Employers should have transparent recruitment policies that conform to best practice guidelines and meet the requirements of Equality Act 2010.
Successful candidates should be selected on merit only. An employer who applies other criteria when recruiting leaves themselves open to claims of unfairness and even discrimination.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides useful best practice guidance on fair and open recruitment and selection applicable to employers in the NHS and independent sector. If you work in Northern Ireland, please see the Labour Relations Agency website for guidance.
If the employer is part of the NHS, section 31 of the AfC handbook applies and describes systems for recruiting, developing and promoting people based on merit.