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Recruitment as a product: building a ‘task force’ recruitment isn't always easy

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Collaboration culture, Continuous iteration, Product Management, Recruitment

As many of you will be only too familiar with, recruiting people into technical roles can be particularly challenging. Here at PDS we're dedicated to finding better ways to deal with these challenges.

That's why we've decided to put together a recruitment 'task force'.

Let me tell you more...

I can't take complete credit for this idea - having read blog posts by Dan Barrett and Matt Jukes I started to think a product team could be a good way to meet these challenges.

This team will research and test ideas on how to improve recruitment initially for Developer/Data team roles from job description through to interview & induction.

Who are we

Me - Julie Byrne - Development Lead

Carrie Barclay - Head of Content

Liam Taylor – Technology Recruitment Lead

Bita McIntosh - HR Manager

Robert Brook - Search Lead

Rachel Christopher - Head of Communications

Dia Nag - Product Manager

and other colleagues will dip in and out as we go along

What we want to do

We are a self-organising team, all with great ideas and experiences of our own recruitments into Parliament or other organisations. We are all willing to do whatever work is needed to help us move forward, although we do make use of people’s specialist skills when we need to….who wouldn’t!?!

Once a week we meet in a hot loft in a not so secret location and work on trying out new ideas (and measure their success). We want to help make recruitment better and ultimately create a model that all of PDS can use.  We are also hopeful that the product team will help to speed up the recruitment process from sign off at the recruitment approval board to candidate start date, which currently takes between 3-6 months at least.

Getting started

On our first day the team decided that our initial goals are to:

  1. Describe a raised standard of the recruitment process
  2. Raise the quality and quantity of applicants

And our aspirations are:

  1. A pleasurable, seamless and understandable recruitment process for both recruiting managers and applicants
  2. Engaged recruiting managers
  3. Attracting the right talent
  4. Being brutally honest about the job, culture and what work applicants will be doing
  5. Promotion of real people doing real jobs
  6. Career progression

We decided to focus on two jobs - Senior Developer in the Business Applications Team and also a Data Analyst for the Data and Search team.

Getting organised

We have had a productive start, we set up our team, decided on our goals and aspirations, and set up our Trello board and tasks. For the Senior Developer vacancy we have researched different formats for a job advert and created versions of our own.  We reviewed other organisations contents with their adverts and made more changes. We want to develop some universal messages that work across our adverts but remain true to our aspiration to be brutally honest about the job, the team, and the work.

We’re hoping this role will be advertised later this week and then the next task is to look at the results of our changes.   We’ve started pulling together some benchmark statistics on previous developer recruitments so we can see if we are making a difference

What’s next

There is also fantastic work happening with wider PDS teams that we can feed into and get feedback from such as:

  1. PDS Branding
  2. Videos and promotional material
  3. PDS job presence on our current website

We have more research to do and ideas to test around where to advertise, and how applicants will engage with us in the recruitment process. Plus we will start work on the job spec for the data analyst role.

We look forward to sharing with you the results of some of the ideas we test out, so please watch this space.

Please contact any of the team for more information or feel free to join us at one of our recruitment product days and get involved in the work we are doing, they happen every Tuesday.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Anthony Green posted on

    A couple of things you may find adaptable to your needs:
    1. Impact Mapping:
    2. Sensemaking: