I think I have been offered a job in the Civil Service (in the UK), but my communication with the in-house recruiter is akin to being catfished. What's happening?
The recruiter has never suggested the role is uncertain -- but contact is sparse, his phone is almost always off or busy, email responses take over a week, and this whole process has taken nearly half a year?
I've asked on 5 separate occasions for contact details of my new team. The recruiter always enthusiastically agrees, but no details given to date.
- August: applied
- September: interviewed
- October: provisional offer
- November: security/reference checks
- December (early): DBS (criminal background) check complete
- December (mid): asked about start date (Feb. 1st)
I was told I would receive my employment contract immediately after security checks were completed 5 weeks ago -- nothing to date. The recruiter says "HR and SSCL [third-party employment processor] are finalising details".
I want the job -- the organisation as a whole has a good culture, and the role is a fantastic opportunity for me, but...
Without a contract, details of my new manager or team, or any starting information, I don't feel safe giving notice and resigning from my current job.
- Is there some sensible threshold, even without a contract, that it would make sense to give notice for this new role (e.g., an email from my new line manager)?
- Why would it be so difficult for the recruiter to simply tell me who my line manager is and introduce us?
- Why wouldn't the manager herself be interested in contacting me?
- Any advice for securing this role while minimising risk to staying employed?
I received my contract today. The UK Civil Service uses a third party to do employment checks and create contracts. Answers here spurred me to contact this third party directly, and I learned that the Civil Service had not followed the rules when submitting my application -- my Civil Service recruiter didn't know this. Once I explained this to my recruiter, he made corrections, and the process continued.
I also received contact from my new line manager. The lack of this communication is exactly for all the reasons described in the answers below. My case was particularly exacerbated by an over-extended recruiter who could rarely respond, and who was not connected enough to stay in sync with problems with the hiring process. I can absolutely commend all the advice given here:
The UK Civil Service is large, slow-moving, under-resourced, and internal communication breaks down -- have patience, and proactively keep communication going to ensure the hiring process keeps moving!