Senior User Researcher

ID 812

The Welsh Government operates name-free recruitment. The recruiting panel will not see personal information such as a candidate’s name and address during the sifting process. This policy is in line with our commitment to end bias and promote equality and diversity.

Vacancy details

Senior User Researcher 

05/04/2024, 16:00 

Permanent
£43,785
SEO £43,785 to £51,839
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Chief Operating Officer’s Group
Business Change and User Research
Pan Wales

Digital transformation of public services is vital to delivering the services that the people of Wales expect and need. The Welsh Government currently delivers digital services to people and business across Wales. Led by our Chief Digital Officer, the DDaT profession in the Welsh Government supports a range of digital services across the whole organisation.  

As part of our DDaT profession, you will be a key part of the User Research team and will make a significant and direct contribution for the people of Wales. 

The UX project is at the forefront of our work to ensure we have the capacity and capability to support more user and citizen involvement, innovation and collaboration in policy and service development. Improving user experience and increasing user involvement are key priorities for our digital services and wider policy and citizen engagement work. Increased participation from citizens is a priority for the First Minister and Cabinet. 

Role 

As a Senior User Researcher, you will lead on research activity related to the establishment of the UX Centre of Excellence service and conduct research for projects identified within our programme of work.  This includes:  providing specialist advice and consultancy on research and user need as well as end to end project support for services or projects that require professional user research input. This could range from helping teams map out their user research requirements and plan for a particular service or project to leading a user research team to deliver a focused piece of work. You will play a lead role in supporting wider organisational capability building as well as within the Lab team – delivering training and facilitating workshops and events and maturing our internal and external UR/UX community networks. 

We would love to hear from you if you have: 

  • the ability to undertake research and communicate bilingually in Welsh and English (desirable not essential). 
  • experience of advocating for user research and engaging colleagues and stakeholders. 
  • experience of helping teams to adopt user centred service design and delivery practices and embed them into their agile workflow. 
  • the ability to understand the complex problems a team is trying to solve and align user research activities to inform decision making and action. 
  • the ability to understand the complex problems a team is trying to solve and align user research activities to inform decision making and action. 
  • experience of helping teams adopt a wide range of user research methods, analysis and synthesis techniques and approaches to presenting and sharing findings. 
  • proven experience of introducing new user research methods into a team, and guiding colleagues in the choice and effective application of research methods. 
  • the ability to include all kinds of users in appropriate research activities to help teams understand the diversity of users of government services. 
  • experience in using research findings to create impact within an organisation and to influence decision making within service teams and at senior levels. 
  • advocating for user research and engaging sceptical colleagues and stakeholders in research 
  • a good understanding of the social and technological context for government services, and experience of aligning user research activities to help teams understand changing user behaviour‍. 
  • at least 3-5 years' experience in conducting research, preferably within the public sector. 
  • proven experience of working in multidisciplinary teams to embed user 
    - centred design practices in an agile environment. 
  • a good understanding of the social and technological context of government services. 
  • strong facilitation skills and experience of delivering training. 

 What the organisation will expect 

  • You will be responsible for managing defined areas of work using your specialist knowledge or experience to exercise 
    sound judgement when interpreting complex or conflicting information weighing up all evidence to produce innovative 
    solutions to problems. 
  • You will be adaptable, flexible, open to, and accepting of change affecting you and your area of work and deal with that  
    change efficiently and professionally.
  • You will show political awareness and an understanding of the political landscape when considering the impact of your  
    decision and work on the wider business area and when formulating proposals for Senior Managers and Ministers. 

What your team will expect 

  • You may be required to manage a team setting clear direction on achieving their objectives. You will support team 
    members in their work such as complex areas of work; work allocation and prioritisation; performance management; 
    training and development; mentoring and coaching. 
  • You will value diversity and inclusion, creating an environment where individuals feel safe to challenge, share ideas and  
    express concerns adopting an inclusive leadership style. 
  • You will be responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining systems or processes ensuring excellence or  
    value for money. 

What key stakeholders will expect 

  • You will take the lead in creating, building and maintaining constructive relationships at all levels. 
  • You will be able to tailor and adapt your communication style (written and oral) to advise, guide, influence and 
    persuade internal and external stakeholders as appropriate.   

Background on Welsh Government 

The Welsh Government is the devolved government for Wales with an annual budget of around £15 billion. We are responsible for key aspects of public life in Wales including health, education, the economy, transport, agriculture, and the environment. Welsh Ministers are supported by a workforce of more than 5,000 people with offices in Wales, London and overseas. 

