Recruitment policy

1. Introduction

1.1 The National Portrait Gallery aims to recruit motivated and high performing people who share and wish to contribute to the Gallery’s vision of bringing history to life and who support and inspire all they work with to high achievement, regardless of their role.

1.2 The purpose of this framework is to support those involved in recruitment in:

  • Applying good practice whilst enabling an appropriate level of flexibility in our approach to recruitment across the Gallery.
  • Responding effectively, strategically as well as operationally, to internal and external changes.
  • Attracting and appointing the best possible candidates aligned to the wider strategic context.
  • Treating applicants fairly in line with our commitment to equality of opportunity, and with openness and accountability.
  • Maintaining the minimum possible cost and administrative burden in the operation of the recruitment process.
  • Balancing our desire to help existing employees achieve their career development aspirations with our commitment to applying open and fair recruitment processes.

1.3 The Framework covers roles that are recruited via a recruitment agency and paid directly through our payroll system, but excludes roles filled on a temporary basis through a recruitment agency or the engagement of consultants or contractors procured through service contracts.

1.4 The Framework is not intended to be prescriptive and decisions taken throughout the recruitment process should be in the context of managing and mitigating against risk.

2. Principles

2.1 All recruitment should be managed in a way that reflects as well as supports the Gallery in being a good employer and comply with statutory and regulatory requirements.

2.2 We value the diversity of people. Candidates will be appointed solely on their ability to do the job irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race and ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity and marriage or civil partnership.

2.3 Candidates will not be discriminated against by being required to have experience or qualifications that cannot be proven to be relevant to the role.

2.4 We will make reasonable adjustments where we are informed by a candidate that they have a disability and require adjustments to the process or interview location.

2.5 Recruitment is a two way process and not just about us selecting a candidate but is also an opportunity for candidates to consider whether this is the role and organisation for them. A change in job could be a significant lifestyle change for the individual and their family. As such, every stage of the recruitment process is an opportunity to show the Gallery as an attractive employer. All staff involved in recruitment are representing the Gallery and should provide positive but realistic impressions of the job and organisation, enabling prospective employees to make an informed decision.

2.6 Recruitment campaigns should be efficient and cost effective, using the most appropriate advertising and assessment for the role. The process should be expedited promptly and within agreed and published timescales, to benefit those involved as well as to provide a positive impression to candidates.

2.7 All recruitment campaigns must comply with data protection requirements and:

  • have a clear, documented audit trail of decisions made throughout the process
  • treat all personal data confidentially, and consider the need to print or transport documents
  • confidentially destroy personal data held on unsuccessful candidates at the appropriate time.

2.8 To preserve objectivity and integrity, people involved in making selection decisions in recruitment campaigns must declare at the earliest possible stage if they know an applicant. Usually declaring and noting this at the shortlisting or interview stage, as appropriate, will be sufficient.

2.9 This framework applies to internal as well as external candidates. As such the same considerations should be given, particularly at the shortlist and interview stage as would be for external candidates.

2.10 It is the responsibility of all people involved in recruitment selection decisions to ensure that they are appropriately trained and confident in their role, to make use of this Framework and fundamentally, to ensure that candidates are treated fairly and decisions made objectively.

July 2017