Recruitment Journey

South Thames Colleges Group is passionate about offering the very best education possible to all its students but this can only be achieved by recruiting staff who are equally passionate about the job they do.

It doesn't matter whether you work as an academic specialist or within one of the many support services within the Group, we are looking for committed individuals whose ultimate goal is to inspire and support our students in preparation for their future careers.

We therefore advertise across many recruitment platforms and channels to attract a workforce that is as diverse as the student population being supported.

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Whether you hear about a vacancy via an advert on a job board, our careers site or from a job alert, the first step in your application will be for you to provide some very brief personal information followed by a CV and a supporting statement. There are no lengthy online forms to complete - it's literally two pages, hit submit and you will then receive an acknowledgment that your application has been received.

We normally advertise our vacancies for a minimum of two weeks so shortly after the close date, you should hear about the result of your application following a comprehensive shortlisting exercise by the hiring manager. At this point, regardless of whether you have been successful in moving to the next stage, you will hear from our external recruitment partner, Blue Octopus, who manage much of the liaison between candidates and the College Group. If you've been successful in being invited to interview, you will be informed about what the next stage comprises which could be an interview, an assessment centre or a request to prepare a presentation - whatever the process, you will be communicated with throughout and will have a contact at Blue Octopus with whom you can liaise.

Some vacancies are filled via one interview whereas others may have two or three stages but you will be informed about this at the time. If you are ultimately successful, you will be informed of the outcome and the Group's HR team will be in touch with details of the offer and to guide you through the onboarding process so that you are ready to begin your new career at STCG.

Unsuccessful candidates who have attended interview will also be provided with some feedback as to the reasons they didn't receive an offer to hopefully help them in any future applications.

Online Application

The application process at STCG requires you to complete just 2 pages in which you will be asked to upload a CV, complete a short Supporting Statement and provide some equal opportunities and personal statement data (the latter will not be visible to hiring managers and is used purely for compliance purposes).

Hiring Managers will be assessing your suitability for interview by reviewing both your CV and your Supporting Statement so please ensure they provide an accurate reflection of your skills, experience and compatibility with both the job description and person specification. All advertised vacancies will have a downloadable job description attached and there will be clearly defined essential and desirable criteria within the person specification so please ensure you refer to these criteria when making your application.

Please note that if you are shortlisted for interview, we may ask you to fill out a short secondary questionnaire with some additional information that you will need to complete prior to attending your interview.

Shortlisting Stage

All hiring managers have access to the online applications for their specific vacancies and they are able to shortlist online. Alongside your CV, your Supporting Statement is a key component in assessing your suitability for interview. You will therefore need to demonstrate your compatibility with the skills and experience outlined in the job description as well as the key criteria highlighted in the person specification and this can be in the form of bullet points or paragraphs.

When shortlisting, hiring managers look at a split screen that highlights the key criteria on one side and your CV and supporting statement on the other so it is worth you ensuring your application captures any evidence of how you meet those key criteria as it will greatly improve your chances of being invited to interview.

Interview / Selection Process

South Thames Colleges Group is proud of its reputation for fairness and equality and it is committed to undertaking a selection process that is as objective as possible to avoid any unconscious bias in the process.

As such, at the heart of our recruitment process is a competency based interview that will comprise a number of open questions that will give you the opportunity to provide evidence of your experience relating to the key criteria of the role. Research shows that the best predictor of a candidate's likely success within a role is to evaluate their previous performance whether that is how they normally behave or their ability to undertake the required tasks. The recruitment process may therefore consist of an interview, some assessments, a presentation or other selection methods. Either way, the interviewers will be looking for evidence of your ability to undertake the role competently as well as how you act or conduct yourself whilst doing so.

Evidence will be noted down throughout the selection process and candidates will be scored based on the evidence provided. Wherever possible, the recruitment panel will comprise a number of managers to ensure as fair a process as possible.

Please note that following your invitation to interview, there is some further information which we require you to complete prior to attending. We require the details of two referees that we can contact should you be successful in your interview plus details of any gaps in employment throughout your career to comply with our safeguarding commitments. Please ensure you provide this additional information prior to interview as it may form part of the selection process as well as help to expedite the offer should you be successful in your application.

Next Steps

As indicated above, unsuccessful candidates who have been interviewed will receive constructive feedback to aid them in any future applications. If you are successful, you will then be contacted by our HR department with details of the offer and contract. On accepting the offer, you will be asked to provide some further information to ensure the onboarding process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

These pre-employment checks could relate to work references, a DBS check, evidence of previous remuneration levels as well as information regarding the pension scheme and health questionnaire.

Once you have started your employment here, you will be expected to undertake your mandatory training that can be completed online. There are plans to roll this out prior to you commencing employment to enable you to hit the ground running from day one and to act as a means of engaging with our new staff members in the pre-employment period.

Blue Octopus Recruitment

South Thames Colleges Group has a long and successful relationship with Blue Octopus who act as our recruitment partner by supporting us in many elements of the recruitment process.

They are not a recruitment agency but an extension of our HR department advising us regarding advertising copy and appropriate recruitment channels, placing our adverts on numerous job boards and media as well as acting as the conduit between STCG and the candidates throughout the recruitment process.

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