Monday 13 July 2020


Posted by
Rebecca Birs

It’s fair to say the last few months have been as ‘interesting and challenging’ for me as they have been for all other TA and HR professionals working through one of the biggest healthcare and economic emergencies imaginable.

The Government Digital Service has been part of the UK’s front line response to this national crisis – a watershed moment that’s tested to the full our teamworking, resilience and ability to think outside many boxes. The fact that we have come through and ‘delivered’ is testimony to many things: not least, a belief in leading a digital transformation that will help government work better for everyone.

“An Inspiration and Aspiration”

That inclusive purpose is both an inspiration and, as the BlackLivesMatter movement shows, an aspiration. For me, it means putting ‘everyone’ at the heart of everything we do, scrutinising our strategy, values and processes, asking ourselves “are we truly doing enough?” – from job design and employment marketing, through the candidate experience, assessment process and, ultimately, the whole employee experience. Can we achieve this in the face of continuing STEM-based and other skill shortages that are essential to a government digital service? We can – and we are.

“Embracing that Change Curve”

The GDS resourcing team has already stepped up to the challenge, working remotely ‘as one’; and embracing a streamlined structure as well as the ‘new way of working’. We’re on that change curve, managing what it means for every stakeholder and communicating the ‘new’ on many different levels – bringing together the full potential of a digital service that has shown what it can do when the pressure is ‘on’.

In that context, it’s a privilege to be sharing the experience of the past few months with James Dalton and Andrew Platt-Higgins of PeopleStory (, hosted by ChatTalent’s Jeremy Russon, in this Thursday’s webinar on shaping the future and taking control

“Digital Change in a Decade of Big Changes”

The discussion couldn’t be more timely. This is a decade of Big Change – where people around the world are calling for a more equitable society, more meaningful employment and a more responsible way of living in the face of climate change. A decade where the UK must meet the information needs of the 21st century while maintaining a barrier to ever present cyber security threats.

Jobs, Wellbeing, Freedom, Security … digital transformation lies at the heart of our future, making the difference to all our lives – and making the most of all the talent we have in this country.

Let’s make that change, inclusively.

Rebecca Birs is Head of Resourcing, Talent & Inclusion at the Government Digital Service – and will be discussing how to shape the future by managing change on the ChatTalent Webinar this Thursday at 12.30pm.




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