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Recruitment and selection

Appropriate recruitment to your opportunity is vital. If you don't spend time thinking about the skills and experiences participants will need, you could end up asking a group of people who know little about the subject to make decisions that will affect your work for years to come. This can lead to people feeling inadequate and out of their depth. For some people, it can harm their mental health.

We want to make people's experience taking part in our work as meaningful and enjoyable as possible. Ensuring they have the right skills and experience is part of how we do this.

Spend time thinking about what specific skills or experiences you need people to have before recruiting. You can then include these in your opportunity description, a role description and an application form. If your opportunity is short term or a 'one off', choose 4 – 5 skills or experiences people must have had to participate. 

Examples of this include:

  • being able to speak and share ideas in a group;
  • experience of using a specific service or time of life (student, becoming a mother);
  • ability to travel to the event; and
  • experience of attending meetings/discussion groups.

These then form your selection criteria, ask people to tell you a little about each point in an application form, via e-mail or over the phone. The information they give you and primary demographic data will help you select a diverse group of people with the relevant skills and experience.

Provide people with a role description/hyperlink to the role description template/ and application form for longer-term opportunities. Here, you can list essential and desirable skills and experiences in more depth and give people space to explain how they meet each criterion.

When recruiting for longer-term opportunities, it is helpful to follow a shortlisting and interviewing process to ensure you have considered each applicant fairly against the criteria.


Application form

This tool helps those interested to tell you about themselves. It will help you make informed decisions about who should take part.

With instructions | Without instructions

Top Tips

  • Be clear in your promotion what skills and experiences people need to take part in, ensure they know how to explain these to you and that you will use this information to make your selection.
  • Try to select as diverse a group of people as possible you want to have a wide range of people and experiences influencing your work. Bear in mind that by making clear you are seeking a diverse range of people and will provide reasonable adjustments, you are more likely to attract a more diverse set of applicants.
  • Remember, not everyone will have internet access or will be able to use a computer; ensure there are various ways to apply, including postal and over the telephone.

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