Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Citizens Advice recruitment and selection policy

Effective: 16 February 2009, updated September 

1. Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to set out our approach to recruitment and selection and our commitment to equality, diversity and fairness.

2. Our approach to recruitment and selection

2.1 Having the right person in the right place at the right time is crucial to organisational performance. Citizens Advice is committed to ensuring that all stages of the recruitment process - writing the role profile and person specification, advertising, attracting and managing applications, selecting candidates, making the appointment and inducting the new employee - are conducted fairly and effectively.

2.2 Line managers are responsible for recruitment in conjunction with Human Resources. Everyone involved in recruitment and selection has a responsibility to make sure that this policy is followed.

2.3 Selection methods will be reliable, objective and guard against bias. Essential and desirable requirements for roles will be published in the role profile and person specification. The selection process normally consists of a (paper) short list and if successful, applicants are invited to interview. Some positions may require additional assessments (task/test or assessment centre). If this is the case, details will be included in the application pack.

Any test used will have been validated in relation to the job, free of bias and administered and assessed by a suitably competent person. All members of recruitment panels will have received guidance/briefing on recruitment and selection techniques and best practice.

2.4 As part of our commitment to customer care, we offer feedback to all unsuccessful interviewed candidates on request. We are able to offer feedback on unsuccessful applications to internal applicants and bureaux staff/volunteers only.

3. How our equality and diversity policy is reflected in the recruitment and selection process

3.1 Citizens Advice recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges unfair discrimination. We aim at all times to recruit the person who is most suited to the job and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds - men and women, people of all ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs. We welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as disabled people are underrepresented throughout Citizens Advice, and BAME people are underrepresented in senior management positions.

3.2 Selection for employment will be fair and equitable and based solely on the basis of the applicant’s abilities and individual merit assessed against the criteria for the job. All personal details are separated from the application form before shortlisting and therefore not seen by anyone involved in making selection decisions. Selection panels only view Section 2 of the application form where there are no personal details. Citizens Advice will not discriminate or tolerate discriminatory behaviour on the grounds of race, colour, sex, gender identity, disability, nationality, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, marital/partnership or family status, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and maternity, social class, educational background, employment status, working pattern, trade union membership or any other irrelevant factor in any aspect of employment.

3.3 Our roles are open to discussion about flexible working, which would include arrangements such as part-time working, formalised flexi time, fixed (non-standard) working hours, working from home and job-sharing subject to business needs.

3.4 Monitoring recruitment and selection procedures is one way of helping us to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination in the way that we recruit people. To do this we ask about the diversity profile of people who apply for posts at Citizens Advice. This information is given in confidence, separate from the application form, and is not seen by any person involved in making selection decisions. However, if applicants would prefer not to answer any of the questions, they may leave them blank.

3.5 If any candidate feels they have been unfairly discriminated against during the recruitment and selection process, they may contact us to raise such concerns.

4. Disabled applicants

4.1 We have made a positive commitment to employing disabled people. Reasonable adjustments will be made to the recruitment procedure as required in consultation with the applicant to ensure no-one is disadvantaged because of their disability. If a disabled person is selected for a position, reasonable adjustments will be made to the workplace, including premises and equipment, work duties and practices or policies, as appropriate. All disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the role as set out in the role profile and person specification will be guaranteed an interview. The following gives guidance on how the Guaranteed Interview Scheme is applied.

4.2 Minimum criteria These are the essential requirements that have been agreed for the post which may include qualifications, experience and skills. In setting the essential requirements, care will be taken to ensure that disabled candidates will not be disadvantaged. For scoring purposes, Citizens Advice uses the following ratings:

  1. No evidence
  2. Little/some evidence
  3. Acceptable evidence
  4. Good evidence
  5. Excellent evidence

To be successful at shortlisting stage, applicants should achieve an aggregate score of 60 per cent of the total possible marks across the essential requirements. However, candidates scoring 1 in any of the essential criteria will not be invited to interview.

4.3 Making reasonable adjustments Our recruitment documents and forms can be provided in alternative formats, for example, large print, audiotape, Braille or Easy Read and we are happy to receive applications in alternative formats.

Reasonable adjustments will be made as appropriate during the recruitment process and to support candidates to do the job, should they be appointed. Applicants can email to advise if reasonable adjustments are required throughout the recruitment process. Shortlisted candidates are asked if they need us to make reasonable adjustments to interview or assessment arrangements. When an offer of appointment is made, successful disabled candidates will be invited to discuss their requirements for reasonable adjustments to support them to do the job. Disabled applicants may discuss their requirements for reasonable adjustments at any stage of the recruitment process with the People Operations team at

4.4 If a candidate wishes to apply for consideration under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, they will need to complete the appropriate section on the application form.

5. Entitlement to work in the UK

To comply with the provisions of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, successful candidates will be asked to provide evidence of their entitlement to work in the UK before an offer of employment can be confirmed. Citizens Advice does not hold a sponsor licence and, therefore, cannot issue certificates of sponsorship under the points-based system.

6. Complaints procedure

Any applicant who considers that they have been unfairly treated or discriminated against should be advised to contact the Head of Human Resources, in writing, or by email, as soon as possible. Complaints received within one month will be taken seriously and investigated promptly and sensitively by the People Team and Equality Division, who will advise of the outcome. This does not affect your legal rights.

People and Equality Team

Citizens Advice

3rd Floor

200 Aldersgate Road