Guidance Notes for Job Applicants

Welcome to the Council's guidance notes for job applicants. This page contains advice and guidance to help you apply for a job with the Council.


Introduction

The Council has a duty to ensure the suitability of everyone it employs in whatever capacity and that its recruitment procedures are robust and comply with all statutes and regulations.

Wrexham’s Community Strategy (2009/2020) has a vision which is to ‘improve the quality of life for all in Wrexham County Borough’. To deliver this vision, the aim is to make the Borough a place that:

  • Is economically prosperous
  • Is safe
  • Is a healthy, caring place
  • Values children and young people
  • Values learning
  • Cares for the Environment

To help the Council achieve these priorities and meet its statutory responsibilities, it is essential that all applicants especially those who will be working with children, young people or vulnerable adults are subject to vigorous recruitment procedures and pre-employment checks.

Recruitment to posts working with children, young people and vulnerable adults is strictly controlled by statutes and regulations and those applying to work in this capacity will be subject to a criminal record check via the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB). This check provides a disclosure of any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings and also makes checks against the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) Children’s Barred List and the Vulnerable Adults’ Barred List.

As part of the application process, you will be asked for your date of birth, dates of education, all previous employment information and if you have had any breaks in employment. This will ensure that the Council can establish a complete educational/employment history for you. You will be asked to account for any breaks in employment that you may have had. Your age will not be used as part of the selection process. However, there are certain jobs within the Council where there are age restrictions, for example you have to be aged 21 or over to work in a Children’s Home (Children’s Homes (Wales) Regulations 2002). Any age requirement will be detailed in the job pack.

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, the Council has a responsibility to ensure that only those legally entitled to live and work in the United Kingdom are offered employment. All applicants will be asked questions as to whether they need permission to work in the UK and if there are any restrictions on their employment. If you are successful and offered employment with us, you will be expected to provide documentary evidence of your right to work before you commence with the Council.

The Council also complies with Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) Baseline Personnel Security Standard. This is a good practice guide to the pre-employment screening of government staff and contractors that requires the Council to be more challenging in respect of the checks it carries out on prospective employees. The main aim of the standard is to help address the problems of identity fraud, illegal working and deception. To comply with this check you will be expected, if offered employment with us, to verify your identity, employment history, nationality and immigration status and criminal record.

Equalities

Wrexham County Borough Council is committed to ensuring that all recruitment in the Council is free from any form of discrimination for all protected characteristics which fall within the Equality Act 2010.  

The Council operates the “Two Ticks” scheme and will therefore guarantee all disabled candidates who meet the minimum essential criteria an interview.

An equalities monitoring form is sent out with all job information packs.

The Council operates the “Positive about Disabled People” Scheme and if you are a disabled person and meet the essential job requirements you will be invited to the selection event and guaranteed an interview for that post.  If you wish to take advantage of this scheme please complete and return the relevant slip included on the Equality Monitoring Questionnaire. 

Reasonable adjustments will be made for candidates who have a disability or for whom English is not their first language. Recruiting managers will ascertain if special arrangements or adjustments are appropriate at any stage of the recruitment process.  All applicants will be informed in advance of any tests/assessments to ensure time for adjustments to be requested. 

About Your Application Form

Your application form is very important.

It’s the only information we use to decide if you will be shortlisted for interview. Any knowledge we may have of you, or any previous applications will not be taken into account.

In all cases, to ensure consistency you are required to complete the standard application form in full.

Do not simply list the duties of your current or most recent job, but pick out the skills, knowledge and experience required by the job for which you are applying and provide evidence that you possess these. Give thought to previous work experience or other responsibilities which may assist you to uncover skills which you may have taken for granted. Do not forget the skills and experience which you may have gained outside work. If you have been out of paid employment for a long time, or have never been employed, your job history may be less important than some of the responsibilities and experience which you have had more recently. For example, you may have considerable domestic responsibilities or may organise social or community activities in your spare time.

Most sections in the application form are self-explanatory and are not covered in these notes. However, we’ve included guidance and explanations for certain areas in Section 3.

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Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

Each vacancy has a written Job Description and a Person Specification. The Job Description explains the purpose of the job and lists all the main responsibilities, tasks and duties.

The Person Specification sets out the qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience the post-holder needs to do the job. These are listed as ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’ criteria.

Shortlisting

The shortlisting process will be based on evidence provided in application forms which shows that shortlisted candidates meet the essential or desirable criteria in the person specification.

It is usual for the immediate manager to decide which applicants are to be invited for interview.

The Recruitment and Selection Equality Monitoring Questionnaire

Valuing diversity means harnessing the widest range of skills and talents possible for the benefit of our customers and the Council. A diverse workforce is multi-skilled, multi-talented and more able to meet the needs of diverse local communities.

Analysing employment data helps us to understand if our equality policies are working and if our recruitment and selection or other employment practices are fair and do not disadvantage any specific groups.

To help us monitor and improve the effectiveness of our recruitment and selection practices and comply with our legal obligations, you are requested to complete an Equality Monitoring Questionnaire. This information is dealt with separately and confidentially and does not form part of the shortlisting or interview process.

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Confidentiality and Security of Personal Information

Your application form will be treated confidentially at all times. Its contents will only be disclosed to the persons involved in the recruitment and selection process.

If you are appointed, this form will be used as part of your personal employee file and to gather workforce information. The information will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988.

If your application is unsuccessful, the application form will be kept for 6 months and then destroyed. We may keep information for statistical and monitoring purposes.

