Step 3: Advertising and Applicant Management Stage

Promoting the Vacancy

In general all posts should be advertised externally bearing in mind the commitments made in line with the Methodist Church Inclusive Strategy.

For all vacancies except those restricted to internal only advertising, overall all post should be advertised widely to ensure the strongest possible field of candidates, that there is fair and open competition and to enable the District/Circuit/Church to benefit from a diverse workforce. As a minimum this means placing the vacancy on the Church/Circuit/District's job vacancy website.

Advertising may be placed in variety of media, for example, the Job Centre Plus network, the local, regional or national press, and specialist journals or newspapers or local notice boards, social media network such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. The choice of medium should be appropriate for the type of post. The cost of advertising should be considered and provision made.

Networking, social media and informal contacts

Your vacancy can also be promoted through any professional, or work-based networks that you or colleagues are members of - whether through social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook; subject or profession related blogs, web sites, newsletters and e-mail alerts; or the more traditional face-to-face contact at meetings, conferences and seminars etc. Informal and word of mouth promotion to targeted groups is an effective and no-cost way of widening your pool of suitable candidates.

Best practice is that vacancies should be open for at least 2-3 weeks to give potential applicants time to apply and to help ensure a good field of candidates; one week is the absolute minimum period to advertise.

A poorly or vaguely worded advertisement may result in a large number of applications, many of which will be unsuitable, thus wasting valuable time and resources. It is always better to seek to attract a small number of suitable candidates rather than a large, miscellaneous array of people.

Advertising Internally

Where there are potential candidates for a vacant post within the current staff Team of the Church, Circuit or District advertising the role internally could provide valuable career opportunities and enable managers to target opportunities to existing staff. However, employing bodies need to be confident that there is sufficient talent amongst existing staff to draw up a shortlist of candidates with the necessary qualifications, knowledge, skills, experience and qualities.  

Providing an opportunity to existing staff members to apply for a new vacancy first may also assist in defending potential discrimination claims.  This is because there is a risk that some employees may presume that a lack of internal advertisement was intended to discourage them from applying, and that this may have been done for reasons related to a protected characteristic such, race or disability, age, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation i.e. for reasons other than suitability for the role.

Exceptions to the requirement to advertise

It is only generally in the following circumstances that a vacancy would not need to be advertised:

  • Where there are staff in the Church/Circuit/District are formally at risk of redundancy and seeking redeployment;
  • If the vacancy has come about as part of a restructuring exercise, in which case the selection process would normally be restricted to people within the team affected.

Responding to Enquiries
When application enquiries are received, each one should be answered by sending out an acknowledgement letter and an application form via email as appropriate.

We do not recommend that you consider applications received after the closing date.

Sample letter responding to a request for an application pack is available from the downloadable templates section.