made.

Personnel will set up the interview panels. A document has been produced that provides guidance on the normal panel constitution for the different levels of recruitment (right hand menu).

Further guidance is provided on the Selecting Candidates section.


Presentations will be required in all cases. The Dean should indicate the preferred topic but it will typically relate research to teaching in some way.

Consideration should be given to whether the presentation should be delivered to the selection panel or a separate group drawn from the Faculty, with subsequent feedback to the panel.

Ideally, details should be included in the further particulars along the following lines:

Candidates selected for interview will be required to deliver a 15 minute presentation on TOPIC.

This will give candidates the opportunity to start thinking about and preparing their presentation in good time.

Follow Up Action

Following the selection process, the Personnel representative will send a recommendation report to the Vice-Chancellor or Pro Vice-Chancellor for approval. After approval, Personnel will inform all candidates of the outcome and issue the appointment letter and other documentation. Managers will be required to deal with any academic or technical issues that arise, as well as making preparations for the new member of staff to arrive.

There are new procedures relating to the employment of workers from overseas and all new members of staff are required to provide evidence of their entitlement to work in the UK. See our section on Eligibility to Work in the UK.