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Civil service grades suitable for graduates Watch

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    Which civil service grades should graduates be looking at if not applying for fast stream? Is it EO?
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    Which civil service grades should graduates be looking at if not applying for fast stream? Is it EO?
    It entirely depends. Really the highest level you could possibly apply to would be some HEO roles (but for a lot of these you need previous experience), but I am a graduate and I am an AO, and there are a lot of graduates at AO level. Just getting in to the Civil Service means that you can apply for a lot more jobs (the majority of jobs are only available for internal applicants). If you want a career in the civil service it doesn't really matter which grade you start as. Some graduates I know started as an AO and within 9 months they successfully applied for a HEO position.
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    Speaking as a Cs, there is no right answer. I joined as an EO and am now a Grade 7, but I know plenty of graduates who join as AOs. Fundamentally once you're in the system you can apply for promotion as you see fit, so focus on getting in, not getting in at a specific grade.
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    (Original post by Sir Humphrey)
    Speaking as a Cs, there is no right answer. I joined as an EO and am now a Grade 7, but I know plenty of graduates who join as AOs. Fundamentally once you're in the system you can apply for promotion as you see fit, so focus on getting in, not getting in at a specific grade.
    Do you know anyone who joined at HEO? And how long did it take you to get from EO to G7?
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    (Original post by Marath)
    It entirely depends. Really the highest level you could possibly apply to would be some HEO roles (but for a lot of these you need previous experience), but I am a graduate and I am an AO, and there are a lot of graduates at AO level. Just getting in to the Civil Service means that you can apply for a lot more jobs (the majority of jobs are only available for internal applicants). If you want a career in the civil service it doesn't really matter which grade you start as. Some graduates I know started as an AO and within 9 months they successfully applied for a HEO position.
    So if you have just over 2 years total experience from placements and additional experience from voluntary work and running university societies, which should you apply for?
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    Do you know anyone who joined at HEO? And how long did it take you to get from EO to G7?
    It took me about 8 years.

    The only people I know who joined at HEO will have had extensive prior professional experience. If I were recruiting externally for an HEO, then its unlikely that I would take a recent grad without prior work experience at that level - for an HEO I'm looking for a self tasking person with a reasonable understanding of how the CS works, an ability to lead teams, do Ministerial correspondence and Parliamentary Business and manage a lot of other issues. I'd be looking for evidence of your ability to do this in your application, and its unlikely that someone with no professional experience would be able to demonstrate this to a strong level, particularly when compared to others.
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    The best way to join as a HEO is in a research discipline, as they aren't against fresh graduates. Of course this means you need a research related degree. I joined the civil service 8 months ago as an EO in operations, and I'm about to start a new job as a HEO in a different department.

    See the FastStream as the silver spoon of the civil service. Yes, you will get lots of opportunities to develop. It is however not the be all and end all of CS career progression. If you are daring and flexible there are many secondments, loans and schemes available which you can use in order to progress your career in a similar fashion to the FastStream. The FastStream just makes it a little easier for you, as you don't have to work around business need or unhelpful managers. The FastStream prepares you for a G7 job. It doesn't give you one.

    Good luck :-)
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    So if you have just over 2 years total experience from placements and additional experience from voluntary work and running university societies, which should you apply for?
    If you want a job/career with the civil service just apply for any job to get your foot in the door. I would apply mainly for AO or EO jobs. You may come across a HEO job which you think you have the relevant experience for, so then you may as well apply for that. There is no harm in applying for multiple jobs at multiple grades.
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    (Original post by Sir Humphrey)
    It took me about 8 years.

