I often hear it said that all jobs have to be advertised externally before anyone can be appointed to an academic post in a UK university. However, this rule about having to advertise externally is certainly not true in general in industry where the only obligation one might have to avoid discrimination claims is to advertise the job internally.

Is there a special obligation on a UK university through some public sector regulations, maybe, to advertise all jobs externally? I'm asking about UK universities in particular.

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    I don't know about the UK, but in the US this is often the case. It can make for very frustrating interactions when people apply for a position that is de facto already earmarked for a particular candidate. – jakebeal Jul 28 '15 at 16:30
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    @jakebeal Is there a specific law that relates to universities in the US in this regard that doesn't apply to purely commercial enterprises? – Lembik Jul 28 '15 at 16:32
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    Even when not required by law, many institutions adopt this requirement as a matter of internal policy, which may require high-level approval to waive. – Nate Eldredge Jul 28 '15 at 19:39
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    In the United States, at least, there are also very specific federal requirements about public posting of jobs if the person being hired will need a work visa such as an H-1B visa. – Oswald Veblen Jul 28 '15 at 20:15
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    Most French universities have actually a non-internal recruitment policy. More or less enforced depending on the field and the particular department. – Taladris Jul 29 '15 at 6:17

I think you are misunderstanding how academic job searches work in the UK. All jobs, and I believe this is not specific to universities, must be advertised internally first to individuals in the "redundancy pool". If, and only if, there is no one in the redundancy pool that can meet the minimum requirements with 6 months of training can the job be advertised externally. The redundency pool is available to people, I think, from 3 months before their contract ends until 3 months afterwards.

Current employees not in the redundancy pool, can get prompted within the same job family without having to advertise the job at all. At my university there is no system for moves, lateral or upwards, across job families. That said, if you really want someone, you can regrade and reclassify them.

  • Is it the same for state and public universities? – Massimo Ortolano Jul 28 '15 at 19:45
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    @MassimoOrtolano in the UK there are really only public universities. I m not sure about the few private univeraities, but I think the redundancy pool is an EU thing. – StrongBad Jul 28 '15 at 19:56
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    @MassimoOrtolano The laws around redundancy that StrongBad refers to are part of UK national statute. They are the same for private and public universities. – marshall Jul 28 '15 at 19:59
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    @marshall just because a job is permanent does not mean they cannot make you redundant. I am not sure where you are going with this. If you have a new question you should ask it as a new question. – StrongBad Jul 28 '15 at 20:57
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    @marshall Aberdeen University tried this and lost their case at an employment tribunal. You can read about it here: xperthr.co.uk/editors-choice/… – Matthew Towers Jul 29 '15 at 13:18

Yes, in my state (Texas), there's a law that all government vacancies in positions (including jobs at state-run, public universities) must be posted publicly for at least 10 business days unless the position is to be filled by an internal candidate. It is often flouted openly.

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    This seems the opposite of what the OP is asking about. He is claiming that even if the positions will be filled with an internal candidate, that you still need to post it publically. – StrongBad Jul 28 '15 at 19:21
  • Yes that is right. UK universities seem to claim that they have to advertise all jobs externally (except for the rule about people in the redundancy pool pointed out by StrongBad). I just found theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/aug/01/… which does say "Yes, this whole situation comes down to fairness and having an open competition so that the best candidate gets the job. Universities are not legally obliged to advertise posts externally, but most choose to do so." – marshall Jul 28 '15 at 19:55
  • In addition, the question is apparently asking specifically about UK universities, so Texas laws aren't relevant to the question -- in other words, this doesn't answer the question. (I realize that the original version was a bit unclear, but the original version was also probably too broad for that same reason.) – D.W. Jul 29 '15 at 16:41

It depends on the country, state or the university. Some university have their own policy. Some country or state may also have some rules about whether a university should advertise jobs externally. If you are not sure, you may contact someone from a given university to know how it works there.

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