Head of Digital, Content & Publishing - Flexible Working Available

Birmingham, West Midlands
11 Jan 2021
24 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job

Salary : National - £60,135 London - £65,439

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Our digital channels have become ever more important during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is an opportunity to build on what we have learnt and really deliver a step change in our digital communications.

Do you have experience of working within a busy communications team or similarly fast-paced environment?

Do you have proven experience in leadership and management, setting strategic communication objectives including for digital channels?

The Department for Transport is seeking to fill a critical senior leadership Head of Digital, Content and Publishing role. This is a fantastic opportunity for the right person to join us to build on the great work the team has delivered to date and to further develop our digital presence and enhance our reputation.

You will lead a highly skilled team in delivering inspiring, engaging and effective content to better engage our audience and reach new audiences in innovative and creative ways. You will have overall responsibility for content across a range of channels, including the creation of ideas through to delivery and evaluation, to deliver world-class content to promote Government, departmental and Ministerial priorities and activities.

Job description

This is an incredibly exciting, high profile and challenging job in government communications, providing a unique opportunity to work at the heart of an incredibly busy department with a broad remit where transport impacts everyone’s lives.

You will work closely with colleagues across the department and government to deliver engaging and innovative digital campaigns whilst promoting best practice. You will ideally have experience of working within a busy communications team or similarly fast-paced environment.

The successful candidate will be required to work closely with colleagues across the department and government to deliver engaging and innovative digital campaigns whilst promoting best practice. Also, you will have overall responsibility for all external digital channels and content including GOV.UK publishing as well as print publishing.


• Lead and manage the creative content team to produce inspiring, effective and engaging content on owned social media channels and GOV.UK, empowering the team to proactively support key announcements, visits and events via DfT digital channels demonstrating continuous improvement in quality and engagement.
• Set strategic direction and lead on content and channel strategies to reflect audience and user need whilst growing DfT reach through digital channels.
• Lead the team to develop stretching KPIs ensuring that all digital activity is data driven with actionable insights and regular reporting.
• Develop and manage relationships across communications and with special advisers and private offices to ensure digital content is an integral part of all communications planning.
• Play a leading role in upskilling the wider communications team in digital communications to build resilience and capability.
• Be an expert on social media channels and think strategically and creatively about where digital is going next.
• Build relations with external digital partners including bodies such as social media platforms, media outlets and others.
• Lead the team through periods of ambiguity and crisis, managing delivery and planning during key, high-pressure moments.
• Play an active role in the wider Senior Leadership Team for Group Communications.

About you

Do you understand trends within digital, and are able to use data to tell stories and evaluate the performance of content to build content strategies?

To be successful in this role you will need to think on your feet to juggle multiple urgent priorities with tight deadlines, whilst also working on longer-term projects. You will bring previous and proven experience of leading during a crisis and, having oversight for operational response activity across Communications. You can use your strong analytical skills and the ability to interpret and learn from digital performance data. Also, you will be open in your communication and able to communicate clearly with senior stakeholders, as well as having excellent written and verbal communication skills.

You will bring strong leadership capabilities, as you will be required to lead a team to provide high quality digital communications within very short timescales, dealing with pressure well and being able to manage a variety of relationships. You will be an expert in how social media and digital platforms work, and bring experience of managing multiple high profile social media accounts. with a track record of designing and implementing creative social media solutions. You are someone who understands media relations and the role of digital channels in managing news announcements, alongside having a good political understanding and understanding of what makes news. You will have an understanding and experience of managing online website content.

Please note if you are successful you will be required to travel to London regularly, once we return to office working.

The Civil Service Communications Framework can be found here.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Changing and Improving
  • Leadership

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Government Communication Service (GCS) - Insight
  • Government Communication Service (GCS) - Ideas
  • Government Communication Service (GCS) - Implementation
  • Government Communication Service (GCS) - Impact


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

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 Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Selection Process

The Civil Service Nationality Rules has been updated following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The new rules will come into effect on 1st January 2021. We urge people from the EU, European Economic Area and Switzerland to be familiar with the updated Nationality rules prior to applying for this role.

Please provide a CV outlining your career history and the key responsibilities you had whilst in each role. As part of your Personal Statement please outline your experience of:

• Setting strategic direction and leading on content and channel strategies to reflect audience and user need whilst growing an organisation’s reach through digital channels.
• Developing and managing relationships across an organisation to ensure digital content is an integral part of all communications planning.
• Leading a team through periods of ambiguity and crisis, including hands-on content creation and planning during key, high-pressure moments.

The sift is due to take place from w/c 25th January.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from w/c 8th February.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:
• an interview and presentation

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Please include this title at the bottom of the page, GRS standard wording will follow.

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

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email [email protected] for assistance.

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 the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries
  • 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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Sioned James Email :   [email protected]   Recruitment team : Email :   [email protected] Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk

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