    The only people I know who joined at HEO will have had extensive prior professional experience. If I were recruiting externally for an HEO, then its unlikely that I would take a recent grad without prior work experience at that level - for an HEO I'm looking for a self tasking person with a reasonable understanding of how the CS works, an ability to lead teams, do Ministerial correspondence and Parliamentary Business and manage a lot of other issues. I'd be looking for evidence of your ability to do this in your application, and its unlikely that someone with no professional experience would be able to demonstrate this to a strong level, particularly when compared to others.
    Thanks for the useful advice. I guess it depends on the candidates available to recruiters on the market at each grade. And from what various people, including yourself are saying, it sounds as though people who apply for HEO roles generally have around 4/5 years of relevant experience, as well as experience of managing a team.
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    I would say 4-5 years feels about right - my advice is take a look at the civil service competency framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ency-framework) and then read into what they think an HEO can and should be able to do. Thats the standard your applications will be judged against - if you genuinely think you can demonstrate those behaviours now, then good luck, otherwise have a look and see what level you think you could compete for.
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    Some departments will recruit a few graduates on temporary EO contracts to fill vacancies, and I've seen a couple of these get promoted quite quickly from EO to HEO and SEO. I guess it depends on the department but I find it quite meritocratic as good people do progress through the ranks fast.
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    Hi Guys, I applied for a HEO position and had an interview two weeks ago, which went OK (I think). They said they would let us know if successful (or not!) within 2-3 weeks. The wait is excruciating, as I would like to know whether or not I need to invest more time into looking for other positions, completing applications, writing cover letters etc., which is a huge (but necessary) distraction from my PhD thesis.... any news, advice or information you might have would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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    Also just to further add to this, for those who are already in the civil service - how easy is it to move departments? I don't have a specific department in mind that I would like to work for, but would like to work in policy advising/recommendation? Does anybody have any inside knowledge on where's best to apply?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    Which civil service grades should graduates be looking at if not applying for fast stream? Is it EO?
    Without work experience, AO. With some work experience, EO. With some management experience HEO. The fast stream sometimes puts you into HEO without experience but it's a different kettle of fish compared to joining externally as you'll need management experience for HEO as an external candidate.
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    (Original post by PandaSal)
    Without work experience, AO. With some work experience, EO. With some management experience HEO. The fast stream sometimes puts you into HEO without experience but it's a different kettle of fish compared to joining externally as you'll need management experience for HEO as an external candidate.
    So in other words you need to have been a manager of a team in a different organisation before. Also,do external candidates generally start at the lowest salary within a bracket?
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    So in other words you need to have been a manager of a team in a different organisation before. Also,do external candidates generally start at the lowest salary within a bracket?
    As an external candidate for for HEO, yes, you need to have had management experience and you'll be required to demonstrate this (I have an upcoming interview that requires demonstration through competency questions as to my qualification for HEO position). As an external candidate you'll get the lowest salary within the bracket.
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    (Original post by PandaSal)
    As an external candidate for for HEO, yes, you need to have had management experience and you'll be required to demonstrate this (I have an upcoming interview that requires demonstration through competency questions as to my qualification for HEO position). As an external candidate you'll get the lowest salary within the bracket.
    Do you mean line management experience (I.e. Direct reports)? Because everyone manages something whether it's a project, finances, a process etc.
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    (Original post by Ybsy75)
    Do you mean line management experience (I.e. Direct reports)? Because everyone manages something whether it's a project, finances, a process etc.
    From my recent interview, they required direct reports. EO is the junior management position that doesn't require direct reports whereas HEO/SEO appear to require them, unless my interview was an anomaly in the direct reports requirement, they asked me questions relating to management of staff to ensure targets are met or what to do with a struggling junior for example, which I found strange as it didn't relate directly to the role (although I would've had a team under me so I guess it did).

    As I said from the start, as a graduate not applying through Fast Stream, you should be applying for EO unless you've had management experience (direct reports/managed teams with projects etc) in which case HEO although I'd only advise it if you actually have managed teams with project delivery and deadlines.
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    Hello guys, I have a masters in Public Policy and 4 month internship experience in parliament (2015) and a government department (2016).

    What would be the appropriate grade to go for? I've applied for a few EO roles but I am not sure whether that's too ambitious or not ambitious enough.
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    (Original post by queenofswords)
    Hello guys, I have a masters in Public Policy and 4 month internship experience in parliament (2015) and a government department (2016).

    What would be the appropriate grade to go for? I've applied for a few EO roles but I am not sure whether that's too ambitious or not ambitious enough.
    Have you had other jobs outside of internships that meet the HEO job spec requirements for the role you'd apply for? If so, apply, if not, keep it at EO level.
 
 
 
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