HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

HR Matters

I recently asked for input from HMRC staff about Dorothy Brown (HMRC's Director of HR Operations) wrt HMRC's ongoing promotion exercise that is causing angst amongst staff.

My thanks to a loyal reader who dropped me a wee note about the exercise, that adds some grist to the mill.

Seemingly this is the first major internal promotions exercise carried out within HMRC for a number of years. My loyal reader understands that there are around 500 AO to O grade promotions, and around 50 O to HO grade promotions.

Apparently a similar number of vacancies existed last year. However, most of these were filled by the transfer of staff who would otherwise have been made redundant.

Moving forward one year, I understand that HMRC have told staff that lessons had been learned and that this new round would be through a more streamlined system.

Staff would need to:

1 Complete an online application form, giving examples of those competences that "the lean machine" is looking for.

2 Provide a supporting statement from their manager.

3 Complete and pass an online psychometric test.

Once these stages were completed, those applicants who passed the test could then expect that their forms would be graded by a human being and any ties would be decided by reference to those online scores.

I am given to understand that around 4,000 applications were made.

Ironically HMRC's "professional" HR people eg Mike Falvey and  Dorothy Brown were overwhelmed by the response (so much for having their fingers on the pulse of their staff!).

Thus, having been overwhelmed, they decided to change the rules of the game (midway through), and set a cut off level of the top 1,500 highest scoring individuals who could expect their applications to be considered. Those below this level (even if they were more capable, but not used to timed tests) were cast to the wind.

I understand that Falvey et al are now burying their heads in the sand and ignoring questions and complaints about the handling/mishandling of the process.

A cynic might ask if Falvey has too much on his plate, what with being Chief People Officer and owner of Mike Falvey Associates?

As ever comments, opinions and further information are always welcome.


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  1. i went for the ao to o promotions - a shambles from start to finish. first they cocked up the online tests (some people were able to do the test twice), they cocked up the interviews (people travelled to interviews only to be turned away) they then cocked up the notification process (some people were kept on hold for a week without any reason why) now i'm hearing theyve offered more promotions than actual vacancies - unbelievable!

    i know first hand that 2 people who gained promotion got someone else to sit their tests and write the applications.

    1. and I know someone who applied for Inspector training where his line manager wrote his application, then gave him a mock interview and was then the senior interviewer who interviewed him for the job. Guess what, he got the job. Still they were best mates and played badmington together (you know who you are) so it was no real surprise.

  2. Ken, i have first hand examples of someone who applied for a post on promotion, was the only candidate invited for interview and then didn't get the post - which had to be re-advertised. Also, of posts where the available number weren't filled after the "job filling process" had been completed so those posts then had to be re-advertised. How much does this all cost - hardly demonstrating Pacesetter Principles and cutting out waste does it. It's never been easier to blag your way upwards than it is today.

  3. Ken, you are only just starting to scratch the surface of HR failures at the Muppet Show and the absolute drain on taxpayers hard earned contributions to the X Czecher!
    There is a groundswell of knowledge amongst MP's and others who are beginning to realise that being lied to is the leads they need to worry about WRT Kermit & Co. ("slippery as a bucket of frogs!).
    A couple of blogs earlier I posted about my experiences with the Muppets WRT post retirement tax coding of 40% applied by the Muppet Show, coincidently my ex. employer and holder of all things related to my income.
    That is nothing as far as wastes of money by the Muppet Show and my attempts at whistleblowing internally, fell on deceitful ears.
    Luckily for me, externally they fell otherwise thankfully.
    I have said it before, someone needs to join the dots up, and don't foget those that were not on the payroll...