Executive Recruitment
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The Recruitment Process


To apply for this post you will need to submit the following documentation by Monday 7 September 2020.

●  A CV (no longer than two pages) setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements;

● A statement of suitability (no longer than two pages) explaining how your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential criteria set out in the person specification;

● A completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form, this form will appear online during the application process. All monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application in any way.

If relevant, please also submit:

● A completed Guaranteed Interview Scheme Form for disabled persons if applying under this scheme.

Please note the above highlighted documents are mandatory.

All applications must be submitted using the link https://dft.gatenbysanderson.com/all-roles

As part of the application process you will be asked to indicate if you wish to apply for either a Deputy Director Policy role or a Deputy Director Project Delivery role. You can apply for both using the same application material and do not need to submit it twice.

You will also be asked which office location(s) would you consider working from? You can select multiple locations from Birmingham, Leeds or London.

If you do not receive a delivery notification of your application please contact Julie.smith@gatenbysanderson.com

For a confidential discussion, including about any accessibility needs in relation to disability, please contact GatenbySanderson on dft@gatenbysanderson.com and we will respond within 24 hours.

Open Evening

You can view a video of our virtual Senior Civil Service open evening here.

You can view the FAQs from the event here.

Selection process

 After submitting the above documents, your application will be screened and graded. If you are successful in progressing past the application stage, the next stage in the process will be to complete online psychometrics.

Online Psychometrics 

Candidates invited to progress will be asked to participate in two online assessments: a Work Strengths assessment and a numerical reasoning test.

The assessments 

The Work Strengths assessment explores a person's talents within a work context. Accredited by the British Psychological Society, the assessment accurately identifies the right people for the right roles based on behaviours which reliably predict performance. The assessment takes around 20 minutes to complete and you can find out more information about the Work Strengths assessment, including how to approach the assessment, here. 

The numerical reasoning assessment is designed to assess your ability to evaluate numerical data. You will be presented with a series of tables and graphs, followed by a number of questions. The assessment is a 24-minute test and you can find out more information and access a practice test (Numerical Analysis) here.

How to access the assessments 

Each individual test/questionnaire will come with full and detailed instructions when you are invited to complete. When completing the assessments, you should ensure that you will not be disturbed and have the time to concentrate fully. Both the Work Strengths assessment and the numerical reasoning test are available to complete on an iPad, but not on a mobile device.

If you have any special requirements which need to be taken into account when completing the assessments, please inform us at the earliest opportunity upon receiving your invitation.

Why we use assessments 

In combination, the work strengths assessment and numerical assessment are a powerful predictor of workplace performance. The two assessments above are industry-leading psychometric tools and the use of psychometrics provides a reliable, valid and objective measure of role-critical attributes, which supports a fair and open selection process.

Longlist Stage 

Once you have completed the psychometric tests, the panel will then assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the essential criteria set out in the ‘Person Specification’ section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application.

The timeline later in this pack indicates the date by which decisions are expected to be made, and all candidates will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible thereafter. Candidates selected for longlisting will be invited for an interview with Gatenby Sanderson to further explore their skills and experience.

Shortlist Stage 

The panel will review interview reports on longlisted candidates and select the shortlist. If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to take part in a Staff Engagement Exercise and an Alternative Leadership Assessment before your interview. This assessment will not result in a pass or fail decision. Rather, it is designed to support the panel’s decision-making and highlight areas for the panel to explore further at interview and further details will be provided to candidates in advance of the assessment.

Two references will be taken up for shortlisted candidates in advance of final panel interviews.

You will be asked to attend a panel interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the criteria set out in the Person Specification. Various stages of the process may be held remotely dependant on developments with COVID-19 and full details of the assessment process and format will be made available to shortlisted candidates.

Candidates are likely to be required to give a presentation at the interview and the topic will be sent to you in advance.

Access Adjustments for Disabled Candidates

If you have any accessibility requirements which need to be taken into account when completing the assessments, or throughout the process, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing DfT@gatenbysanderson.com

Recruitment timeline

We will try and offer as much flexibility as we can, but it may not be possible to offer alternative dates for assessments or interviews. You are therefore asked to note the below timetable, exercising flexibility through the recruitment and selection process, in order to meet the dates given. Please note that these dates may be subject to change.

Recruitment stage

Expected timing

Final date for submission of applications

Monday 7 September (time TBC)

Final date for completion of online assessments (if required)

Thursday 10 September (time TBC)


Thursday 24 September

Preliminary interview with GatenbySanderson

w/c 28 September


Thursday 7 October

Staff Engagement Exercise and Alternative Leadership Assessment

w/c 12 and 19 October

Final Panel interviews

w/c 26 October