18F Leadership Candidate Guide
This guide is meant to help anyone interested in applying for a leadership role at 18F know what to expect and how to navigate the process.
So a new leadership opportunity has popped up and caught your attention? Great! Or you see it and think one of your colleagues would be a great fit? Also great! Read on for how to proceed.
Most of this document is geared towards people who apply or are nominated, but hopefully this can help everyone understand the process. So maybe next time, you’ll be the one applying!
All leadership role searches will have a deadline. That deadline should be a minimum of five days and preferably longer. There should be enough time for everyone to consider whether they want to apply or nominate a colleague and to prepare their application materials. The deadline should be communicated clearly in the announcement and on the nomination form. If you can’t find the deadline, ask! The hiring manager or guild leaders should know, or the 18F Chief of Staff can find out for you. If the deadline seems too short to allow for an inclusive competition, please let someone know. In addition to the hiring manager, guild leaders, or Chief of Staff, you can also talk to your team lead, supervisor, the diversity guild, or the Talent team.
When a role is announced, it should be accompanied by a nomination form that will include asking for your name, a few words about why you think you’d be successful in the role, and any additional notes you may want to add. If you can’t find the nomination form, reach out to the hiring manager or guild leaders (depending on the sort of role), or the 18F Chief of Staff.
When describing why you’d be successful in the role, try to link your experiences with the job description, required tasks, skills and mindset, and so on that are included in the role description. Be kind to and generous with yourself when considering your experiences, and don’t sell yourself short! We’d prefer you overestimate the relevance of your experiences for a particular role than to underestimate yourself and deprive us of your leadership!
Nominating someone else
When a role is announced, it should be accompanied by a nomination form in Google Forms. That will ask for your nominee’s name, a few words about why you think they’d be successful in the role, and any additional notes you may want to add. If you can’t find the nomination form, reach out to the hiring manager or guild leaders (depending on the sort of role), or the 18F Chief of Staff.
Before nominating someone, first think carefully about why you want to nominate them. Look at the role description and responsibilities again, and think about specific, concrete ways you believe the person will be successful. If someone is not well suited for a particular role, don’t nominate them just because they’re your friend or you admire them, and certainly not just because they are from a community that is underrepresented in leadership.
You should get a message shortly after the competition closes. It could take a couple of days! If you were nominated by someone else, you’ll be asked if you’re interested in the role. You’re not obligated to interview just because someone nominated you, but if your colleagues believe you’ll be good for the role, you are more than welcome to continue if you want! The evaluation process includes an interview and looking at your nomination form. Everyone who applies or is nominated and wishes to be considered will be considered before a decision is made.
After all of the interviews are finished, the interview panel will convene to make a selection. You will be notified that interviews have finished and told when the interview panel is meeting to decide. Once someone is selected, the interview panel must first notify Talent. After Talent gives the final okay, candidates can be notified. If you are selected, you will be contacted first so you have the opportunity to decline the role. You may be asked not to announce anything for a little while so everyone else can be notified privately first.
People who are not selected will be contacted and offered a debrief session with the panel or a representative to discuss the areas for growth they identified. You are not required to accept the debrief session, but you are encouraged! Not being selected is not a personal failure, but a chance to get targeted feedback on how to grow into a particular role.
Once everyone has been notified, there will be a public announcement from the hiring manager or guild leaders.