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Case studies

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

Central Government

Roles

16 permanent and FTC roles across four operational areas: Financial Control, Finance Business Partnering, Fraud and IT. Vacancies spanned Grade SEO/B2 to Grade 6/AU.

  • Head of Finance Business Partnering
  • Head of Estimates & Funding
  • Senior FBPs
  • Finance Business Partners
  • Senior Financial Accountants
  • Strategic Financial Analysis Lead
  • Financial Reporting Manager
  • IT Delivery Manager
  • Grants Frauds

 

Client profile

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is responsible for delivering the government’s policy on arts and culture, communications and media, sport and tourism. Its primary objective is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad, and by protecting and promoting our cultural and artistic heritage, DCMS helps the UK gain a unique advantage on the global stage.

Assignment

Have been given a central role in delivering the UK’s 5G network, DCMS created a range of new roles designed to enhance and expand operational capability across multiple teams. In August 2020, Robertson Bell was retained by DCMS to run a large-scale recruitment campaign for 16 permanent and FTC roles across four operational areas: Financial Control, Finance Business Partnering, Fraud and IT. Vacancies spanned Grade SEO/B2 to Grade 6/AU.

  • Head of Finance Business Partnering
  • Head of Estimates & Funding
  • Senior FBPs
  • Finance Business Partners
  • Senior Financial Accountants
  • Strategic Financial Analysis Lead
  • Financial Reporting Manager
  • IT Delivery Manager
  • Grants Frauds

Considerations and challenges

  • DCMS’ firm commitment to ensuring the Department’s diversity policies were robustly applied at every stage of the search and selection process, for every vacancy.
  • The challenge of filling brand new roles pushed search parameters beyond traditional areas in order to identify and engage new-to-sector talent with appropriate skills and experience.
  • DCMS line managers had limited or zero experience of working on a multi-vacancy campaign with an external recruitment partner.
  • Individual role profiles were unique and highly complex, requiring close collaboration between Robertson Bell consultants and hiring managers in order to ensure a precise understanding of specific requirements.
  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions, new employees would be working from home for the foreseeable future, which meant that successful candidates were not required to gain CTC vetting, with BPSS clearance deemed sufficient. This reduced hiring time from around 3 months to just 20 days, requiring Robertson Bell to adapt recruitment processes in line with revised timelines.
  • The logistical challenge of running complex recruitment campaigns across multiple levels and reporting lines.

Solution

Our consultants worked closely with hiring managers to build a deep understanding of role profiles. Armed with these insights, we were then able to create job packs for each vacancy, and design a sophisticated, multi-channel campaign incorporating comprehensive in-house and third-party database searches. Targeted advertising was designed to optimise volume, quality, cost-efficiency and diversity of response.  We also leveraged our consultants’ impressive connectivity in a wide-reaching headhunt to engage passive candidates whose expertise and experience were aligned with specific role requirements.

Robertson Bell is well-equipped to help employers meet stringent inclusivity guidelines, and for this campaign we reached out to candidates via BAME community groups on LinkedIn, and engaged with diverse audiences through specialist diversity jobs boards. CVs were screened and graded by a panel of three diversity-trained consultants, consisting of one male, one female and one from a minority group. All candidates completed a diversity profile form, and all shortlists were supplied ‘blind’. Robertson Bell consultants coached DCMS hiring managers on end-to-end recruitment processes in order to ensure that prescribed government policy was adhered to.

Interviews were carried out via our In-Sight video platform, which also served to facilitate compliance meetings between successful candidates and hiring managers. This ability to manage an entirely remote selection process without compromising the integrity of the experience for either client or candidates, demonstrated the efficacy and value of our robust and agile operational assets.

Faced with complex demands and challenging timelines, we employed Prince 2 methodologies to ensure effective project governance. Throughout the campaign we provided weekly MI on response KPIs, including volume of applications, number to sift, and volume of BAME and GIS candidates.

And to minimise the burden on DCMS line managers, we supported the completion of on-boarding forms and transfer forms.

Outcome

All elements of the campaign delivered strong response, attracting a high volume of candidates from diverse backgrounds, bringing a blend of experience in public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors.

All vacancies were filled with high-quality individuals, in line with the Department’s diversity targets.

Due to the strength of our shortlist, the client selected a further four candidates, expanding the original scope of the recruitment campaign from 16 roles to 23, adding significant operational capability to DCMS teams .

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