Lead User Researcher
HM Revenue and Customs
Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 3rd October 2023
Type of role
Number of jobs available
At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues; an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.
We want to maximise the potential of everyone who chooses to work for us and we offer a range of flexible working patterns and support to make a fulfilling career at HMRC accessible to you.
Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role.
About the Chief Technology and Design Office Group
This role is in Chief Technology and Design Office, part of HMRC’s Chief Digital and Information Office (CDIO). We are responsible for managing all IT demand and change coming into CDIO, as part of this we ensure User Centred Design is at the heart of our designs. This enables us to ensure the solutions we deliver maximise success rates for internal and external users, and so maximise business outcomes and minimise costly rework.
See what it’s like to work at HMRC: find out more about us or ask our colleagues a question. Questions relating to an individual application must be emailed as detailed later in this advert.
As a Lead User Researcher you will lead user research activities across programmes of work. You will build user centred practices in new teams, and align user research activities with wider plans to inform service propositions. You will lead other user researchers to assure and improve research practice.
You will be a leader in your field. An experienced practitioner and a skilled team leader, confident in explaining user needs and the value of User Research to senior civil servants and delivery teams alike. You will be comfortable working with a range of stakeholders, and be able to quickly build credibility, influence and be able to inspire others to delivery high-quality user research with commercial impact.
You will be joining a thriving and supportive User Researcher community, with regular opportunities for insight sharing, training and discussion. Our team draws together expertise from a wide variety of backgrounds and sectors, and welcomes new ideas on how we can continue to conduct robust research with real-world impact. You will be based at one of our CDIO Centres across the UK with access to research labs and facilities.
Our blog tells you a bit more about what we do and how we do it.
As a Lead User Researcher, you will be:
- Leading user research for complex and high profile projects, programmes and/or portfolios of work. Overseeing research across a portfolio of work and enabling teams to deliver research activities that support the design, development and continuous improvement of complex government services.
- Working with colleagues to make sure services are inclusive and anyone who needs to use them can do so as easily as possible. Understanding the diversity of users of government services.
- Managing strategic relationships with stakeholders, advocate for the value of user research, building strong arguments using research evidence to influence sceptical stakeholders.
- Aligning user research activities with objectives, vision and strategy of organisation; leading parts of the User Research strategy across the organisation
- Actively helping teams understand and develop a user-centred mindset: regular community meetings with the programme, cross-programme UR assets like user needs, personas.
- Assessing services to ensure they meet the Service Standard.
- Mentoring, managing and guiding programme leads to assure and improve research practice.
Being a leader in your field, an experienced practitioner and a skilled team leader.
Extensive practical knowledge of a range of quantitative and qualitative user research methods. Able to guide colleagues in the choice and effective application of research methods.
Understand the Agile delivery framework, and how to get teams to deliver effective user research within it.
Working in an open, iterative and collaborative way in a multidisciplinary team.
Understanding organisational strategy and objectives. Aligning user research activities with objectives to create strategic insights that inform policy and proposition.
Communication, presentation and interpersonal skills; communicating complex concepts clearly and persuasively across different audiences and varying levels of the organisation.
A degree in psychology, cognitive science, human factors, computer science, product/interaction design, human computer interaction or related disciplines, or equivalent professional experience.
It is desirable that you have:
- Understanding of the Government Service Standard and GDS Service Manual.
More information about the competencies and technical skills
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- DDaT Capability Framework Skill – Research skill
- DDaT Capability Framework Skill – Analysis and synthesis
- DDaT Capability Framework Skill – User centred and agile practices
- DDaT Capability Framework Skill – Strategic insight
- Learning and development tailored to your role.
- An environment with flexible working options.
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity.
- A Civil Service pension.
Selection process details
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and a Personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form
Your CV should include your job history, skills, experience and qualifications.
Your personal statement, which should demonstrate how you meet the user research skills ensuring you give examples relating to your professional experience as a user researcher, referring to the essential criteria and technical skills above - 1000 words maximum.
The sift will be conducted against your CV and personal statement and those with the best skills match will be selected for interview.
• You will be asked to bring a portfolio to showcase the work you have done. A portfolio could include summaries of projects, accomplishments, skills and samples of work that provide evidence of what you have done.
• We will ask you to complete a short user research exercise before the interview. Details will be provided before the interview if you are successful to this stage.
During the interview we will also ask questions that let you demonstrate your experience and technical skills relevant to the role. You can use your portfolio to provide examples for the questions.
We reserve the right to raise the score required at any stage of the process in order to manage numbers.
Interview dates to be confirmed.
Desirable skills will only be considered in the event of a tie.
A reserve list may be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made for the same or similar roles – if this applies to you, we’ll let you know via your Civil Service Jobs account.
To check that you are eligible to apply, review this eligibility information
Important information for existing HMRC contractual homeworkers:
Please note that this role is unsuitable for contractual homeworkers due to the nature and/or requirements of the role.
We want to make sure no one is put at a disadvantage during our recruitment process because of a disability, condition, or impairment. To assist you with this, we will reduce or remove any barriers where possible and provide additional support where appropriate.
If you need a reasonable adjustment or a change to be made so that you can make your application, review this information on reasonable adjustments, and contact email@example.com as soon as possible.
Diversity and Inclusion
At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues and creating an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.
Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role. We’re committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues here at HMRC. We want everyone to feel valued and supported to achieve their potential at HMRC.
For more information on how we make this happen, review this information on our culture and values
Applications received from candidates with a criminal record are considered fairly in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice and the Recruitment of ex-offenders Policy.
We welcome applications from those who need to work a more flexible arrangement and will agree to requests where possible after considering operational and customer service needs. We can’t guarantee that we can meet all requests to work flexibly, as agreement will be subject to business ability to accommodate, and any request to work a more flexible arrangement should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.
Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement, this will be tested as part of the selection process.
The Civil Service runs a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
HMRC has a presence in every region of the UK. For more information on where you might be working, review this information on our locations.
For more information on the level of security checks we will carry out, review this information on security checks
The Civil Service values honesty and integrity and expects all candidates to abide by these principles. The evidence you provide in your application must relate to your own experiences.
Any instances of plagiarism or other forms of cheating will be investigated and, if proven, the relevant application/s will be withdrawn from the process.
Duplicate applications for the same vacancy will also be withdrawn.
Transferring into HMRC from Civil Service If you are currently working for an ‘Other Government Department’ (OGD) and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Combined T&C and OGD Pay English”, found at the bottom of this advert. Further information on staff transfers can be found on gov.uk
Problems during the application process
If you experience accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.
If you think you’ve made a mistake on a short application form (e.g. you’ve ticked the incorrect eligibility box), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least two working days before the vacancy closes. After this, we won’t be able to reopen your application.
Please use the subject line to insert appropriate wording e.g. Please re-open my application - 308639 & vacancy closing date 03/10/23. Please note that we cannot amend or re-open your application if you have submitted your full application in the interests of fair and open recruitment.
For reasonable adjustments queries or requests, please see details within reasonable adjustments section above.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
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- Name : Becky Dominick
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