Physician, heal thyself

Fixing hiring for the public service internet

For the last three years I have spent (almost) every Sunday morning reading scores of job descriptions in search of the 10 I will share to the 700+ people who subscribe to my newsletter & blog. I have been a hiring manager for organisations like the Office for National Statistics and the BBC. Interviewed 100s of candidates for dozens of jobs. Currently I spend my days putting together ad-hoc lean software teams for clients across the public sector.

What all this has taught me is that as a digital community in government we have done nowhere near enough to bring all those lessons we have learned elsewhere to improve the hiring process to get the best, most diverse people into the roles we most desperately need.

If we accept that this is a people problem more than a technology one (or at least that the two are forever intertwined) why are we not knuckling down and fixing this?

I’m planning on putting together a that talk or maybe a series of blogposts that will spotlight some of the (many) flaws in current processes, talk about some potential quick wins and hopefully outline some ways to bring some real design-thinking and improvement to the whole approach to hiring for public service — well the DDAT corner of it.

This isn’t just a public sector problem — it is wider and ever I’d like to look at ways the whole ‘public service internet’ could improve. I am also really interested for stories from places other than the UK — I’m sure there are some interesting examples from the the #oneteamgovglobal community and our cousins across the pond.

So I am on the scrounge —

  1. I’m looking for hiring horror stories — especially in the public service for digital jobs but elsewhere as well[i]
  2. What are the things about job descriptions that annoy you most
  3. I’m look for examples of companies/organisations that do job descriptions etc well
  4. Stories of great hiring processes — the kind of thing most of us can only dream of

I’d also really like to collaborate on this with some other folks — at the end of the day nobody needs another middle aged white bloke getting on his soapbox about this stuff — it needs broader perspectives.

If you want to contribute or collaborate you can DM or @ me on Twitter (@jukesie) or Mastodon (jukesie@mastodon.social), email me at mjukes on that famous Google email or just comment on this post.


[i] I’ll keep it all anonymous I promise!