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User Researcher

Posted: 10 Jun 2021 Closes: 24 Jun 2021
Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle-upon 40,175 - 43,708
Permanent & Full-time HMR_124232

Key Responsibilities

As a User Researcher in our team, you will be:

? Planning, designing, preparing and executing a range of user research activities to support the design, development and continuous improvement of government services.
? Identifying the appropriate research method depending on the phase of the service lifecycle, such as ethnographic research methods, usability testing and A/B tests.
? Working closely with a multidisciplinary agile scrum team who are passionate about their work, and ensure research has a significant contribution to the delivery of our services.
? Leading colleagues to analyse research data and synthesise clear and actionable findings, including working closely with analytics colleagues to create a rich picture of user behaviour.
? Communicating user research findings to help the team and wider organisation develop a deep understanding of users and their needs including presentations at show and tells, designing and maintaining research outputs on the team wall, creating formal reports.
? Contributing to the wider user research community including presenting at meetups and writing blog posts.
? Mentoring and managing junior user researchers.

Essential Criteria

You should demonstrate proven experience in:

? Experience and understanding of a range of user centred service design and delivery practices.
? The ability to understand what problem your team is trying to solve, and align user research activities to inform decision making and action.
? Conducting user research projects with demonstrated impact on the final user experience.
? Identifying user needs using multiple methodologies.
? A good understanding of the diversity of users of government services, and the ability to include many kinds of users in appropriate research activities.
? Using a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including ethnographic techniques, usability testing, remote testing, and survey design.
? Working in an open, iterative and collaborative way in a multidisciplinary scrum team.
? Meeting ambitious deadlines and delivering high-quality work on schedule, including quickly turning around research plans and outputs in different formats.
? Synthesising multiple inputs (reporting data, metrics, qualitative and quantitative insights) to generate actionable and implementable recommendations.
? Involving teams and stakeholders in analysis and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions
? Assessing services to ensure they meet the Service Standard.
? Presenting clear findings that colleagues can understand and use.

You will also need:

A degree in: Psychology, Cognitive Science, Human Factors, Computer Science, Product/Interaction Design, Human Computer Interaction or related relevant experience or equivalent professional experience.

Its desirable that you have:

? An understanding of agile approaches and experience of working in agile teams.
? Some knowledge of current technologies used to build and operate digital services, and the different technical roles in a digital team.
? Understanding of the Service Manual & Government Service Standard.
? Knowledge or experience of working in an agile delivery environment.
? Knowledge or experience of visualising user research findings.

Ideally you will also have experience in conducting research:

With people with low digital skills.
With people with accessibility needs.
With diverse and hard-to-reach audiences.

Technical Skills:

We will assess you against the following technical skills during the selection process.

DDaT Capability Framework Skill Research skills
DDaT Capability Framework Skill Analysis and synthesis
DDaT Capability Framework Skill User centred and agile practices

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
  • DDaT Capability Framework Skill Research skills
  • DDaT Capability Framework Skill Analysis and synthesis
  • DDaT Capability Framework Skill User centred and agile practices


Learning and development tailored to your role
An environment with flexible working options
A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
A Civil Service pension

If you are applying for a role in an office within a regional centre location or a transitional or specialist site, then the following may apply: Daily Travel Assistance will be available for this role, provided the successful applicant is a current HMRC employee and meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the departments Daily Travel Assistance guidance.

Find more about HMRC benefits in 'Your little extras booklet' for further information

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your technical skills and Experience.


As part of the application process you will be asked to provide:-

Your CV
Your employment history
A personal statement, which should demonstrate how you meet the user research skills ensuring you give examples relating to your professional experience as a user researcher, referring to the essential and desirable criteria above (750 words max).

An initial sift based on CV may be held if a large number of applications are received. If your application progresses to a full sift, your personal statement and all technical skills will then be considered.

More information about the competencies and technical skills can be found at:

Things you need to know:?

We would also like you to bring a portfolio to showcase the work you have done to the interview.???If successful at sift, you will be contacted to ask to supply the portfolio.


