HM Revenue and Customs and the Home Office have launched recruitment campaigns to find permanent communications chiefs, but the tax-collection agency is offering £10,000 a year more than its Marsham Street rival.
Both departments currently have interim directors of communications. Andrew Pemberton has been interim at HMRC since October, after Poli Stuart-Lacey left to become comms director at the Metropolitan Police.
Robert Hall has been interim comms director at the Home Office since Simon Baugh left to become the first chief executive of the Government Communication Service in September.
HMRC’s recruitment campaign is flagging a salary package worth up to £130,000 a year and the potential to work from a range of locations across the UK – including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham – as well as London.
Its job specification said the successful applicant would “understand the political and cultural operating context inside and outside the civil service” to help inform their advice and team leadership.
HMRC said its next comms chief would also be a leader in the wider GCS sphere as well as within the department, where they will sit on the executive committee.
“You will work to improve diversity and inclusion in HMRC and across the profession and create an environment where everyone can flourish,” the job advertisement said.
It added that he new comms chief would “role model continuous professional development” and make sure the HMRC comms function had the necessary capability and skills.
The Home Office is offering up to £120,000 a year for its next communications director, which is a London-based role.
Its advertisement lists supporting home secretary Priti Patel to “achieve her goals through communication and acting to build the Home Office’s reputation” as a core mission, along with helping ministers “spot and mitigate risks, change attitudes and change behaviours”.
The Home Office said the successful applicant would be responsible for “setting the strategic direction” for communications across the department, oversee a team of 120 and have a budget of £10m. They will report to second perm sec Tricia Hayes.
Its advertisement says: “A thought leader and source of expertise and innovation, you will have highly developed interpersonal and influencing skills, establishing credibility with ease across a diverse spectrum of stakeholders.”
The advert also stresses that “political acumen coupled with a deftness in reaching sound judgements on a range of strategic and reputational issues” is critical in what is a “heavily scrutinised and very visible leadership role”.
HMRC’s recruitment campaign is being run by consultancy Audeliss. Applications close on 23 January.
Gatenby Sanderson is managing the Home Office’s campaign, which closes on 24 January.
Both posts are graded at Senior Civil Service pay band 2.