Government plans £17m online jobs platform to address departments’ ‘biggest recruitment challenges’

The Cabinet Office is seeking to engage with ‘innovative companies’ interested in fulfilling long-term contract to provide an updated version of the digital platform used to advertise all government roles

The Cabinet Office has lifted the lid on plans to create a new multimillion-pound government jobs platform that it hopes will enable agencies to address their “biggest recruitment challenges”.

The central department has published a commercial notice outlining its intent to replace the long-standing Civil Service Jobs online platform – through which all government jobs are currently advertised, and 70% of posts are filled.

Work on implementing a new digital system will be led by the Government People Group (GPG), a Cabinet Office-based unit that, in addition to civil service jobs and careers, also oversees shared services, training, and pensions.

GPG intends that the new jobs site will “align with – and deliver – key cross-government strategies, including the Declaration on Government Reform and the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-25”, according to the commercial notice.

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It added: “We want the next generation of Civil Service Jobs to resolve some of our biggest recruitment challenges: improving time to hire, standardising much of our recruitment processes, and giving our users a more intuitive user experience. This is a great opportunity for innovative companies to bid for a chance to work with us to help achieve these objectives.”

The plan is to appoint a supplier to work with government to deliver and support the online tool over the course of a seven-year contract, expected to commence next summer. The deal is projected to be worth £17m to the chosen provider.

The Cabinet Office has not yet launched a formal procurement process, but is first seeking to engage with prospective suppliers via a virtual event on 22 August at 1pm, where the department “will present a high-level overview of our requirements and our plans for the procurement”. Firms wishing register up to three representatives to take part in this event must register to do so before 5pm on 17 August.

“This is not an official launch of our procurement yet, but we would love to see as many suppliers as possible, so we can explain our service needs and encourage you to consider bidding,” the engagement notice said.

Procurement records indicate that Civil Service jobs, and the applicant-tracking system technology that underpins it, is currently supported by digital recruitment specialist Oleeo, which signed a four-year £10.9m deal with the Cabinet Office in May 2021.

A total of 211 individual government organisations use the existing platform to advertise jobs – with about 2,000 open positions currently listed on the site.

Alongside the creation of a new recruitment platform for those joining the civil service, PublicTechnology exclusively revealed earlier this year that government has also begun work on a new multimillion-pound digital system to simplify and standardise processes for the 30,000 or so officials moving between departments annually. Project leaders estimate that, as well as saving hundreds of thousands of work days each year, the new system could prevent about 7,000 payroll errors.

Sam Trendall

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