Job description

  • The starting point of any recruitment process is to work out what job you want done, how many hours are required to do it and what rate of pay you are offering. If you do not know exactly what you want to achieve, it will be hard to choose who would be suitable.
  • Once you know what you want your employee to do, this can be drawn together into a job description. Examples of templates for job descriptions can be found on the ACAS website. Contact the HR department for more specific examples of parish-based job descriptions if you need them

Person specification

  • Once you have described the job, you can then draw up a person specification, which will set out what skills and qualifications a person needs to undertake the role. It is usually most appropriate to divide these into essential requirements and desirable requirements. Examples of templates for person specifications can be found on the ACAS website.

Genuine occupational requirements

It is frequently asked whether it is lawful to make being a practising Christian a condition of employment. It is possible, if it can be shown that there is a genuine occupational requirement why the person must be a Christian, and that this can be objectively justified. ACAS has further advice.


  • The aim of any recruitment process is to find the best person for the job at the time you are seeking someone.
  • The basic principle of advertising a post is that you should seek to make any employment opportunity available to a range of people so that no one who might be suitable is excluded from applying. This does not mean that you must spend vast sums of money advertising since there are usually low-cost or no-cost alternatives: for example, websites, job centres and local shops. There is, however, no legal requirement to advertise a post before appointment.
  • When advertising a post, the key is to ensure that you have the same range of information about each candidate before you decide who to shortlist. Using an application form could help with this as it will mean that the information about each candidate is presented in the same format.
  • Safer recruitment practices for posts involving children or vulnerable adults recommend the use of application forms rather than CVs. For more on safer recruitment practices, see our Safeguarding pages.


  • Once you have received applications for your post, consider them against the criteria that you set out in the person specification, and take forward those who meet those criteria.
  • It is best practice for more than one person to be involved in the shortlisting, and to record the process, so that you are clear about the reasons for accepting and rejecting applicants for the next stage of the process.
  • Prospective employers must now carry out document checks before anyone can begin working for them to make sure that employees are entitled to work in the UK.

Interviewing and assessment

  • Prepare a set of interview questions in advance and make sure you cover the same areas for each candidate so you will be able to make fair comparisons between candidates. If you ask some candidates about a particular area but not others you may be in danger of assuming that the person you failed to ask knows nothing about the area concerned. Remember that equalities legislation applies and you should not ask questions which could lead to the impression that you are seeking to use as a selection criterion something which is unlawful, e.g. if you only ask female candidates about child care arrangements then, whatever your intentions, it might be assumed that you are seeking to apply a criterion to female candidates which you would not apply to males.
  • It is now generally unlawful to ask job applicants about their health or any disability until after they have been offered a job. So you should not include health-related questions on application forms or in interviews. There are however a few specific circumstances when early questions about health and disability are allowed. These include to find out if any adjustments need to made for the interview, or in relation to an intrinsic part of the job. For example, an intrinsic part of a caretaker job may be to lift and move furniture, so you can ask health questions to determine whether they are able to do that.
  • It is worth considering devising some simple tests as part of the selection procedure, making sure that they are focused on skills which are essential to the job.
  • Throughout the process, be aware of Unconscious Bias.


References can be requested prior to interview, or after a preferred candidate has been identified. They form an important part of the Safer Recruitment procedures for staff who will work with vulnerable adults and children. A template for a reference request is available in A Safe Church Reference Request.


Offer and Contract, Terms and Conditions of Employment

Prior to making an offer, confirm that the person has the right to work in the UK.
There are now document checks which must be carried out by a prospective employer before anyone can begin working for them. These are to make sure that employees are entitled to work in the UK.

An offer of employment can be verbal or in writing. It can be conditional upon satisfactory completion of a probationary period, satisfactory references.
All employees have the right to be provided with a written statement of their main terms and conditions on or prior to the date that they commence. There are statutorily specified terms that must be included, and the attached template.

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