How Livedexperienceinfluenceparticipationtoolkit Jigsaw S Rgb

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 have a negative effect on their mental health. We want to make peoples experience of 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 had before you start 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 take part. Examples 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
  • 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 along with basic demographic information will help you select a diverse group of people with the relevant skills and experience.

For opportunities that are longer term provide people with a role description/hyperlink to role description template/ and application form,  here you can list essential and desirable skills and experiences in more depth and give people space to explain how they meet each criteria.

When recruiting to longer term opportunities it is helpful to follow a process of short listing and interviewing 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. You can download it here.


  • Be clear in your promotion what skills and experiences people need to take part, 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.
  • Remember not everyone will have internet access or will be able to use a computer; ensure there are a variety of ways to apply including postal and over the telephone.

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