The Baxendale Report commissioned by the Cabinet Office to explore the issues around Senior Civil Service external hires shone a light on some of the cultural, structural and process barriers that exist.
Through careful and thoughtful investigation, speaking to many leavers and current senior people who had built their career externally to the SCS, several themes and opportunities around culture, recruitment, induction, talent management and retention became apparent.
The subsequent recommendations were then, in the words of the new Chief People Officer for the Civil Service used as a ‘blueprint’ for the future talent strategy and development of the Senior Civil Service.
“Catherine Baxendale’s report really resonates as someone who left the civil service – and then returned as an “external hire”. As her report makes clear, the civil service needs to do more to get the most out of people it recruits in from outside – to their benefit – but also to the benefit of the civil service and the ministers and public it serves.”
Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow Institute for Government
“This report is clear, cogent, and so revealing. The author’s insights, based on her thorough investigation, will prove invaluable for any reform the Service will undertake. Exemplary work.”
Cristina Odone, Journalist and Commentator
More recently, a review of Childline was commissioned to explore the culture, performance and talent processes of the service which is managed over 12 locations, with c.1000 volunteers and staff serving over 1 million contacts per year.
The review was able to illuminate several important issues and opportunities, which the Board welcomed, and working closely with the executive have provided the strategy and direction for the changes made to improve this critical service for children and young people.
“Catherine Baxendale undertook a complex and challenging review to analyse and understand how a major charity could retain the volunteers on whom it depended. Her logic and intuition provided crucial learning based on real evidence, which was an invaluable contribution to the work of the charity.”
Dame Esther Rantzen, President of Childline, NSPCC
“A really significant and instrumental report that will challenge us, and encourage us, to do things differently in creating a volunteering environment where our volunteers can be and give of their best for children. Thank you!!”
Brett Terry, People Director, NSPCC