Civil service people plan promises to overhaul recruitment and reward

Fresh strategy promises a recruitment overhaul and "more coherent, flexible, and individualised reward framework"
Image: Adobe Stock

A new civil service "people plan" promises to “improve and speed up recruitment” and deliver a new pay strategy this year.

Published today, the Civil Service People Plan for 2024-2027 also promises to shrink the senior civil service and improve its training offer, both to strengthen specific skills and improve line management.

A civil service reward strategy will be revealed this year that will “deliver a more coherent, flexible, and individualised reward framework by 2030 that rewards civil servants to deliver better productivity across government and better outcomes for taxpayers”, according to the people plan.

The document acknowledges that average civil service pay has “shown a general downward trend in real terms since 2008, due to below inflation increases” – an argument unions have used to call for above-inflation pay rises, but which ministers have rebuffed.

It also notes a rise in the proportion of senior civil servants from 0.97% in 2008 to 1.47% in 2023, and that there has been an 11% reduction in the proportion of staff responding to the People Survey that agreed that their pay adequately reflects their performance since 2021.

As part of its efforts to improve its offer, the Cabinet Office will also produce a new SCS strategy by the end of 2024. The strategy will aim for a “smaller, more skilled, better rewarded” senior civil service, it says.

Alongside the strategy there will be a “future SCS pay framework” that “rewards delivery of better outcomes and that raises the overall capability of the SCS so that it can lead the civil service across the government’s priorities, delivering greater productivity for citizens”.

The people plan also includes a commitment to a “radical overhaul” of civil service recruitment, which will include improving processes, updated branding and the launch of a Government Recruitment Service transformation programme.

Recruitment will be “streamlined and opened up so the government can attract a broader range of talent”, it says, with a focus on bringing in external hires to senior roles and creating more entry routes, such as more secondment opportunities.

To this end, a new brand and a cross-civil service attraction strategy will be launched this year, alongside so-called “discovery pilots” to test new approaches to recruitment and evaluate their suitability for a wider rollout.

The Cabinet Office is already in the process of overhauling its Civil Service Jobs website, which delivers 70% of all civil service recruitment. Last year, the Cabinet Office told CSW the new job-search platform will “reduce the time it takes to hire new recruits into the civil service, remove painful processes, and increase ease of use”.

The plan places particular emphasis on digital, data and technology roles, promising to develop a 200-person “upskilling” programme for DDaT and adding additional senior civil service roles to the existing DDaT capability framework.

Cabinet Office minister John Glen said the plan is part of the government's "bold agenda of modernisation that will deliver for people in every part of the country".

“The people plan sets a clear vision for the civil service to be as skilled, agile and productive as it can be to support this effort," he said.

“We have made significant progress in our programme of reform, and will keep striving to improve the civil service’s capabilities, people and culture to ensure it is fit for the current and future challenges our country faces.”

Share this page