Recruitment Process

Recruitment Processes

Applications

You must submit your application online.

If we have a particularly large volume of applications, we may pre-screen them in line with mandatory role requirements. This may involve use of an automated keyword search tool.

Short-listing

Once a vacancy has closed, a panel will be convened to review applications and candidates will be shortlisted for interview. We will then invite shortlisted candidates to interview.

SKA Observatory welcome all candidates, especially those from member countries. Preference will be given to candidates from member countries where they meet the recruitable standards of the role.

Unsuccessful candidates will be advised.

Your Assessment

The assessment process will vary depending on the type and level of role.

There will always be at least one interview. The panel may identify the need to invite some candidates for a second interview to obtain additional information.

First interviews may be conducted face to face or remotely (by telecon or videocon). If done remotely, candidates will be given the chance to test videocon technology before the interview.

Any second interviews will usually be conducted on site at our global Headquarters in the UK.

All candidates for a role are asked a standard set of core questions which are designed to explore your fitness with the role requirements specified in the job description. You may be asked follow up questions based on the answers you give. You may also be asked some additional questions based on your application and/or experience.

If you need to prepare anything, such as a presentation, you will be advised of this before the interview.

You will also be offered the chance to ask questions so please come prepared with any questions which you wish to ask the panel.

Psychometric tests may be used as part of the assessment for leadership roles.

Offer of employment

An offer of employment will be made to the selected candidate, subject to the following background checks:

References

You will need to provide the names and contact details of three referees, one of whom must be your current or most recent employer. If you are currently working and do not wish for us to contact your employer until you have accepted our offer of employment, then this should be stated.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

We carry out a Basic Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check on all new staff to check for live criminal convictions. Having a criminal conviction is not necessarily a bar to employment with the SKAO, and convictions are dealt with on a case by case basis. However, if it is subsequently discovered that you have a live conviction that you haven’t told us about then this may result in your employment being terminated (if you have already started work) or your offer of employment being rescinded.

Further guidance on disclosure of criminal convictions is available at www.nacro.org.uk

Verification of academic qualifications and membership of professional bodies

We will carry out a background check to verify your relevant academic qualifications and membership of professional bodies.

Medical clearance

It is a condition of employment that new staff complete a medical check. You will be contacted by our Occupational Health advisors. You will not be contacted until after you have accepted an offer of employment, and the purpose of the check is to provide guidance as to any adjustments we may have to make to enable you to undertake your employment effectively.

COVID 19 temporary remote working impact

Since March 2020 and following the UK government guidelines, SKAO has been operating remotely to ensure staff wellbeing, safety and business continuity. As an international organisation with collaborators around the world, our robust IT infrastructure and ways of working are set up to enable us to conduct our work online.

We are continuing with our recruitment and adapting to travel restrictions and their impact. Please note that we cannot hold any face to face interviews at this time and we are using video conference for all interviews.

This also means that candidates will not have been able to visit our HQ offices in the UK before they make decisions. We have videos and guides to living in the UK for people to look at. We do our best to answer questions people may have or give people opportunities to talk to relevant people.

Once everyone is happy to proceed with the appointment, where it makes sense to do so, we are then making arrangements to remotely onboard new starters. 

To recreate the friendly, multicultural atmosphere of our international office we have weekly virtual coffee briefings, internal newsletter, slack channels, virtual pub quizzes and an SKAO family Facebook group for our new starters to join.