Recruitment process2023-05-23T18:36:02+01:00

Our hiring process

If you’re looking for a rewarding role in the Civil Service, with plenty of benefits and access to first-class training and development, discover careers at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). You’ll support vital work for national defence, whether you’re developing world-first engineering technologies or ensuring the essential processes of our organisation keep moving forwards.

Find out more about our application process below.

The DE&S recruitment process

Search our vacancies for new and exciting opportunities. Discover more about our vital work supporting and equipping the UK Armed Forces, and why your contribution will really matter.

Found a job you like? Great!

Click the ‘Apply’ button on the advert and send us an application by submitting your CV online.

Make sure your CV shows evidence of how you meet each of the Essential Criteria listed on the advert. Check our our CV writing guidance for best chance of success.

If you meet the Essential Criteria for the job, we’ll review your CV.

Good news! We’d like to find out more about you.

You’ll be sent a link to book in your interview – usually this will take place on Microsoft Teams. There are two ways to access the interview call:

  • A link provided via calendar invite
  • Telephone number and conference code provided in your confirmation email

If you have any technical problems e.g. losing connection, then you can re-join the call using the details provided.

The interview will last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The questions will follow the format below:

  • CV review
  • Core Behaviour 1
  • Core Behaviour 2
  • Technical Competence 1
  • Technical Competence 2

Read the job advert thoroughly, as this will give you a good indication of the qualities and experience the interview panel are looking for, as well as an idea of some likely questions. The job advert will include the Core Behaviours and Technical Competences that you will be assessed against. You can learn more about these behaviours and competences below:

During this process, you will also be asked to provide the following documentation:

  • Form of ID (passport or driving license)
  • Three forms of proof of address (which also shows your name)
  • If you’re not a UK national, your Visa
  • Additional forms: Address History form, Character Enquiry Pensions Questionnaire, Pre-employment Checks Authorisation form, Reference Request form

Congratulations, we think you’d be a great fit for DE&S. The recruitment team will be in touch to discuss your offer and what happens next.

The DE&S on-boarding process

Congratulations on your offer to work here at DE&S – we’re looking forward to welcoming you to the team. Before you can join us, we need to check a few things.

All our roles require Security Check (SC) security clearance as a minimum and we’ll start the process once you have verbally accepted your offer.

Below you’ll learn more about our on-boarding process and who you can expect to hear from.

Defence Business Services logo

Defence Business Services is an organisation within the Ministry of Defence who help provide a full range of civilian human resources and pay services to Defence.

They will contact you to help arrange your pre-employment checks, which need to be completed before you can start in your new job. This will include a request for personal information including your proof of ID, address, qualifications (if applicable), and some documentation, which you’ll need to complete and return:

  • United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) new user application form
  • Reference request form
  • Pension questionnaire
  • Bank details request form

Once you have returned everything to Defence Business Services, they will set up your employment checks.

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV): our latest updates - GOV.UK

Process length: from 20 days to a number of months

UKSV is the main UK government provider of security clearances. There are two types of security clearance within DE&S and it depends upon what type of role you are allocated to as to which level of security clearance you require:

SC security clearance:

In most cases, this clearance should take 20 working days to clear but could take longer for a variety of reasons depending upon your personal circumstances.

DV security clearance:

This clearance can take number of months to clear as it’s a higher level of security and requires you having an interview with the vetting department.

Optima Health, Lead Occupational Health Physician | The Society of Occupational Medicine
Process length: up to 2 weeks

Optima Health is our occupational health services provider. The occupational health check can take up to two weeks, sometimes longer, depending on your medical circumstances.

Process length: one week
References are obtained via your HMRC tax record and usually take one week to complete. Where a written personal reference is also required, this can take longer.

Now you have cleared all checks, the recruitment team will be back in touch to arrange your start date and issue your formal paperwork.

Your new team will be in contact to make arrangements for your first day. We look forward to having you on board!

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Inclusive recruitment

Fair and open competition

When you apply for a role with us, you’ll be assessed through ‘fair and open competition’ – this means anyone that applies to join us is assessed and scored in the same way, with roles offered on order of merit. 

Diverse assessors

We have also launched a Diverse Assessors programme, where we use specially trained assessors from diverse groups across DE&S to provide a more rounded voice on the interview panel and mitigate any risk of bias.

Support with your application

If you would benefit from any assistance or reasonable adjustments, please include details on the online application form and speak with your recruiter. Even if you’re not sure how we can help, there may be other ways we can support you.

Graduate and apprenticeship schemes

University or school leaver? Find out more about applying for our graduate schemes and apprenticeships.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Go to our Current Vacancies page
  • Filter and find the role you would like to apply for to view the job description
  • If you would like to proceed with your application, click the ‘Apply’ button, which will transfer you to our Applicant Tracking System, Skillstream, where you can create an account and complete your application
  • Applying is easy: Upload your CV, fill in your personal details and answer a few simple questions

When you arrive for interview, you will be asked for the following documentation:

  • Form of ID (passport or driving license)
  • Three forms of proof of address (which also shows your name)
  • If you’re not a UK national, your Visa
  • Forms provided by CSJobs when you were invited to interview (Address History form, Character Enquiry Pensions Questionnaire, Pre-employment Checks Authorisation form, Reference Request form).

All documents need to be originals and we will photocopy them when you arrive for interview

You will then be escorted to the interview room, where the interview will last approximately between 45 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll be invited to discuss your CV (including your key achievements, relevant experience and applied skills & knowledge) and to establish your fit with the DE&S Behaviours.

During the interview you will be asked questions and assessed around the Core Civil Service Behaviours and Technical Competences stated in the job advert.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current structure of interviewing may differ from the above. We are taking all necessary precautions to keep candidates and our employees safe.

If you are successful at interview there are three stages to the offer and on-boarding process:

  • Provisional Offer – You will receive a telephone call from the Recruitment Team who will agree a provisional offer with you and explain pre-employment checks (i.e. the on-boarding process). It is crucial that you do not resign from your current employment at this stage.
  • On-boarding – The DBS on-boarding team commence three pre-employment checks using the forms you provided when you arrived at interview:
    • Employment history (provided by HMRC)
    • Health checks (undertaken by OH Assist)
    • Security checks (carried out by UKSV), as clearances will be required to join our organisation
  • Formal offer – If the pre-employment checks have completed satisfactorily, you will receive contact from the Defence Business Services (DBS) on-boarder to agree a start date. Following this, you will receive a formal offer by email and post.  If you accept the formal offer, this is when you would resign from your current employment.
Explore our Frequently Asked Questions

More about Defence Equipment & Support

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Who we are

Part of the Ministry of Defence, we’re a mix of 11,500 talented civil servants and military personnel located across the UK and abroad.

Learn more
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What we do

Delivering a programme of work of over £10bn annually, we ensure the UK Armed Forces have all the equipment and support they need for their operations.

Learn more
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Work for us

Join us in specialisms from engineering to project management to commercial – take your first step to a more rewarding career with DE&S.

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