Civil Service Fast Stream Skills Session University of Sussex Friday, 1st March 2013
Overview• Izi Gaff – HR Fast Streamer, 2012 Cohort• Civil Service Equality and Diversity Team (DWP)• HR Business Partner from March 2014• Other schemes, other structures• ALL offer range, breadth and depth – Departments – Operations/Policy/Corporate
Why choose us? We are award winning• The Fast Stream is one of the top graduate schemes in the UK• Consistently ranked in the top 10 of the "Times Top 100 Graduate Employers“• Ranked in the “Guardian Top 300”• A highly established and reputable scheme
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Skills workshop:HR Fast Stream and strategies for success
Fast Stream – graduate talent management schemes Central HR Northern Technology IrelandHouses of Diplomatic Analytical: European Economists, Statisticians,Parliament Service Operational Researchers www.civilservice.gov.uk/faststream
Fast Stream CompetenciesSkill set Competencies•Delivery Skills •Drive for results •Learning and Improving•Intellectual •Decision MakingCapacity •Constructive thinking•Interpersonal •Building productive relationshipsSkills •Communicating with impact
Progression of Fast Streamers The SCS composition & inflow Non FS FS 60% 50% 40%percentage 30% 20% 10% 0% <10 yrs 10 to 15 yrs 15 to 20 yrs >20 yrs Time to promotion into the SCS
Skills workshop: HR Fast Stream andstrategies for successAssessment Centre
Assessment centre Group Exercise Policy& self-assessment Recommendation Exercise E-tray - written Briefing Exercise Interview & self-assessment
Presenting yourself• Manage non-verbal communication• Impact of first impressions• Show enthusiasm and positivity• Good eye contact, smiles• Straight posture, occasional lean forward• Clear, precise diction, manage speed
Assessment centre: Overcoming anxiety• Name your fears – unknown – failure/rejection – ridicule• Rationalise your fears – won’t be as bad as think – they want to see you! – can only do your best – about match with job – will be something else if doesn’t go well – little mistakes don’t matter overall
Exercise 1: Fast Stream Interview• One-to-one interview will last around 40 minutes.• Learning and Improving and Building Productive Relationships are being assessed.• The assessor will have no background information about you, so you should not expect them to be familiar with the details you included on your application form.
Fast Stream Interview – continued• During the interview, the assessor will explore the competencies in turn.• Know yourself: go through your CV in the last few years that address these areas from across your experience/achievements – work, study and home.• Have at least three or four successful examples for each area and where you have shown real commitment.• Information treated as confidential.• Explain your contribution – use “I” not “We”.
Giving answers - STARS – THE SITUATION YOU WERE INT – THE TASK YOU HAD TO COMPLETEA – OUTLINE THE ACTION THAT YOU TOOKR – THE RESULT OR OUTCOME
Exercise 2: Policy Recommendation• Policy Recommendation Exercise (15 + 90 minutes): The exercise is in two parts.• Guidance: Part 1 - The first part involves Innovative (Constructive) Thinking regarding a specific problem issue, e.g. creative ways to reduce pollution levels.• Consider in advance how best to brainstorm ideas that suits you – e.g. a mind-map.• Practice this at home by choosing a random policy idea and try to come up with as many ideas as possible to address this policy idea in about 15 minutes.
Policy Recommendation Exercise - continued• Guidance: Part 2 - The second part • Don’t be overwhelmed with the information involves developing a policy presented to you – use it in a logical manner recommendation based on three different to formulate an appropriate response. options that you should choose from, e.g. options for investing in alternative sources • Structure response against the criteria given of energy. (e.g. environmental or economic criteria) for the different options.• Decision Making ability and Communicating with Impact skills are • There isn’t just one answer. being assessed. • Don’t forget introduction and conclusion.• Split your time appropriately between reading and writing – i.e. don’t spend too long reading but ensure you have a feel for the brief so you can answer the exercise.
