Helping a central government department respond to Covid-19

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By :
Bethany Waterman


The onset of lockdown for the UK left companies scrambling to facilitate their staff working from home. In the case of the government, it was imperative that departments could transition quickly to continue their ability to support the Covid-19 effort in an unprecedented situation. 

The deployment of IT solutions was one of the main ways of enabling workforces to seamlessly continue their work. As a major supplier of talent with the required skills, we were called upon by many of our NHS and public sector clients to help out.

The challenge

One government department we worked with was under severe pressure in 3 different areas. 
•    To very quickly transition 90% of its people to remote working
•    To support work packages for initiatives, originally planned to take place over up to 2 years, that had to be condensed and delivered in a much shorter time-scale
•    To support urgent, new projects required because of the pandemic, including Test & Trace.

Our client decided that contingent labour was the best way to rapidly deliver these projects. Keystream was chosen to help because of our track record of successful multiple-hire projects delivered through government frameworks, and our extensive proven network of contractors who had performed similar roles for public-sector clients.

The solution

Yes, quick turnaround delivery of contractors was of paramount importance, but efficient, mature service and communication was also critical. Workload within the department had exploded, and our client needed stress to be reduced rather than added to.

“One thing that was very important for me was having one point of contact. I had taken on additional responsibilities at this extremely busy time and I didn’t have time to chase recruiters or deal with several people – it needed to be quick and efficient.”

We were able to introduce specialist contractors who we knew well and trusted to deliver, through an efficient process with minimal added work for the client.

“Beth was very quick off the mark to find candidates. She clarified things with me, asked the right question at the right time and was very responsive. She was also very honest if there were issues sourcing people or if she needed flexibility with timelines.”

With dedicated compliance and finance teams, all contractors were onboarded onto our systems extremely quickly, and any issues were resolved directly with them. From initial brief to completion of hiring 20 contractors took just a couple of weeks.

The result

Keystream contractors played a crucial role in the smooth transition of this central government department’s team to working from home. 

Feedback from the line managers was extremely positive about the high calibre of talent and their commitment to the projects. All of the Keystream contractors were kept on for the duration of the contracts, and in many cases, beyond.

Above all, a strong partnership has developed with the client and our central government Division. We continue to work with them on other critical tech projects related to the pandemic and look forward to collaborating on other new projects as they support the country’s efforts to rebuild.


For a discussion about jobs and hiring for central government, get in touch.


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