National Records of Scotland

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Review of Statisticians Recruitment

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Review of Statisticians Recruitment

To address difficulties in the recruitment of a sufficient number of statisticians to fill all vacancies in the Scottish Government and National Records of Scotland (NRS), a review of the approach to the Statistics Group External Recruitment was carried out and various improvements were recommended. The main components of this review included:

Project Group

  • Establishing a Project Group to lead on different aspects of recruitment. 


  • Simplifying the web based adverts linked into the Scottish Government Work for Scotland/Civil Service Jobs/Job Centre Website Adverts;
  • Undertaking research on the best web based advertising;
  • Increasing presence at Careers Fairs in Scotland and in England;
  • Advertising through the Scottish Government Statistical Pages where potential candidates could register for two Open Days, one Edinburgh, one Glasgow to provide:
    • An insight into the work of the Scottish Government Statistics Group
    • Hints and tips on the application and interview process
    • An opportunity to meet current employees of the Scottish Government Statistics Group
  • Making use of our Statistics Recruitment Leaflet at the Open Days and at Careers Fairs;
  • Having a Twitter Plan (including Rich Site Summary (RSS)) to alert/update people to the live advert and Open Days and monitoring and increasing activity as the application deadline drew nearer.

Application Process

  • Introducing a simplified 'Supplementary' application form specific to Scottish Government Statistics Group cross referenced to the main Scottish Government application form which was edited down with more user friendly guidance to aid completion of this form provided in a Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants document . 


  • Increased number of applications from 2014 external recruitment exercise by 50 per cent;
  • Recruited a total of 32 Assistant Statisticians (B1 (Executive Officer (EO)) and B2 (Higher Executive Officer (HEO))) on a mixture of Permanent and Fixed Term Appointments;
  • Have a current reserve list comprising a further 12 people which will be live until September 2016. 

Future Plans

Since the external recruitment took place, we have engaged with Panel Members seeking feedback on the Assessment Centre content and structure and have also received feedback from Sift Panel members on the operation of the sift.  All comments will be looked at in arranging the next external recruitment campaign where we plan to embed the positive changes made and make further improvements where necessary based on feedback received.