https://gdsdata.blog.gov.uk/civil-service-resourcing-e-recruitment-system-service-assessment/

Civil Service Resourcing e-Recruitment System – Service Assessment

This is a Pan Government service which allows vacancy holders and recruiters to manage individual vacancies and large recruitment campaigns for both internal and external recruitment. It also provides an improved candidate experience for individuals when searching for and applying for jobs.

Department / Agency:
HMRC / Civil Service Resourcing

Date of Assessment:
12/3/2014

Moving to:
Live

Result:
Not passed

Lead Assessor:
J. Thornett

Service Manager:
L. Whelan

Digital Leader:
M. Dearnley


Update following the assessment

Following the assessment Civil Service Resourcing have taken steps to address a number of the issues raised in the assessment report (see below) in very a short timescale.

GDS have subsequently given the service approval to move to Public Beta.

Some of the actions taken include:

  • appointing a Service Manager to run the service and implement a service improvement plan during the Beta.
  • conducting a small survey of applicants who have had access to the new candidate portal. Overall the feedback was positive in comparison to the previous service, particularly on navigation and new features. The survey also identified areas for improvement which will feed into the service improvement plan for the Beta.
  • branding the service as a Beta and will utilise the ability to capture user feedback during the Beta.
  • testing the service against a number of browsers and will do more work during the beta to ensure the service is accessible via tablets and mobiles.
  • moving towards bringing the look and feel of the service in line with GOV.UK using the GDS design patterns.

Civil Service Resourcing recognise they have further work to do to meet the standard and will implement a service improvement plan to address any outstanding issues during the Public Beta.


Assessment report

The Civil Service Resourcing e-Recruitment system is seeking permission to launch a new service to replace the existing recruitment service.

Outcome of service assessment

GDS have concluded the Civil Service Resourcing e-Recruitment system should not be given approval to launch on the service.gov.uk domain as a Live Digital by Default service.

Reasons

1. The service consists of a back-end admin tool for use by internal recruiters, a job search facility for people to search for vacancies, and an online application process for a user to apply for a role. Whilst evidence was given on the understanding of user needs for the admin interface there was little evidence that research or data had been gathered to sufficiently understand the needs of the users accessing the job search service and applying for a vacancy.

2.  Further to this, the system being replaced does not currently collect user data via an analytics tool and there is also no analytics data collection within the new service. Collecting and analysing data on end user behaviour is therefore very difficult, if not impossible, and this is vital in ensuring the service can be iterated and improved through development stages and after live release.

3. The service demonstrated at the assessment does not use any of the GOV.UK design patterns and has not been designed to look and feel like GOV.UK.  We would expect the site to use the crown logo, the GOV.UK typeface, and the same header and footer as other GOV.UK services.  More detail on the requirements can be found on the service manual:  https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-centered-design/service-look-and-feel.html

4. The service has been tested on IE6 and IE8 browsers but we would expect the service to have been tested on a wider range of devices and browsers, including mobiles and tablets, before it is ready to go live.  More information here: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-centered-design/browsers-and-devices.html

5.  The ability to make quick changes or improvements to the service in an agile way is dependent on the contract with the supplier although it is noted that the development on the service has used a more waterfall process of specification, build, and release rather than a more agile, sprint based approach.

6.  There is no-one in a defined service manager role at present although the central team do report to a Deputy Director within Civil Service Resourcing who can act as a point of escalation. It is also still unclear who the minister responsible for the service is, and so is yet to be tested from end to end by a suitable minister.

Next Steps

The assessment has shown that the Civil Service Resourcing e-Recruitment system is not yet on track to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard. The service should follow the recommendations made in this report and see the Government Service Design Manual for further guidance. In particular, the advice on using cookies (https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/making-software/cookies.html) and the standard KPIs (https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/measurement/other-kpis.html) are very relevant, in addition to other pages mentioned above.

The service may also find it useful to review the standard web schema for job advert posting which would be a good addition to the code on the job search element of the service - http://schema.org/JobPosting

Summary

This is a complex service with a large number of internal and external users who each access very different parts of the system and have quite different requirements. Some good work has been done to understand the needs of the internal users and make improvements to the admin interface to improve their experience of the service. Also, the work on security and data privacy has been very thorough and planned in good time ahead of release. However, before the service can meet the criteria set out in the service standard there are improvements needed in understanding the needs of the users accessing the job search and application part of the service, the ability to capture performance data and make quick improvements to the service, and to ensure it has the overall GOV.UK look and feel.