PCSOs: Application and Selection
What happens if I apply for one of these roles?
As you would expect we have designed a selection process that is simple and fair to all candidates. We are really looking for outstanding individuals who have the skills and motivation to do one of these key support roles within GMP.
Should you make an application you can expect to go through the following stages:
- Stage 1 - Minimum Eligibility Questions
- Stage 2 – Application Form and Competency Based Questions
- Stage 3 – Online Test
- Stage 4 – Telephone Interview*
- Stage 5 – Final Assessment Day
*Please note the telephone interview is only applicable for the Radio Operator Role.
Minimum Eligibility Questions
We want to make sure that any candidate who invests the time in making a full application meets the minimum requirement; therefore to make sure that we do this the first stage of our process is the eligibility questions. During a later stage of the recruitment process, prior to joining GMP successful applicants will undergo vetting checks - to see in detail what we will look for, please refer to our Eligibility & Vetting information.
We therefore ask some key questions about this upfront, we will also ask you some vacancy specific questions which will be about the role, for example: Can you commit to the shift patterns we operate? Can you commit to the training programme for this role? We want to reassure you that any question asked at this stage is essential for the role and therefore if you do not meet the minimum requirement unfortunately we will not be able to progress your application further.
Application Form and Competency Based Questions
If you meet the minimum requirement for our roles, you will then be asked to complete a full application form which includes some competency based questions. At this stage it’s essential that all the information you provide as part of your application is accurate. With regard to the competency based questions we are really looking to understand your motivation for the role and why you want to work for GMP in addition to understanding your past experience. We would therefore advise that you read the recruitment specification provided (which you will find attached to the vacancy) to make sure that you understand the role requirements and how your experience matches this.
Dependent upon the role you are applying for if you are successful at the application stage, you will be asked to complete an online test. In your invitation email you will be told which test you are being invited to complete, however an overview of the different tests is below:
Situational Judgement Test:
For some roles you will be asked to complete an Online Situational Judgement Test. You would be presented with a series of Situational Questions that require you to rate the effectiveness of a series of responses to realistic work-related scenarios.
Whilst the scenarios are not reflective of the role within GMP, they are looking to measure your responses against 5 key competencies – which are essential for the roles at GMP:
- Planning & Organising
- Service Orientation
- Effective Communication
- Achieving Results
Verbal Comprehension Test
If you are not asked to complete the Situational Judgement Test you will be asked to complete the Verbal Comprehension Test. This is a timed test and we strongly recommend that you conduct the practice questions so that you are familiar with the type of questions you will be asked. This test specifically looks to understand your ability to interpret verbal information which is essential for some of our roles.
If you make an application for one of our Radio Operator vacancies, as I’m sure you would expect the majority of the role is communicating over the radio, therefore we would be inviting you to a telephone interview, should you pass the online test stage. As with everything we have said we strongly advise that you prepare for this interview by thinking about how your own experience matches the job description.
Final Assessment Process
If you’re successful through the shortlisting and screening stages, you’ll be invited to attend a final assessment process. The final assessment processes can either be held on site at the job location, or off site at one of our training facilities such as Sedgley Park in Prestwich.
What will be assessed?
Our aim during the assessment process is to measure each candidate’s skills and abilities against set criteria that we have identified for each role that we’re recruiting.
The key competencies we’ll be looking at will be different for each role, so it’s important that you’ve read through and understood the information in the advert and job profiles. These competencies might include:
- Effective Communication (written and verbal)
- Demonstrating Respect & Compassion
- Problem Solving
- Service Delivery
What happens on the day?
During the final assessment you may be asked to complete a variety of tasks and/or exercises that are relevant to the role. These will be different for each role, but may include skills tests, written exercises and if the role requires it, a presentation or group exercise of some sort. The various tests and exercises we use will take different formats and may require you to either use a PC or to provide written documentation.
The final assessment process is also likely to include a competency based interview, where two interviewers will ask you questions relating to the essential and desirable criteria which again, will have been outlined in the advert and job description. During the interview, they’ll be looking for you to give specific examples of how you have behaved previously in various relevant situations. The interview will last approximately 45 minutes.
For some roles, such as Radio Operator the competency based interview described above will be carried out over the telephone by one assessor.
This will usually happen prior to the final assessment.
The assessment process is designed to provide us with a better understanding of your abilities and potential to be successful in the role. It is designed to be challenging but should provide you with a realistic view of the kind of tasks you might be expected to undertake should you be successful.
Your invitation to the assessment event will give you all the information you need in terms of location and timings.
What can I do to prepare?
Here are a few points on what you can do to prepare for the assessment.
- Read through the advertisement, job description and any information provided about the role on the website. This should give you a good understanding of the skills you will be asked to demonstrate during the process.
- You may also want to think about some examples of how you have behaved in different situations – especially in relation to the key skill areas.
- On the day, remember to be yourself! And remember that the assessors can only give credit for what you say and do.
- Make sure you read any instructions carefully and if you’re not sure of anything, ask the facilitator before the exercise begins.
What happens after the assessment centre?
We are likely to be running assessment centres over a number of days or weeks, so we may not be able to get back to you immediately with the result. We will however, endeavour to contact you within 5 working days of the assessment to let you know whether you have been successful or not and to make you a provisional offer of employment, which will be subject to further checks being carried out.
If you have been successful at the assessment, we will commence the vetting process and conduct reference checks. Depending on the role, we will check either the last two or four years of employment and full time education history and request information on the last two years of any absences you have had relating to sickness.
Successful candidates will be asked to complete a medical form and depending on the role may be invited to attend a medical or provide a DNA sample. For PCSO for example, we need to check that you are fit to carry out the duties.
Once all stages of the recruitment process have been completed, a review of your file will be undertaken and if appointable you will be formally offered the position.
Offer and Contract Issued
You will be contacted by a Recruitment Consultant who will formally offer you the post. You will be verbally advised of the Terms and Conditions of employment, including starting salary and place of work. You will also be advised of the proposed start date and training course details.
A formal written contract of employment will be sent to you as confirmation of the offer.