Exercise 3: Group Discussion - before• Group Exercise (45-50 minutes): Within the exercise you will be presented with a scenario and have a department/section to represent which favours a particular position.• Drive for Results, Building Productive Relationships and Communicating with Impact are being assessed.• Think of an effective meeting you have attended and why the meeting ran well – seek to learn from this.• Read your brief thoroughly and make notes and highlight key points• Don’t be overwhelmed with the information presented to you – use it in a logical manner to formulate an appropriate response.• Turn up early and meet others you will be working with – this helps to build rapport and relieve any stress.
Group Discussion - during• Keep focused on your objectives – • Consider your posture – be open. remind the group if necessary as you go through. • Don’t force your opinion but still seek to defend your position.• Listen carefully to the discussion so you can keep track of the conversation. • Accept a compromise when it provides a positive corporate solution.• Support and build on others.
Group Exercise - practice Instructions• You and your colleagues in the group are meeting to discuss a problem you have been set and decide on recommendations for tackling it.• You will have 5 minutes to read the exercise brief and prepare individually for the discussion. You can make notes if you wish.• The discussion will last 20 minutes.• The assessors will be looking for evidence about – the quality and range of the ideas you are able to put forward – how effective you are at convincing others to run with your ideas – how much you personally contribute to the discussion – how well you work with the others to come to an agreed conclusion.• The discussion is meant to be informal and free-flowing. Do not appoint a chairperson. You must agree your decisions by consensus, not by voting on them.
Group Exercise - practice EXERCISE BRIEFYour group is the Flood Action Committee for a village at risk of flooding. You are responsible for coming up with ideas to protect it.• This is a meeting of the local Flood Action Committee, a group of concerned and active people who live in the village of Southdown. Southdown itself is a vibrant community with its own primary school, shops, church and village hall.• Over the last decade Southdown has been in danger of flooding from the River Wannett.• The County Council, who are responsible for flood defence, have not yet implemented any plans to reduce the risk of flooding, or offered any funding. The local community in Southdown is getting very agitated about this lack of action.• Your Action Committee now has the responsibility of coming up with some proposals to help protect the village.• It should also think about additional sources of funding, particularly if it puts forward large projects or ones which the County Council may not wish to fund.What you have to do• You have to come up with as many ideas as possible for helping the community. Your local Councillor wants fresh thinking so be radical!• From these ideas you should select two distinctive options that will get local people involved and committed and you should also agree some lines that will explain the benefit of these ideas to the media and to others.
Exercise 4: Briefing Exercise• Briefing Exercise (30 minutes overall): selecting a project from a number of options and then present to the assessor (for 10 minutes) how it might be implemented, followed by Q and A (for 20 minutes). E.g. Engaging young people in voluntary work.• Guidance: Before going in – think of what your objectives are and what you want the key messages to be.• Innovative (Constructive) Thinking, Drive for Results and Communicating with Impact are being assessed.• Structure what you are going to say on paper/in your head before going in.• Have a good introduction and conclusion.• Aim to develop some innovative ideas regarding the issue you are presenting on.• Be calm/don’t speak too quickly.• Think of any potential problems/risks/obvious questions and think how you might address these.
Learning and Improving Assessment• Both the Briefing Exercise and Group Exercise asks you to reflect accurately on your performance.• Learning and Improving is being assessed.• You will rate and comment on your performance.• The accuracy and honesty of your self-assessment against assessor judgement will be reviewed.
During the assessment centre – key things to rememberDon’t expect perfection Keep positive Focus on current exerciseBe authentic Use time effectively
How to apply Apply online from September 17th 2012: http://faststream.civilservice.gov.uk/The-Fast-Streams/HR-Fast-Stream/ Find us on Facebook: Civil Service Fast Stream (UK)http://faststream.civilservice.gov.uk/Global/Docs/Fast-Stream-Assessment-Centre.pdf Look out for our live discussions on Facebook!