HMRC: Creating a New Virtual Assessment Centre for Greater Diversity

HMRC: Creating a New Virtual Assessment Centre for Greater Diversity

Every year, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) hires 40 lawyers in an annual campaign. Ahead of their annual hiring effort, they turned to PeopleScout to help them modernise their assessment centre to secure more qualified talent.

56 Qualified Candidates Found for 40 Vacancies
40 % of Offers Made Were to Candidates Who Identified as an Ethnic Minority
33 % of Offers Made Were to Candidates Who Identified as Being from a Lower Socioeconomic Background


The HMRC team was concerned that their current assessment centre was no longer a good predictor of performance in the role. They had also received feedback from a number of candidates who said they’d experienced functionality and formatting limitations while completing the written exercise. 

The HMRC wanted PeopleScout to evaluate their assessment strategy to ensure they were evaluating for the right traits, to improve the candidate experience, and to reduce potential hidden bias within the process since diversity was a critical goal for their recruitment programme.


Reassessing the Assessment Centre

Our tech team and assessments experts had several sessions with the HMRC team. The HMRC team was able to share the skill and behaviour requirements for the legal roles. Each skill and behaviour was weighted to ensure the online assessment was tailored to their specific needs. This collaborative approach gave the HMRC team opportunities to provide direct input into the direction of the assessment centre and develop trust in the outcomes as well as PeopleScout.

The new assessment centre consisted of a behavioural test which also assessed for verbal and cognitive aptitude. This combination gave HMRC the opportunity to evaluate a broader skillset to better judge a candidate’s fit for the role. The new assessment was accompanied by tweaks to the technology platform which created a smoother experience for candidates.

Our PeopleScout team trained HMRC’s internal teams on administering the new assessment centre as well as a new video interviewing tool. In addition to the training session, each interview panel member received a detailed guide to minimise the likelihood of any disruption for the candidate.

Creating an Excellent Candidate Experience

We designed and delivered a webinar to engage candidates and educate them about the new virtual assessment centre. This gave them the opportunity to ask questions and feel confident going into the testing stage.

A PeopleScout assessor was present during all virtual assessments to support the HMRC team with their assessment expertise and ensure a consistent experience for all candidates.


Of the applications received, 62% were passed to HMRC for sifting and to complete the assessment centre. Just under half passed and completed a virtual interview with HMRC. Ultimately, 56 qualified candidates were identified against 40 vacancies, giving HMRC a talent pool to draw upon for future openings.

Great strides were made against HMRC’s diversity recruitment efforts. Of the offers made:

  • 7% of candidates stated “yes” to having a disability
  • 60% of candidates identified as female
  • 40% of candidates identified as minority ethnic
  • 33% of candidates identified as being from a lower socio-economic background

Feedback from candidates was positive with many saying they felt the new platform was easier to navigate.


  • COMPANY: Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
  • ABOUT HMRC:: Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is a department of the UK Government responsible for administration of taxes, national insurance contributions, the national minimum wage and more.
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