Organizations that work with children and vulnerable individuals should have security knowledge for safer recruitment. It means following a set of practices to ensure that the people they employ, including volunteers for the organization, are suitable to work with kids, young, and vulnerable individuals.
Security for safer recruitment is a fundamental aspect of the organization’s statutory obligation to ensure that the kids are safe from harm.
To implement security in recruitment, all recruitment staff must understand the safeguarding requirements when appointing new staff. Below, check out some of the security knowledge needed for safer recruitment.
1. Compliance with Legislation
Recruitment staff should be aware of how to comply with legislation. According to the Safer Recruitment Legislation, recruiting and selecting employees should be professional, responsive, and timely. In addition, education providers must ensure compliance with relevant legislation, recommendations, and guidance. It includes the Department for Education’s statutory guidance.
The government also requires organizations working with children and vulnerable individuals to meet their commitment to safeguarding and promoting their welfare by conducting necessary pre-employment checks.
Government legislation always reminds organizations to take up references and verify employment history. The recruitment staff should carefully consider their final decision – is the person suitable for the post? After recruitment, organizations must adhere to safe practices, implementing the proper procedures should any concerns arise.
Organizations and schools are legally obligated to meet their commitment to safeguard and promote the welfare of kids and young individuals by carrying out proper pre-employment checks.
The recruitment team should be responsible for measuring every candidate’s experience and merit against the job specification and description while collating and analyzing information about them, including their DBS certificate.
2. Recruitment and the Selection Process
Organizations must establish detailed internal procedures for recruitment to jobs and positions that involve working with kids and young individuals. The process includes creating job descriptions and specifications reflecting professional practice requirements. In addition, they must ensure that previous employer references are based on an accurate assessment of the individual’s qualities, including any disciplinary action, convictions, and other causes for concern.
The organization should also have a statement reflecting their duty to safeguard and promote the kids’ welfare. It should be indicated in any resources associated with the recruitment and selection process.
The same recruitment team must interview and shortlist candidates. No one from the recruitment must stand to gain from the selection process or have personal relationships with the applicants. At least one recruitment staff must have undertaken training on safe recruitment and selection and have knowledge and experience on safeguarding and child protection.
Each organization should follow a standard procedure for shortlisting and interviewing applicants to ensure it is fair and that they assess applicants equally according to the criteria indicated in the job description. If the job requires the applicant to have unsupervised and direct contact with kids, the recruitment should consider the applicant’s attitude towards children and vulnerable individuals.
3. Safeguarding Training
One of the crucial aspects of safer recruitment is safeguarding training. Anyone working directly with children or young people will have safeguarding responsibilities. Although it will be part of the training after the initial hiring process, applicants must complete refresher courses on safeguarding to prepare them for any situation.
During safeguarding training, participants will learn how to identify children and individuals who are at risk. Neglect and abuse can take on many forms. Therefore, staff members must set aside preconceived judgments or prejudices when working with children.
The training will also teach participants how to recognize common signs of abuse. Neglect and abuse can affect people differently. An abused child’s behavior can change, making them withdrawn and sombre. But it can also make some children disruptive and loud at school. Those who have undergone proper safeguarding training will be fully aware of the signs to look for, allowing them to intervene and ensure the child receives immediate support.
More importantly, the safeguarding training will discuss how to report abuse. Once they identify that a child needs support, they should know what to do next. Safeguarding training ensures the staff knows how to pass the details of abuse and neglect to the proper authorities.
4. Advertising the Job
Advertising the job is a crucial aspect of safer recruitment. When putting up a job advertisement, it must include a statement detailing the organization’s commitment to safeguarding. It should also indicate the values and behaviors they expect from the applicant. Demonstrating this information can help deter unsuitable applicants from applying for the position. In addition, they should specify that the reference should abide by the organization’s rigorous selection process.
Organizations must consider including relevant information about the role when posting job ads. It should indicate the abilities, skills, experiences, behaviors, and attitudes they expect from the applicants. The job advert should also include the safeguarding requirements and to what extent the role requires contact with children and the activities they need to engage in with the kids.
Although unnecessary, the organization should also demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding the children and promoting their welfare. The advert should make clear that they will undertake safeguarding checks before hiring as part of their commitment to protect the kids.
5. Shortlisting Applications
Shortlisted candidates must accomplish a self-declaration about their criminal records and other information that can make them unsuitable to work with kids and vulnerable individuals. The self-declaration form should abide by the guidance from the Ministry of Justice regarding criminal records disclosure.
Organizations should keep in mind that they can only request for the accomplishment of the self-declaration from shortlisted individuals. Furthermore, those shortlisted should sign a declaration to confirm that all information provided is valid. If possible, the shortlisted candidate must physically sign the hard copy of the self-declaration form.
The purpose of self-declaration is for candidates to have the opportunity to share essential information about their employment history and allow for discussion about the details before being considered for the position.