County Commissioner Handbook

Recruiting employees

Job description and person specification

It is useful to draft a job description and person specification for a role before recruiting, so that you are clear about the tasks and skills required. There is no set format for these documents, although a job description usually details the list of tasks required, whereas the person specification sets out the required skills and experience. The job description should always include ‘such tasks as may reasonably be required by the Employer’. This enables changes to duties to be made without causing difficulties in the future.

A template is available to help with writing job description

The advertisement

It is not a legal requirement to place an external advertisement for a job, but it is considered to be good equal opportunities practice. An advertisement will normally include the job title and key skills that are sought, and a starting salary or salary range. Care should be taken not use language in the advertisement that is discriminatory, including language that could be indirectly discriminatory (for example people with disabilities).

The interview

Similarly, at the interview stage, questions should not be asked that are potentially discriminatory. Broadly, the same question should be asked of all candidates (although there will always be certain questions that are specific arising out of an individual’s CV or application form). Candidates should not be asked questions about their health at the interview stage, unless this is necessary to make reasonable adjustments to the selection process (see further the information about ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ below), or unless it relates to an inherent requirement of the job (for instance, it would be legitimate to ask if there were any health problems that would prevent a candidate from driving if the job required the employee to drive – provided that the requirement to drive was not one to which a reasonable adjustment could be made).