Concordat: recruitment and selection
There is evidence that institutions are increasingly operating open and transparent recruitment processes for research staff, supported by a variety of legislation and national policies on employment.
- substantial increases in provision of information for job applicants, such as job descriptions and skills and attribute requirements
- sustained modest increases in open advertising of vacancies reported by research staff as well as implementation of recommended interview procedures in relation to their current posts
- a slight reduction in the proportion of research staff employed on fixed term employment contracts from 82% in 2009 to 77% in 2011 but little decrease thereafter. This may be too blunt a measure of progress, as open contracts for research staff do not necessarily imply increased security of employment
Implementing institutional policies
A 2010 project, Researchers, fixed-term contracts and universities: understanding law in context, revealed that human resource specialists are more likely to be aware of the implications of changes in legislation regarding fixed-term employment than are principal investigators and research leaders
- In the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS 2011) a large majority (72%) of principal investigators responding to the survey reported confidence in their knowledge of the conditions of employment for research staff, whilst 23% would like to be more confident
Data suggest that institutional policies may not be applied consistently across institutions but where there is a commitment from senior managers and where human resources and departmental management work together there is a strong chance of developing systems that better respond to the needs of researchers as well as to those of the institution.