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Mental Health and Recruitment

Recruiting With Mental Health in Mind

Ensuring Your Recruitment Process Is Open To Everyone

When recruiting staff you need to ensure you are not discriminating against anyone who has a mental health condition.

You will find the following check list useful.

Job descriptions and person specifications

  • Identify unreasonable or conflicting demands
  • Be specific about the skills needed
  • Clearly distinguish desirable and essential criteria so flexibility is ensured when making 'reasonable adjustments'
  • Focus on outputs not the means by which they are arrived at e.g. working from home etc
  • Don't emphasise formal qualifications or work experience where these aren't essential
  • Avoid emphasising soft-skills and personality traits (e.g. must be fun and energetic)
  • Avoid generalities (e.g. must be able to work under stress etc)


Use phrases that are positive about disability e.g. "we welcome applicants from people with disabilities." Provide full details about hours, flexible working, job share arrangements and annual leave entitlements.


Provide clear details on application forms and during the selection process on things like closing dates, interview dates and what the interview will consist of. Include a statement making it clear your commitment to making any "reasonable adjustments".

Interviews and testing

  • When inviting candidates to interview ensure you have asked for information about any adjustments they feel may be necessary
  • Allow for the fact that a person with a mental health issue is likely to be more nervous or anxious in the interview and may wish to have support from an employment advisor or support worker
  • Remember, confidence is something that will develop once in post
  • Be flexible about times and dates to allow for effects of medication and appointments
  • Offer candidates extra time to finish tasks or tests designed to assess skill levels
  • Ensure there are rest breaks in the timetable and provide refreshments

Recruitment and selection

Ensure you consider what reasonable adjustments will need to be in place, for example, a place to store medication or flexible hours.