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Making Parliament a digital employer of choice

I’m Amy, and I work as Delivery Manager in the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS). I’m currently delivering work in the Transforming Digital programme to improve digital skills and capability across Parliament, and I’ve been looking at how we attract and retain digital talent.  

We knew from analysing our recruitment data that we sometimes find it hard to recruit digital and technical roles. I’ve seen how much effort goes into recruitment campaigns, and the frustration when that work doesn’t lead to a successful appointment.  

To help us attract and retain digital talent, we have to make Parliament a digital employer of choice. And to do this, we need to reach audiences who might not think of Parliament as a place to have a digital career and increase the diversity of our talent pool. 

This is important for us because having a diverse talent pool can bring different perspectives and lead to better decision making, as well as reflecting our wider society. 

What is an employee value proposition?  

One way to do this is to create an employee value proposition (EVP) that could be used for all digital careers across Parliament.  

An EVP at its simplest should clearly show potential candidates why Parliament is a great place to work and why they should apply for a role with us.   

Two women sitting at a meeting pod having a discussion

How we approached this challenge 

To kick off this work, we looked at what may be causing our challenges.  

We knew that potential applicants might not think about Parliament as a place to have a digital career. And we also knew that potential applicants haven’t thought about digital roles because they don’t realise their skills are transferable.    

I’m just one example. I began my parliamentary career in a visitor operations role, which I enjoyed, but eventually I wanted to try something different. I'd never thought about a role in digital, but I applied for a job I thought I could and do and was successful. I surprised myself, as I never thought the skills and knowledge I’d gained across my previous non-digital roles could be useful here.  

I used to only think about big tech companies when I thought about digital careers. But since moving to PDS, I can now see that there are many digital and technical roles across Parliament, ranging from cyber security to data analysts, to content editors and delivery managers like me. There is a little bit of digital in pretty much everyone’s role. 

Developing our digital employee value proposition 

Four colleagues in a workshop in a meeting room, examining post it notes.

We know that our existing staff have brilliant insight into what makes Parliament a great place to have a career, and how we can explain our work and culture to potential employees.   

So, during our research, we asked colleagues what they enjoyed about working in Parliament. Some of the things they said were: 

  • "It’s welcoming and flexible in terms of accommodating different working practices"
  • "I've only been here two months, but already I've been on multiple training courses"
  • "If you’re even slightly interested in the way the country works, then this is an absolutely fascinating place to be"
  • "There's a lot of opportunity to move around if that's what you want to do"
  • "The working relationships that I've built across the years have been really positive"

We also spoke to external people in digital roles to get a sense of what people who had no connection to Parliament thought about working here and what was important to them. Their feedback highlighted similar themes around Parliament being an interesting place, where you could potentially work on impactful things.  

Our proposition: Tech makes Parliament happen 

We used this research to help us define our EVP – that working in a digital role in Parliament is exciting, diverse, and impactful, and that we’re a supportive organisation where colleagues are trusted and can take pride in their work.  

We concluded that every digital role, in some way shape or form, contributes to the successful running of Parliament. That’s why we chose as our proposition or strapline “Tech makes Parliament happen”.   

The proposition comes with complementary branding, that we're starting to use in our job adverts, social media campaigns, and other touchpoints on the applicant user journey.  

Shows examples of how the new digital employee value proposition is used - job adverts and social media posts. It features photos of staff with brightly coloured graphic boxes with the titles of a job post or a quote.
Some examples of our new digital employee value proposition

We’re really excited to be able to introduce our new digital employee value proposition. We hope this will support recruitment and retention, and that potential and current employees can see themselves represented, which will encourage them to apply for vacancies. 

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