Your CV is all about summarising your skills, knowledge and experience; your portfolio expands upon it by taking a deeper look at all those strengths. A portfolio could include summaries of projects, accomplishments, skills and samples of work that provide evidence of what you have done.?

We will ask you to complete a short user research exercise?before?the interview. During the interview we will also ask questions that let you demonstrate your experience and technical skills relevant to the role.??
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

Security Update

If you are successful and transferring from another Government Department, we will carry out a check of your identity, nationality, and immigration status (including the right to work in the UK) and a criminal record check before confirming your appointment.

Successful candidates must pass a Disclosure and Barring Security Check/Disclosure Scotland. Please note that HMRC have an exemption under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which enables us to make enquiries about both unspent and spent convictions.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicants details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

HMRC transformation

HM Revenue and customs is currently going through an exciting ten-year transformation programme to create a tax authority fit for the future. As part of this, we are committed to providing high-quality jobs and giving employees a great place to work, whichever location you work from.

HM Revenue and Customs has made significant progress with its plans to locate in 13 large, modern, flexible offices, equipped with high-speed digital infrastructure supporting improved customer service and compliance activity. These collaborative workspaces will enable smarter working and great training and development facilities, allowing for the sharing of expertise, local training, promotion, and provide great ongoing career development opportunities.

These offices will be located in central locations in the following towns and cities close to accessible transport links: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Croydon and Stratford. Our Regional Centres in Croydon, Bristol and Belfast are already operational.

In addition, there will also be a small number of specialist sites where the work cannot be done anywhere else, in Gartcosh (near Glasgow), Telford, Ipswich, Worthing and Dover, as well as our headquarters in central London. Whats more, our Welsh language service has people located in Porthmadog, as well as Cardiff.

We are letting you know about our future plans because if you are recruited into an office that is not one of these locations, you will be expected, subject to HM Revenue and Customs applicable policies, to move to one of these locations in the future. In some cases, this will be via one of our nine transitional sites.

If you are not a current civil servant, you will not be eligible for financial assistance for your move to the regional centre or a transitional or specialist site.

If you are a current HM Revenue and Customs employee and you joined us through an advert that was advertised on or after 11/01/2017, you will not be eligible for financial assistance for your move to a regional centre, a transitional site or a specialist one. This is in line with the terms of your original appointment to HM Revenue and Customs.

For more information please contact the vacancy holder.

Terms and Conditions

We really hope you decide to apply for this role. If youre successful you need to know that in February 2021 members of recognised trade unions (ARC and PCS) voted to approve a pay and contract reform offer. This means that HMRC will adopt new terms and conditions for all colleagues as part of a multi-year pay deal and contract offer, the pay deal period is 01 June 2020 31st May 2023 and terms and conditions changes take place from the 01 June 2021 onwards. These terms will apply to colleagues who already work in HMRC and if you join us, it will apply to you too. Weve put together a summary of the key changes that will be made and you can find this attached to the Job Advert.


If you are currently working for an OGD and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Pay on Transfer from OGD" for further information.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Further Information

Customer facing roles in HMRC require the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English and/or Welsh where required. Where this is an essential requirement this will be tested as part of the selection process.

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to HMRC from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Applicants who wish to work alternative working patterns are welcome to apply. The preferred working pattern may or may not be available, agreement will be subject to business need, and any request to work an alternative working pattern should be made prior to your acceptance of the provisional offer.

At HMRC we are committed to creating a great place to work for all our colleagues; an inclusive and respectful environment that reflects the diversity of the society we serve.

We want to maximise the potential of everyone who chooses to work for us and we offer a range of flexible working patterns and support to make a fulfilling career at HMRC accessible to you.

Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Reasonable adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Complete the Assistance required section in the Additional requirements page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if youre deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Please take extra care to tick the correct boxes in the eligibility sections of your application form. We understand mistakes sometimes happen but if you contact us later than 48hours before the vacancy closes, we will not be able to reopen your application for you.

The inbox to contact is: Use subject line to insert appropriate wording eg. "Please re-open my application - 124232 & vacancy closing date 23rd June 2021

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
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