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Why don't the civil service ask for 'Education' in the application form?

(30 Posts)
LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 07:41:12

Dh has filled one in and his degree and training are probably the most relevant confused

It's all just competencies and he was expecting more of the form when he moved through it

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 07:42:53

For diversity. The people sifting the application won't know where he attended school/university so one potential bias is gone. If the job requirements include a degree, he'll be asked to show his certificate if he is offered the post.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 07:48:48

Oh right. He might have shot himself in the foot then by mentioning a part of it further down the form (was relevant) blush
It did look a bit like he shoe horned it in.

Really annoying as he's totally perfect for it.

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 07:56:54

No, don't worry. That obviously happens sometimes. When people are applying for graduate positions for example they are often giving competency answers using things they did at universities. The people sifting won't mind.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 09:02:53

Thank you thanks

It probably is mostly graduates going to apply, it's a grade 7 job.

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 09:08:34

Grade 7 is pretty senior. I imagine many internal applications will be from fairly experienced people, not graduates!

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Jan-18 09:11:50

Grade 7 is not graduate entry level. Good luck to your DH (as long as it’s not the same one I have just applied for!)

Lazypuppy Tue 16-Jan-18 09:13:12

Grade 7 is very senior! Graduates will be applying for D band or Level 1 roles/equivalent

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 09:18:31

Sorry I mean the jobs high level enough for most people to be graduates applying

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 09:21:10

Ah. I meant that people applying for their first job after graduating often refer to their university experiences in the competencies as they don't have much work experience, and so the institution is mentioned.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 09:23:12

The application reads like - 'I have 15 years experience in the thing you're looking for and here's the evidence plus my degree is the actual area you're recruiting for'

Bikerunski - good luck with getting an interview thankscake

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museumum Tue 16-Jan-18 09:25:51

It’s so that people who have a ton of experience can be judged fairly against people with a uk degree. If the degree is the best evidence he has against a competency he should put it. But not expect to be favoured over someone else who genuinely has equally as good evidence that doesn’t involve a degree.

museumum Tue 16-Jan-18 09:27:16

And the reason as said is to try to reduce the oxbridge snobbery in recruitment and get the actual best candidates.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 09:32:55

He's squeezed it in where the job duties are. He said he did this project for an organisation related to a part of his degree.

For this job the best uni offering the related course was not oxbridge (though I totally get the point)

He really really wants this job. I've literally got my toes crossed for an interview grin

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 10:38:10

The most important thing in competency-based application forms (I do a lot of sifting for Grade 7 and below roles) is to give specific examples of having met those competencies. (I'm not saying this in response to what you've quoted but as general advice.)

So avoid generalities like 'I manage stakeholders in my day to day job' and instead give specific examples of times when you've managed stakeholders - the more difficult and complex the better - and ideally two rather than one.

Sifters have to mark applications on how much evidence they've been given, so something like 3 (lots of evidence), 2 (good evidence), 1 (some evidence), 0 (no evidence). They can't use much latitude as if there's an appeal, all the sift material has to stand up, and there can't be any suggestion that someone was treated favourably or unfavourably. It's incredibly frustrating to get a form from someone who is clearly good and experienced but hasn't given you the evidence you need.

It's by no means a perfect system. It is designed to let people's experience show and minimise bias on who people are, where they studied, who they know, but of course it has its own flaws, not least that it rewards people who are really good at forms and interviews.

Our G7 ads have an essential either a degree OR relevant work experience, but obviously expect the experience regardless!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 10:44:55

That's really useful. He's definitely given really excellent examples. My job was to cut every tiny word 'a/and/the' so that it stayed within 250. He used every single word grin

Some of his sentences are very complex, not much I could do about them.

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LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 10:51:31

The other thing that surprised me was there was nowhere to put your current salary

This is actually a good thing for him as he'd be taking a pay cut and that's just extra stuff you have to justify. I've never had any success with justifying this in my own career and taking a pay cut for more interesting work or better hours has always counted against me.

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Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 10:51:35

Cutting out all non-essential words is a great start! The number of people who waste words giving the full background of an example, or saying things like 'when I was managing a big team, I had to do regular assessments' rather than 'as a team manager, I did regular assessments' so 13 words rather than 8. Which adds up over 250 words.

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 10:53:13

Salary negotiations (within the advertised scale) would be done once a job offer was made. We used to ask for salaries, many moons ago, but then we used to ask for education too. Again, it's to minimise bias -' that candidate earns more than that one, so they must be better'.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Jan-18 10:58:41

Thank you

Even at the top of the scale it's about 8k lower than his current salary

He's coming from a profession where salary is entirely linked to performance and you don't get promoted if you're crap hmmsmile

I'm going to be stressing all week over whether he gets an interview

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IvorBiggun Tue 16-Jan-18 10:58:52

Not asking for salary is a good thing. They do it to help with issues like the gender pay gap. The thinking is that what you were earning before is not relevant, this is the job and it pays £XX,XXX because that has been evaluated as the fair salary for the role. If you can do the job you deserve the money and the fact you earned buttons working for a charity or you are a woman who showed loyalty to an employer with pay caps while her children was small and consequentially earned less doesn’t matter.

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 10:59:34

Good luck!

IvorBiggun Tue 16-Jan-18 10:59:56

X-posted with Youcanstay who has said it all much better than I have smile

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Tue 16-Jan-18 11:01:37

YY, Ivor. And it's also treating applicants like adults. I applied once for a role in the private sector and they said I earned too much to be considered. hmm

IvorBiggun Tue 16-Jan-18 11:11:40

Exactly. I have had to screen applicants based on salary expectations... where we hadn’t released the salary information beforehand so people couldn’t make an informed decision about applying. Bonkers.

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