Welsh Government priorities are outlined in Taking Wales Forward with an overall ambition to build a Wales which is a self-confident, prosperous, healthy nation and a society which is fair to all. The Welsh Government has set out clear priorities for Wales following the UK’s exit from the European Union. 

We are looking for people who can provide excellent advice and support, can focus resources and have energy and expertise. The Well Being and Future Generations Act provides context for our work. 

  • Planning, designing, and preparing a range of user research activities to support the UX Lab project or any associated projects.
  • Carrying out a wide range of user research activities from recruiting participants and conducting moderated user research and interview sessions to analysing findings, developing user personas and journey maps, and designing prototypes.
  • Designing and running discovery research to develop a deep understanding of the needs of users.
  • Advocating and championing inclusive research and accessible design.
  • Providing expert advice on user research and user centred approaches.
  • Lead colleagues to analyse research data and synthesise clear and actionable findings.
  • Communicate user research findings to help others develop a deep understanding of users and their needs.
  • Design and deliver training that builds organisational capability on user research and user centred practices.
  • Act as a mentor and guide for junior user researchers and line manage junior user researchers within the UX lab project team.
  • Contribute to the user research community - including taking a lead role in the community steering group, presenting at events, writing blog posts, and leading on aspects of practice.

You will have the opportunity to work with multiple projects and programmes across all areas of Welsh Government, with staff at all levels including senior staff, Ministers, and our Digital Apprentice cohort.

You will help build and improve links and collaboration within the cross-government Digital, Data and Technology community.

You will have access to training opportunities and build your networks across the Public Sector.

Want to find out more?

To help explain the application process and answer any questions about our Senior User Research position, we will be hosting two MS Teams Webinars on 12/03/2024 @ 14:45 or 20/03/2024 @ 13:00.  There will be the opportunity to speak bi-lingually in the session. Please contact DDaT@gov.wales to be sent the meeting link for your preferred date.

Important information when applying

Please indicate whether you can speak Welsh and to what level of fluency.  If you indicate level 3 or above, we will test Welsh Language as part of the interview.

This advertisement confirms the overall criteria being assessed throughout this recruitment exercise. For further details on the criteria and evidence required at the application stage, you will need to press apply and review the application form.

For more information on the DDaT skills required for this role, please refer to the Senior User Researcher role in the DDaT Capability Framework.

When presenting your evidence, you may find it useful to consider the expectations of the grade as set out in the Grade Description as well as the main responsibilities that are essential for the role.

A maximum of 10 candidates will be interviewed per role available. Successful candidates will be appointed in merit order.

We will keep a reserve list of candidates who pass the minimum criteria at interview for 12 months.

If candidates have identical scores from the sift of the Experience Criteria stage, then the criteria will be weighted in this order to determine progression to Interview stage:

Priority 1: Experience of using a wide range of user research methods, analysis and synthesis techniques and approaches to present and share findings.

Priority 2: Evidence that demonstrates diverse users’ needs are understood and incorporated into service and content design.

Priority 3: Demonstration of good drafting skills and ability to present complex subjects, clearly and concisely, taking account of the audience, for which messages are intended.

Stage 1 – Application and Sift of Experience Criteria

Complete the online application, CV and Statement of Suitability to demonstrate your experience.

Please upload your CV (no more than 2 pages).

Please upload your Statement of Suitability (no more than 1750 words).

The Statement of Suitability should provide evidence (including specific examples) to show how you meet each of the Experience Criteria for this role and should be no more than 1,750 words in total.  Any words over this will be discounted.

Please note that in Stage 1 we will be assessing only against the Experience Criteria. You can find a reminder of these below:

  1. Experience of using a wide range of user research methods, analysis and synthesis techniques and approaches to present and share findings.
  2. Evidence that demonstrates diverse users’ needs are understood and incorporated into service and content design.
  3. Demonstration of good drafting skills and ability to present complex subjects, clearly and concisely, taking account of the audience, for which messages are intended.

You MUST demonstrate how you meet each of the Experience Criteria for the role, including examples. Candidates that do not provide detailed examples will be sifted out.

Sift of Experience Criteria

After the closing date, all applicant’s Statements of Suitability will be assessed.

Candidates who successfully demonstrate that they meet the minimum levels of Experience criteria required will be invited to an interview.

Stage 2 – Interview 

Your interview will be based on the Behaviours, DDaT Technical Skills and Experience criteria outlined in the sections of this advert.

