UCL Human Resources


Internal recruitment pilot scheme

Guidance on the pilot of advertising roles internally only.


1. Introduction 
2. Roles that may be advertised internally only
3. Scope of applicants 
4. Process for advertising roles internally
5. Shortlisting 
6. Invite to Interview 
7. References 
8. Progressing to external advert if no internal candidate is appointed

1. Introduction 

1.1 UCL is piloting an internal recruitment scheme for all staff roles to:  

  • support our staff by improving career progression opportunities and talent management without external competition. 
  • improve the diversity of staff in more senior roles, by promoting our diverse pool of staff in lower grades. 
  • to take advantage of the existing skills and knowledge within UCL.

1.2 The Internal recruitment pilot aims to:

  • understand the impact on diversity of appointments.
  • obtain data to identify whether internal recruitment should be applied to specific grades/staff groups.
  • gain insight into how internal recruitment should be implemented in the new recruitment system.
  • understand the impact on the efficiency of the recruitment process.

1.3 Feedback will be sought from recruiting managers and the process will be reviewed to identify future improvements.

2. Roles that may be advertised internally only

2.1 Open-ended roles across UCL may be advertised internally only for a minimum of two weeks.  Fixed-term roles will normally be advertised as a secondment, if advertised internally.  This is an optional scheme, so recruiting managers have discretion about whether to advertise roles internally only but are encouraged to do so where there is an identifiable pool of potential applicants. Roles will be advertised to redeployees first, in line with current practice.

3. Scope of applicants 

3.1 Staff who can apply for roles advertised internally only are:

  • All current UCL employees with at least 12 weeks’ continuous service at UCL when they apply.
  • Agency workers, including Unitemps staff, currently working under an assignment with UCL, with at least 12 weeks’ continuous service at UCL when they apply.

3.2 Casual workers, self-employed workers / contractors, sub-contractors or honorary staff may not apply for roles as an internal candidate.

3.3 Staff do not need permission from their current line manager to apply for permanent internal only advertised roles. The exception to this is where the member of staff is being managed under the Capability Policy, or the Sickness Absence Procedure or is being investigated under the Grievance Procedure or Disciplinary Procedure. In these cases, the member of staff must seek permission from their line manager, who will seek advice from their HR Business Partner.

4. Process for advertising roles internally 

4.1 Follow the normal steps set out in the Recruitment and Selection Policy, such as reviewing the JD, obtaining the grade and HERA number, requesting financial approval and advertising to redeployees.  

4.2 Talentlink provides the option to advertise internally only.

5. Shortlisting

5.1 When shortlisting, check each applicant’s employment history on the application form to check they are currently working for UCL as an employee or agency worker and have at least 12 weeks’ service.  If they are not eligible, the application must not be considered further.  If it is unclear from the application whether they are eligible, the recruiting manager may contact the applicant to request further information.

6. Invite to Interview 

6.1 If a candidate is shortlisted, the invitation should include that internal recruitment is open to UCL employees and agency (including Unitemps) staff who have worked for UCL continuously (including statutory or paid leave) over the 12 weeks prior to their application.  Applicants who do not meet this criterion are required to withdraw their application.

7. References

7.1 If an internal candidate is interviewed and appointable, they should be offered the role subject to references, right-to-work checks and any other eligibility criteria.  A reference should be sought from the current UCL line manager and, for agency staff, an additional reference from the agency that covers 12 weeks continuous work for UCL.

8. Progressing to external advert if no internal candidate is appointed 

8.1 It is anticipated that recruiting managers will have made an accurate judgement on whether the role can be filled internally and so it is hoped that progressing to an external advert will be rare, as this will involve an additional step and more work for all involved.  The administrator will need to update Talentlink, to open the job up to external candidates.