Safeguarding in recruitment for many organisations that are dealing with children and vulnerable adults, is a key challenge. When recruiting for posts working with vulnerable young people and adults the interviewing and selection process is critical.
Having a clear process that adds extra rigour to the selection process. This can be done by identifying negative behavioural indicators. Which is vital to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
A group of key managers involved in recruitment and selection were asked to review the existing selection processes. Information was gathered on the number of interviewees and the number of appointments. Then the reasons why panels recommended not offering a post because the applicant was deemed ‘not safe’ were collated. Using this data, a range of questions were designed to gather information about behavioural traits. It looked at the impact on safeguarding in recruitment.
Existing practise using behavioural interviews showed that:
- They were carried out on two or three preferred candidates following the completion of ‘traditional’ interview and assessments. Depending on how many candidates are taken through and how long the interview lasts, this could create an additional 2 – 24 hours of management time.
- They were conducted by 2 managers using 6 sets of questions. Some of the questions were very similar. They offered the potential to reduce the questions being asked and shorten the interviews.
- It was common that they took between one and two hours for each candidate. The number of people trained to carry out behavioural interviewing had dwindled. This placed a considerable time burden on those remaining.
- There had been no safeguarding allegations made against staff during the period behavioural interviewing was carried out.
- Behavioural interviewing needs to be somehow incorporated into the selection process. It offers the potential of only inviting potentially ‘safe’ candidates for traditional interview.
Key Learning Points:
- Behavioural interviewing must be retained by the organisation. However, preferably in a more streamlined format.
- That an ‘on-line’ approach to initial selection of candidates incorporated elements of behavioural interviewing. This would help sift out unsuitable candidates before traditional interviewing and assessments were conducted.
- The value of behavioural interviewing is in narrative responses to questions posed. It does not lend itself to multiple choice type responses.
Clients using on-line behavioural questioning can expect to demonstrably increase the safeguarding checks within the recruitment and selection processes. This will increase the calibre of the candidates that are invited to attend formal interview. Then the assessment centres can reduce the time and associated costs of behavioural interviewing over manual methods.
- On-line safeguarding questioning as part of the application process will visibly promote the organisation’s embedding of Safer Recruitment techniques to all.
- Organisations will achieve considerable time savings of managers previously used intensively in post-interview screening.
- Comparison of candidate responses to questions can be more easily achieved when recorded via an on-line process rather than by manual note taking during interviews.
There’s more information here on on-line safeguarding recruitment approaches.
Metis HR is based in the North West of England but offers Consultancy Services to clients nationally