Children and young people in the recruitment process

Children in playgroup

NHS service users, including children and young people (C&YP) should be at the heart of decisions made about services they access, to make sure they adequately reflect their needs. This extends to being involved in the recruitment of staff who will either have direct involvement with them or will be making decisions about future services.

Organisations have been involving young people in the recruitment process for a number of years and have seen benefits to be gained if this involvement is carried out in a meaningful, positive, and supportive way. Improved service delivery is a key benefit, because candidates are selected whose personal skills and qualities suit the needs of C&YP. It also provides a clear message to C&YP that their involvement and views are at the heart of decisions made about the services they receive.

NHS Employers has collaborated with a range of organisations including focus groups with young people, staff and managers to develop guidance for employers who wish to involve C&YP in processes and decisions to recruit staff.

This guidance document includes information and advice on:

  • what recruitment activities C&YP can be involved in
  • preparing the organisation
  • preparing young people
  • post-interview activity. 

Benefits to people involved

Staff already working in the organisation will gain insight into C&YP’s views by working creatively with them, communicating with and listening to them, during their involvement.

For candidates who haven’t worked with C&YP it provides a valuable realistic role preview as they will be interacting, communicating, and building rapport with C&YP who they will potentially be working with or providing services for.

Directly influence of appointing the strongest candidates into the services can help the C&YP develop valuable skills and experience that will help them in the future. It can help increase their confidence and sense of responsibility, provide tangible recognition of their involvement and contribution.

Resources and guidance

Additional information, resources and guidance from a range of organisations is available to help NHS organisations plan and prepare to including children and young people in the recruitment process:

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