Citizens Advice recruitment and selection policy

Effective: 16 February 2009, updated March 2023 

1. Introduction 

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

2. Our approach to recruitment and selection

2.1 We are committed to creating an efficient, effective, fair and equitable recruitment journey that welcomes candidates from all backgrounds.

2.2 The recruitment team is responsible for recruitment in collaboration with the hiring managers and panel members. Everyone involved in recruitment and selection has a responsibility to make sure that this policy is followed.

2.3 Screening is conducted by highly trained specialist recruiters who are adequately trained and required to maintain their CPD. Where hiring managers conduct further selection methods must be reliable, objective and not be reliant upon a single person judgement to guard against unconscious bias.

Essential and desirable requirements for roles will be established by the hiring manager and be published in the role profile and person specification. Minimum criteria must be established and discussed with the recruiter.

Selection will normally consist of a recruiter led screen of applications, followed by telephone screening (where this will enhance selection). These are then passed to the hiring manager to either proceed to interview or shortlist further if needed. This approach is flexible and is agreed between recruiter and hiring manager before advert.

Any test used must be relevant to the essential or desired criteria listed in the person specification and administered in a way that provides candidates equal time to prepare (unless a reasonable adjustment is in place, see below). All members of recruitment panels must speak with their recruiter if they require support, guidance or are unclear on recruitment and selection techniques or best practice.

2.4 As part of our commitment to customer care, we offer feedback to all unsuccessful interviewed candidates on request.  We can on request offer feedback on unsuccessful applications to internal applicants and local Citizens Advice 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, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs.

3.2 Selection for employment will be fair and equitable and based solely on the basis of the applicant's abilities assessed against the criteria for the job. 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 flexitime, 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 prevent 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 or choose ‘prefer not to say’.

3.5 If any candidate feels they have been treated unfairly during the recruitment and selection process, they may contact us to raise such concerns (see 6. Complaints Procedure).

4. Disabled applicants

4.1 We have made a positive commitment to employing disabled people under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We aim to ensure that 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.

4.2 Making reasonable adjustments

Our adverts and application forms can be made accessible to people with additional needs using software called ‘recite me’. Reasonable adjustments will be made as appropriate to interview and assessment arrangements, and to support candidates to do the job, should they be appointed. Disabled applicants may discuss their requirements for reasonable adjustments at any stage of the recruitment process with the recruitment adviser.

4.3 Disability Confident Interview Commitment

We will offer an interview to disabled candidates who indicate they wish their application to be considered under our Disability Confident Interview Commitment where they best meet our selection criteria in their application.

Some of our roles attract a high volume of applications and in some circumstances where it is not practicable or appropriate, we may limit the number of interviews offered to disabled and non-disabled candidates.

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.

6. Complaints procedure

Any candidate who considers that they have been unfairly treated or discriminated against should contact the People team at within 1 month of a selection decision being made. Complaints received will be taken seriously and investigated promptly and sensitively, and we will advise of the outcome.