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        Government Finance

        Government Finance

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        Government Finance

        Government Finance is a community of 10,000 people, managing over £700 billion expenditure per annum, alongside the management of £1,300 billion of assets and £2,800 billion of liabilities.

        The vision for Government Finance is simple – putting finance at the heart of decision making. This was the driving force behind an exciting period of change in the operation of improved financial ability, partnering with Allen Lane to source non-civil servants.


        We have worked, and continue to work, strategically with HM Treasury and the Finance Leadership Group to understand the people challenges faced, and help support the solutions. As a consequence, we ran a hugely successful, pioneering, cross-government campaign in October 2015 to recruit a number of Deputy Directors (13 appointable candidates for 10 roles), before being appointed to run a second multi-vacancy campaign at the ‘Grade 6’ level (27 offers from an initial 20 roles).

        We were tasked to source candidates who would play an instrumental role in leading finance teams across the Civil Service. There were a number of roles available which required the same set of values and similar skills but slightly different in nature.

        As members of Government Finance, the successful candidates would play a role in championing and embedding the Financial Management Reform Programme led by the Director General, Public Spending and Finance.


        After agreeing an overall project plan with GFF and CSR, we engaged with the line managers to fully understand both the broad requirements and their individual needs. The high-level requirement was to find candidates who shared the following attributes:

        • Experienced finance professionals, excellent at influencing and building relationships with stakeholders to drive delivery.
        • Analytical individuals with the strength to ensure financial objectives are embedded into the decision making process.
        • Proven, credible and authentic leaders, able to make tough decisions and stand by them.
        • Change agents to drive efficiency and innovation in the challenging economic climate.
        • Resolve to set vision, engage and deliver results.

        We created a bespoke microsite to underpin the campaign, promoting the concept of working in government finance rather than specific roles.

        We then adopted a multi-channel approach, including advertising on several websites, developing a candidate pack and creating lists of individuals known to us and organisations to target proactively, recognising that increasingly advertising is ineffective at this level.

        We met with all longlisted candidates to assess their skills, capability and fit, and held two shortlisting meetings with the stakeholders to deal with the volume of candidates. We successfully encouraged an innovative approach where line managers and existing senior finance employees met informally with shortlisted candidates to ensure fit from both sides.

        Rather than holding standard panel interviews, we worked with CSR to develop interactive leadership assessments and role plays to develop behavioural evidence to complement the blended interviews which incorporated technical skills and leadership assessments against require competencies.

        Finally we worked closely with the Departments to manage the onboarding process for successful candidates, particularly where they were working the public sector for the first time.


        Offers were accepted for all initial finance positions, with other appointable candidates remaining in a future talent pool. Government Finance provided the following testimonial:

        “We enjoyed a highly successful collaboration with both the Allen Lane team and Civil Service Resourcing when recruiting Deputy Directors and Senior Finance Managers over the past 12 months. All parties worked incredibly hard over a number of months and the results have been that a number of highly talented individuals have come in and are already making a positive impact.”

        The initial campaign further strengthened our relationship with Government Finance, resulting in us being awarded the follow-on contract for in excess of 20 senior finance manager roles where we integrated lessons learned and adjusted the approach for the new roles, including “speed dating” with four hiring managers and splitting sifting internal and external candidates between us and CSR.

        In November, 2018; we are undergoing the next wave of this partnership.

        Department for Education