Human Resources

Considering other options


Options for fulfilling your resources need and guidance on employing agency workers, consultants or self-employed individuals.

What do I need to consider?

There are a few alternatives to advertising your vacancy as an open-ended, fixed-term, casual or variable-hours role. Information and guidance is given below.

What do I need to do?

Using existing staff (extra hours, extra responsibilities)

Where there is a particular organisational need within the same department, e.g. to resource a specific project, provide cover for a long-term absence or fill a role that is offered on a rotational basis. In such a case, the requirement may be met by re-assigning, for a defined period of time, a member of staff with the requisite skills, knowledge and experience or expertise in specific aspects of the University’s activities.

Acting up

'Acting up' is generally where unplanned cover for a position at a higher level is required for a short period of time, e.g. due to absence of the substantive position holder, usually within the same department. Acting up opportunities can normally be offered for a maximum of 12 months. These opportunities do not have to be advertised and are intended to cover short term situations.

An individual cannot normally be offered an ‘acting up’ position which is more than one grade higher than their current position. If there is more than one individual within the department who could cover the 'acting up', the opportunity should be offered to the group and a selection process applied. An example of an email asking for expressions of interest from within the department is shown at Appendix 2 of the Secondment Policy .
Acting up is subject to the normal approvals process. Prior to proceeding managers should seek advice and guidance from their management accountant and relevant HR Business Partner/Adviser.

Where an ‘acting up’ role becomes available on a permanent basis, e.g. if the substantive person does not return to the role, an open recruitment process, subject to the normal approvals will be required.
Please contact your HR Business Partner/Adviser for details on this process. The individual will be paid at the appropriate rate for the role for the period of 'acting up'. At the end of the period, the individual will revert to their substantive role with the associated pay and conditions.

Seconding staff

A secondment is a temporary placement of an employee to another role for a specific purpose and period of time to the mutual benefit of all parties. The secondment is usually no more than two years. The Secondment Policy provides more information and guidance.

School work experience placements*

Since 2011 the University has been working informally with Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership (EBP) as the coordination point for work experience placements.  We have now moved to a systematic process so that all School Work Experience placements* are coordinated between EBP and the University's HR department. If an employee asks that a relative/friend undertake a school work experience placement, please refer them to EBP. EBP is part of a national, non-profit making network and the aim of the work experience scheme is to help young people to develop the skills they will need for employment through practical experience in the workplace. EBP use Work Experience Online (WEX Online) which is a secure web-based system.  This system is now in use by local schools and replaces the Trident work experience programme.  For more information about EBP and work experience placements, visit the Education Business Partnership site.

Employing consultants/self-employed individuals/agency staff

The Procurement team within the Finance department are able to advise on the processes to follow if you wish to employ self-employed individuals or staff from a Recruitment Agency. In the first instance, you should contact our Recruitment team within the HR Service Centre who will be able to help.   

  *Internal only