Recruit your team
To run a successful service team, you need to understand how your organisation’s recruitment process works.
Meeting the Digital Service Standard
Find out how long recruitment takes
It’s important to find out how quickly you can hire someone in your department, so you can organise your team and plan your work.
It can take up to 4 weeks to hire a civil servant or contractor, depending on the department. Security checks, references and notice periods may add even more time to the process.
Contact your organisation’s HR department to find out what the recruitment process in is.
Who can recruit
Only civil servants can chair (lead) recruitment campaigns and interview panels. If you’re not a civil servant, you must work with someone who is.
You can still be on the interview panel and help with recruitment if you’re not a civil servant.
Whoever leads the recruitment will need to work with your organisation’s human resources (HR) department to manage the process. They should also complete the Civil Service Learning recruitment and unconscious bias training courses.
Identify the skills you need
When you have an idea about the service you’re going to create, talk to your team about the skills you need.
Before working with contractors or third parties, see if you have any team members who can develop these skills.
For any longer-term roles, you could hire civil servants on either a permanent or fixed-term (eg 2 year) basis.
Check job descriptions
If your organisation has job descriptions, make sure these are up-to-date and tailored to the roles in a service delivery team.
If you don’t have any, or the ones you have don’t reflect what you need, write new ones based on discussions with your team.
Learn more about reviewing and writing job descriptions.
Work with HR
Recruitment and selection are usually carried out by one of the following:
- HR or a specialist recruitment team
- line managers, with advice from HR
- an external provider (eg recruitment agency)
Talk to HR to find out who carries out recruitment in your department and how much involvement you can have, or need to have.
Hiring a senior civil servant
If you want to hire someone to an SCS-level digital, data or technology role, you need to follow your department’s SCS recruitment process.
Talk to your HR team or senior digital data technology leader to find out what this involves and how long it usually takes.
Before you advertise the role
The Civil Service’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function supports the designing, building and running of government technology, data and digital services. Their recruitment team can advise you on recruiting to an SCS role.
You must tell the DDaT SCS recruitment team before you advertise the position - send an email to email@example.com with:
- the job title
- who the person will report to
- what their main responsibilities (‘accountabilities’) will be
- a draft job description for the role (if available)
The team will tell you if you need to tell any senior leaders in government that you’re advertising the position.
Get help with your campaign
You can also contact the SCS recruitment team for help with:
- writing the job description
- keeping grading and salary in line with other departments
- fitting the new role into your department (organisational design)
- attracting the best candidates
- reviewing applications, shortlisting candidates and carrying out interviews
The SCS recruitment team will work with your HR team and recruiting line manager, who will continue to lead the campaign.
You may also find the following guides useful:
- Published by:
- Agile delivery community
- Last update:
Guidance first published