Corporate Environment

ACORN strives for what is considered a “healthy” organizational culture in order to increase productivity, growth, efficiency and reduce employee turnover and other counterproductive behavior. ACORN work environment characteristics include:

  • Acceptance and appreciation for diversity
  • Regard for and fair treatment of each employee as well as respect for each employee’s contribution to the company
  • Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organization and the work performed
  • Equal opportunity for each employee to realize their full potential within the company
  • Strong communication with all employees regarding policies and company issues
  • Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose
  • Ability to compete in industry innovation and customer service, as well as price
  • Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture)
  • Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge


Additionally, ACORN adopts a performance oriented culture that has been shown to possess statistically better financial growth. ACORN culture possess high employee involvement, strong internal communications and an acceptance and encouragement of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve innovation. Additionally, ACORN organizational culture emphasize factors related to the demands placed on us by industry technology and growth to be better performers in our industry.



The recruitment and selection process is of paramount importance in order to recruit staff with the necessary skills and attributes to enable ACORN to fulfil its corporate aims and objectives.  The Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedures aim to provide clear guidance to managers in relation to both the selection and appointment of staff.  This policy promotes and supports good practice for those with responsibility for recruitment.

This policy and procedures aim to achieve the following objectives:

Ÿ    Recruit staff with the appropriate skills, both technical and personal, in order to meet ACORN current and future needs.

Ÿ    To ensure that staff appointed to posts involving teaching responsibilities are qualified to carry out such duties or are working towards an appropriate qualification.

Ÿ    Work to a fair and effective recruitment procedure, which is consistent with employment legislation and ACORN Equality and Diversity policies and practices.

Ÿ    Develop and enhance the public image of ACORN, both as an employer and as a quality provider of Information Technology Services.

Internal candidates or others personally known to the interview panel must be treated in exactly the same way as all other candidates.

This policy and associated procedures applies to all members of staff other than senior postholders as defined in the Articles of Association.

Additional guidance on the procedures to be followed in the recruitment of atypical and casual staff is provided separately.




The Human Resources

Department (HRD): The Human Resources Department may act in an advisory capacity to any party and/or as an independent facilitator.  Given their independent role, they are not in a position to make decisions, but may offer recommendations for resolution.

Director For the purposes of this policy, “Director” means a member of ACORN Corporate Management Team.

Timescales For the purposes of this policy, one week is deemed to be seven days, inclusive of weekends, but exclusive of statutory holidays and concessionary days.

‘At risk’ Where posts have been identified for redundancy the postholder(s) will be deemed to be ‘at risk’.



1.      Justification for Recruitment

Before recruitment begins, the following will be given consideration:

-        is it necessary to fill the vacancy?

-        does the role require changes in duties and responsibilities?

-        is it appropriate to evaluate the grade of the post?

-        could the work be accommodated in other ways?

-        what terms and conditions are being offered for the post?  Are they appropriate and consistent with the rest of ACORN?

-        are there any staff ‘at risk’?  Staff at risk within the organisation must be given first consideration for any vacancy prior to an external / internal advertisement being placed.

-        Managers should consider widening the diversity of the team which could include consideration of part time working / jobshare / positive action initiatives.


2.      Filling the Vacancy

In order for the recruitment process to commence, the Director of School / Department must gain authorisation, using appropriate documentation.  The following documentation must be completed for recruitment to all posts:


*        Recruitment Request – HR / Finance Authorisation Form

*        Job Description

*        Person Specification

*        Occupational Health Evaluation Form


3.      Advertising

It is normal practice that all vacancies are advertised, both internally within ACORN, as well as externally.  However, where it is considered that existing staff have the prerequisite skills consideration may be given to advertising posts internally only.  Staff who have been identified to be ‘at risk’ may be considered for vacant posts prior to internal / external advert if they meet all the essential criteria of the vacancy.


There may be exceptional occasions when ACORN deems it appropriate to use “search” techniques.  Before doing so, the Director of School / Department must secure prior permission from their Executive line manager that “search” is the appropriate method.


4.      Enquiries

All enquirers will receive a recruitment information pack detailing the requirements of the post. Wherever possible, this will be provided in electronic format and in alternative formats where requested.


5.      Selection


Candidates will only be shortlisted for interview if they meet all the essential criteria defined in the person specification.  If the number of candidates meeting the essential criteria is excessive, further selection must be undertaken utilising the desirable criteria to achieve a workable shortlist (suggest no more than 6).

Candidates equality and diversity monitoring forms are separated from the application forms prior to the shortlisting process. The shortlisting panel will not have access to this information.

Shortlisting must be undertaken by at least two individuals who are experienced in the recruitment process and who will go on to be involved in the interviewing process. At least one member of the panel should have attended the recruitment and selection “Best Fit” training.



The interview must be conducted by a panel, the suggested composition of which is detailed in the procedures.  All interviews for one post must be conducted by the same panel.


All candidates will be asked a standard format of questions, which will have been decided by the interview panel prior to the interviews.  All questions must be related to the job requirements and the candidate’s suitability to undertake the role.


Skills assessment

As part of the selection process, Departments may wish candidates to partake in a series of skills tests.  These tests must be directly related to the role in question and must be measurable against objective criteria.  Candidates must be informed of the details in the letter inviting them for interview. Details of any skills tests, including the criteria to be measured and the method of measuring must be provided in advance to HRD. Skills tests should be held in accessible rooms where required and requested by a disabled candidate.


6.      Appointment

The choice of candidate will be determined by the majority view from the formal interview panel.  The panel will take account of any other information that will have been generated as part of the selection process.  In the case of a tied vote, the Chairs decision will carry.


A formal offer of appointment is to be made / confirmed in writing and will be conditional upon receipt of references which satisfy ACORN requirements, medical assessment, satisfactory evidence of eligibility to work in Qatar and other appropriate checks, such as Criminal Records if applicable to the post.


7.      Confidentiality

All application details are treated with the utmost confidentiality.  It is the responsibility of the Director of Department (or her/his nominee) to ensure that suitable arrangements are made for confidentiality to be maintained.


8.      Documentation

At all stages of the recruitment process, it is the responsibility of the Chair of the panel to ensure that notes are kept detailing the reasons for selection or rejection of candidates.  These notes could be called upon as evidence of the fairness of the process, either through an internal assessment or to support an external investigation.  The notes should therefore be relevant to, and necessary for the process itself.  It should be noted that applicants would normally be entitled to have access to interview notes about them (please note that applications are retained for 6 months only) as part of the record of the interview.  All records must be handed to HRD by the Chair of the panel.


9.      Feedback

All applicants may receive formal written communication informing them of the status of their application upon request.  Feedback will be provided by the Chair of the panel at the request of any applicant at any stage of the recruitment process.


10.    Observation

In order to ensure ACORN’s compliance with both the Recruitment and Selection and Equality and Diversity Policies and Procedures, an observer may be present at any part of the process from short listing through to selection.  Observation may be undertaken by an appropriate recognised government representative or member of Human Resources Department.  In addition, an observer representing the interests of Equality and Diversity may also be present.  In order for an individual to become an authorised observer, they must undertake approved training.  However, the observers do not actively participate in any stage of the proceedings and do not have voting rights for selection.


11.    Monitoring

For equality and diversity purposes, recruitment statistics are monitored on a quarterly basis by gender, ethnicity, disability, age and by faculty, department and job type. This information is disseminated to Heads and Deans with any positive action identified as a consequence.