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Completing the Application Form

Personal Details

You are asked in this Section to detail any other names by which you have been known. This information will be used to ensure that all relevant identity checks are undertaken.

In relation to the question regarding a driving licence, you only need to complete the questions relating to the type of licence and if you have any endorsements/penalty points if driving is a requirement of the post you are applying for.

Previous Employment

List all your previous employers in date order, starting with the most recent. Include your job title, grade and salary, dates of employment and reason for leaving. If necessary, use a separate A4 Sheet to ensure that details of all previous employment are included. In accordance with the Council’s Safe Recruitment Policy, references may be sought from any or all of your previous employers.

Breaks in Employment

Again starting with the most recent, give details and dates of any breaks from work for whatever reason (e.g. voluntary work, domestic reasons, travel).

Educational, Professional and Vocational Qualifications (most recent first)

You must show you have the essential qualifications required for the job. Please detail your education history from age 11 by providing us with the name of the education establishment, dates, qualifications obtained including the grade/level and when you achieved them. Make sure you include any professional qualifications (where you have to be a member of a professional body – see below).

If you achieved your qualifications overseas, you’ll need evidence to show that they are equivalent to the UK qualifications essential for the job. If you need help with this, call UK NARIC on 0871 330 7033.

If offered the position, you will be expected to produce evidence of any qualifications that are essential for the post.

Membership of Professional/Regulatory Bodies

If the job requires a professional qualification or for you to be a member of a Regulatory Body as essential or desirable criteria, please list the name of the body, date achieved, level of membership and your membership number.

If you have professional qualifications, which are not listed in the Person Specification, you can use this section to include them if you feel they are relevant.

If offered the position, you will be expected to produce evidence of any membership of Professional or Regulatory Bodies that are essential for the post.

Experience and Other Information

This is the most important part of your application. Try to match your skills, knowledge and experience with the requirements shown on the Person Specification.

Use the essential/desirable criteria as headings and outline your relevant experience. Give details of what you did, what was involved, what was achieved, and how it is relevant to the job applied for. Include examples of skills and experience that you have achieved outside of paid employment, such as voluntary work or any social or community activities. If you have an NVQ or similar vocational qualification/experience you may wish to describe the units that you achieved. If a student, you may also wish to describe any work experience placements you have undertaken.

Criminal Records and Employment

In this section you are required to inform us of any criminal offences, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that you have. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 you are required to disclose details of any previous convictions, until they become ‘spent’. Spent convictions are where the person convicted of a criminal offence has completed an appropriate period of rehabilitation. Once a conviction is ‘spent’, the convicted person does not have to reveal it or admit its existence in most circumstances. However, there are some exceptions relating to employment and these are listed in the Exceptions Order to the Act. The two main exceptions relate to those working with children and vulnerable adults. Individuals applying to work in these types of roles will be expected to reveal all convictions, both spent and unspent. In addition any offers of employment to these roles will be subject to a Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau.

The information you provide will be treated confidentially. Having a conviction will not necessarily bar you from employment. This will depend on the nature of the job and the details and circumstances of any convictions.

Failure to disclose any unspent or spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings may result in the offer of employment being withdrawn. If already appointed, you could be dismissed without notice.

References

References are an important aspect of the recruitment process and you must ensure that one of your referees includes your present or most recent employer or, if not previously employed your head teacher/tutor if you are a school/college leaver. If you have no work experience or the company you worked for no longer exists, a reference from a non-employer will be acceptable (e.g. your doctor, solicitor, or a former teacher). If you are currently employed by the Council please give the name and contact details of your line manager.

Your references will normally be taken up if you are invited for interview, unless you indicate that an approach should not be made at this stage. However, any ‘offer of employment’ made to you is subject to satisfactory references (see Offer of Employment).

We reserve the right to contact any or all of your previous employers.

We do not accept references from relatives, partners or Elected Members of the Council.

Declaration

You will need to sign your application form as an official declaration that the information you have supplied is correct. If you have applied on-line, and are shortlisted, you will be asked to sign your application form at the interview.

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What Happens Next?

Once you have submitted your application and the closing date has passed, the following process takes place:

Shortlist – Normally, within 2 weeks of the closing date a shortlisting meeting will identify those applicants who appear to meet the essential/desirable requirements set out in the Person Specification and they will be invited to attend a formal interview. Your suitability will be assessed against that of other candidates.

Unfortunately, due to the number of application forms we receive, we are unable to acknowledge individual applications.  Therefore, if you do not hear from the Council within 4 weeks of the closing date you may assume that you have not been shortlisted.

Interview – These will normally take place within 4 weeks of the closing date.

During the interview, as well as asking you questions relevant to the job and your experience, we may ask, where relevant:

For you to deliver a presentation – using a relevant topic for discussion

To undertake some Psychometric tests or other practical tests (e.g. a word processing test to measure speed and accuracy).

Offer of Employment

Following the interview, if you are successful, the Appointing Officer will make a verbal offer of employment. However, this offer will be subject to receipt of satisfactory checks in relation to references, medical clearance, CRB Disclosure (if applicable), satisfactory evidence of qualifications, membership of Professional/Regulatory Bodies, identity checks, eligibility to work in the UK and HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard Checks.

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Please also see frequently asked questions about job applications with Wrexham County Borough Council

If you have any further questions about this job or the process to be followed, please speak with the ‘contact name’ or the Human Resources team (telephone number on the job advert).

Please also see:

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