University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.


The shortlisting process identifies which applicants best meet the requirements of the post as defined in the and who will be invited to the next stage of the process. Please use the candidate .

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) strongly recommend that organisations adopt a procedure for recording reasons why applicants have been rejected at each stage of the selection process. If an applicant lodges a claim of discrimination at an Employment Tribunal the shortlisting feedback will be an important part of the documentation in defending such a claim.

  • "Where a member of staff has a personal interest in an applicant (for example a blood relationship, partnership, marriage or business relationship) they should not participate in the recruitment or selection process, unless specific permission has been granted by a line manager (following discussions with the relevant HR partner/Advisor). This will avoid any views that the process is, or could be construed to be, in any way biased."
  • All application documents must be compared with the and the
  • The shortlist should not be determined by one individual. The ideal is that all the interview panel members should be involved.
  • Applicants who fail to meet all the essential criteria should not be considered.
    Desirable criteria are used only when a large number of applicants appear to meet the essential criteria.
  • Only consider the facts; no assumptions should be made (avoid stereotyping).
  • Use only the original agreed selection criteria; new criteria must not be introduced.
  • Shortlisting criteria must reflect the University's stated Policy on equal opportunities and diversity.
  • The way in which an application form has been completed, e.g. grammar etc. should not influence the shortlist decision unless such factors can be justified as job related.
  • If applicants are invited to contact a member of staff to discuss a post informally, both parties should understand that their discussion is only an exchange of information. Any information gained about the applicant should not be used as part of the selection process, unless all the applicants have had a similar opportunity to give information.

Departmental action:

Reasons for selection and rejection must be documented in a format that can be used to confirm that the same criteria applied to all candidates. Records of shortlisting should be recorded on the Shortlisting form on Jobtrain.

It is important to short-list quickly. Those involved (ideally the whole panel) should consider the applicants against the job description, selection criteria, information supplied on the application form and supporting documentation. At least ten working days should be allowed before the date of the selection and the programme, in order to contact referees and to give candidates time to prepare. It is not good practice to shorten the process.

When a shortlist has been drawn up by the Head of School/Department s/he should contact the Chair of the Interviewing Committee to consult about the final shortlist before the candidates are invited to interview. This is so s/he may be satisfied that all candidates have been properly considered and that none has been excluded on what might be construed as discriminatory grounds.

The Head of School/Department should pass to the Chair of the Interviewing Committee:

  • The original application forms; and
  • A completed Shortlisting Criteria Form with an entry for each applicant so it can be seen how the shortlist was drawn up.

The Head of School/Department should inform any unsuccessful internal candidates, if requested, advising them of the reasons for their non-selection.

If there are no suitable applicants, the vacancy and advertisement should be reviewed and may be re-advertised.

Contact us

General enquiries:

HR Operations:

Campus Jobs: