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Heywood Young Advisor's Selection Process was recognised by other groups as leading by example, so we asked them to tell us how they did it...
Job Description and Application Packs
A job description provided by the Young Advisors scheme was used to clearly define what the role of the Young Advisor was about and what could be expected from the experience. It benefited both us and our prospective candidates to be clear about what would be expected of them and what they could expect in return.
An application pack was designed and assembled to formalise and standardise the application process. This pack included:
1) Letter of introduction
2) Job description
3) Promotional flyer
4) Application Form
5) Selection Information and Itinerary of Selection Evening
Encouraging Partner Agency's Participation
Building on examples of Good Practice, the job description, an introductory letter and Application Pack were circulated to all Partner Agencies asking for their assistance in recommending suitable candidates for the Young Advisor role. Harnessing their professional knowledge of young people within the local community and their co-operation was time-saving as the candidates put forward were of a very high calibre; as a result the selection and shortlisting process could be streamlined and very efficient.
Distribution of Application Packs
Following the receipt of agency recommendations, Application Packs were distributed to all potential candidates. Documentation was presented in a clear, user friendly format with clear instruction of how to apply. The inclusion of SAE's within these packs encouraged a good rate of their return. The responses were managed by entering all candidate details into a database spreadsheet and manipulating the information as required within this software application.
The basis for short-listing was the objective set standards of the job description. The selection panel consisted of two people, one internal and one external representative. Each applicant was impartially and consistently assessed against the selection criteria. Applicants were made aware of the interview date and training dates in advance of their application. A short list was arrived at and decisions recorded; successful candidates were formally invited to attend the Selection Evening whilst unsuccessful candidates were written to thanking them for their interest.
The Selection Evening was a very structured event which consisted of a series of individual, small group and large team challenges. Uniquely we also employed the use of a panel of young people to assess the performance of each of the candidates as well as the panel of 3 adult professionals. each candidate was scored against four criteria:
4) Team Work
These panels were able to select the successful candidates. Using a peer panel held true to the very principles of the Young Advisors whereby young people are given a voice in matters which affect them. The venue for this selection evening was carefully selected to set the right tone and offered a favourable environment for the process.