At Interview stage you will be asked questions which will allow you to provide evidence (including specific examples) of how you meet each of the Experience Criteria, Behaviours and DDaT Technical Skills required for this role.

Basic
1
Sarah Lilley - DDAT@gov.wales

Welsh language requirements

3 - Although Welsh language skills are not essential for this post, they would be an asset. This role is a Welsh language skills desirable role.
1 - Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding
1 - Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh
1 - Can understand parts of a basic conversation
1 - Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Selection Process and Stages

Welsh Government, like all other Government Departments use Success Profiles when we recruit. For each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job. It raises performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

The selection process and stages are:

Number of Stages:2 stage process
Stage 1Application Form
Stage 2Interview

Behaviours

We’ll assess you against these Behaviour criteria during the selection process.

Leadership

This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Delivering at Pace 

This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Making Effective Decisions 

This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Experience

We'll assess you against the following Experience criteria during the assessment process.
CV, Experience questions

Experience of using a wide range of user research methods, analysis and synthesis techniques and approaches to present and share findings.

This will be tested at stage 1: Application Form
This will be tested at stage 2: Interview
This will be tested at stage 1: Application Form
This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Evidence that demonstrates diverse users’ needs are understood and incorporated into service and content design.

This will be tested at stage 1: Application Form
This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Demonstration of good drafting skills and ability to present complex subjects, clearly and concisely, taking account of the audience, for which messages are intended.

This will be tested at stage 1: Application Form
This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Technical

We'll assess the following Technical skills during the selection process.

Research
You can plan user research for services with challenging user needs and complex user journeys.

This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

User-centred and Agile practices
You can help inexperienced teams adopt user-centred practices and embed them into their Agile workflow.

This will be tested at stage 2: Interview

Eligibility

You will be asked about your nationality and if you are legally allowed to work in the United Kingdom. This is to find out if you are eligible to apply for this vacancy. This is a requirement for working within the Civil Service. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria your application will not progress. If it becomes clear at a later stage in the process that you are not eligible to apply, your application may be withdrawn, or the offer retracted.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
• UK nationals
• nationals of the Republic of Ireland
• nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
• nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) 
• nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
• individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
• Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Disability Confident Scheme

The Welsh Government is a Disability Confident Leader. We guarantee to interview any candidate with an impairment, health condition, who is neurodivergent or who uses British Sign Language if they meet the minimum criteria for the post.

Welsh Government has adopted the social model of disability, which recognises that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments, or health conditions, who are neurodivergent or who use British Sign Language.

We are committed to removing barriers in the recruitment process so that all (or potential new) staff can perform at their best.

Recruitment adjustments can be made at any part of the recruitment process for candidates with an impairment or health condition, who are neurodivergent or who use British Sign Language. 

Please get in touch with DiversityInRecruitment@gov.wales to discuss adjustments for any part of the process.

Great Place to Work for Veterans

The Welsh Government operates the Great Place to Work for Veterans Initiative. We guarantee to interview any eligible former members of the armed forces if they meet the minimum criteria for the post.

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
• PCS
• Prospect
• FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
• Pay
• Terms and conditions
• HR Strategy, policies and procedures
• Health, safety and well-being
• Organisational change

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. We encourage you to learn more about our trade unions, partnership working and to get involved in their work.

Benefits

All Welsh Government staff are members of the Civil Service, and as a result are eligible for:

  • Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • 31 days annual leave (pro-rated for part time)
  • training and development opportunities
  • Cycle2Work Scheme
  • Smart Working flexible working arrangement
  • Green Car Scheme (subject to availability)

If you are an active Civil Service Pension member you can continue your membership throughout your employment with us.

Recruitment principles and complaints

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Please see the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles on the Commission's website. info@csc.gov.uk

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and wish to make a complaint please email complaints@gov.wales. Please ensure that you refer to the vacancy reference number.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Welsh Government, you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

All applications for this vacancy must be made using our online application system.


If you have an impairment which prevents you from applying online, please email our recruitment team.You can:

  • request an application pack in an alternative format
  • request a recruitment adjustment to help you submit your application

Use the 'Apply' button to submit your application. You will be asked to register if you don't have an account or sign in if you do. Registration takes a few minutes and you will need an email address.

Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form. You must complete this and submit it before the deadline on the closing date. We will not consider an incomplete application form.

If you would like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the Change Language link on this page.  We welcome applications in Welsh, and applications submitted in Welsh will not be treated less favourably than applications submitted in English.

Please see the candidate guidance for more information on the recruitment process.

For information on Civil Service Success Profiles please click here.

This opportunity is closed to applications.