The Government of Canada Digital Talent Strategy

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Advances in digital technology are transforming how people across Canada work and interact with one another. People now expect government services to be available when they need them and how they choose to access them (digital or otherwise).

The Government of Canada (GC) is shifting to align with the GC Digital Standards and become more open, agile and user-centred. This shift is critical for developing digital capacity and solutions that are foundational to how government works and ensuring that services are delivered in a reliable, secure and welcoming way.

The GC’s ability to achieve this depends entirely on the capacity and capability of the GC’s digital community.

The digital community includes digital talent. That means any person whose primary role is developing or delivering GC digital initiatives, products or services. Digital talent work in many classifications and domains across government, including development, design and cyber security.

Organizations around the world are facing a shortage of digital talent, and the GC is not immune. In response, the GC created Canada’s Digital Ambition to be the north star for guiding digital talent recruitment and accelerating digital era practices in the GC.

Driven by the Ambition, this GC Digital Talent Strategy will ensure that the GC has the digital talent, processes and culture to design and deliver robust digital services to better serve people across Canada.


The GC has taken concrete steps to develop and strengthen its digital talent.

The Chief Information Officer of Canada is the functional leader of the GC digital community, as set out in the Policy on Service and Digital. Under her leadership, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) has been providing foundational services tailored to the digital community, including:

  • attracting digital talent through centralized recruitment campaigns
  • helping managers hire digital talent through pre-assessed recruitment pools
  • partnering with traditionally untapped and underrepresented sources of talent
  • developing employee growth through personalized talent management
  • recognizing and celebrating the community through reputational events
  • providing interdepartmental human resources (HR) products, organizational models and guidance

The GC digital community has grown over the last few years and, as a result, the demand for digital support has grown, too. This has driven the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to build capacity and create partnerships to meet the current and anticipated needs of the digital community.

To date, TBS and federal organizations have been piloting, iterating and scaling new services to support the digital community. For example, teams across the GC are leading the charge to attract, retain and develop digital talent, including:

  • GC Digital Talent, led by TBS, a platform that shares GC opportunities with external and internal candidates interested in digital and technology from entry level to executive
  • IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples, led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), a pathway to employment in the federal public service for Indigenous Peoples who have a passion for IT. Successful completion of the program is recognized by the Chief Information Officer of Canada as meeting the educational requirements for entry-level IT jobs in the GC, which removes barriers to employment for Indigenous talent
  • Cloud Skills Adoption led by Shared Services Canada (SSC), a pathfinder project to test trusted GC and industry curricula on cloud to ensure that digital talent have modern technical knowledge

While these efforts have delivered tangible results, there is still work to be done to address the complex and substantive challenges in attracting and retaining the digital talent of today and tomorrow.


Research from academia, not-for-profits, and industry show that one of the biggest challenges facing today’s organizations is a shortage of digital talent. Some factors are global, while others are specific to the GC.

Globally, governments and businesses are being transformed by rapid technological advances and require digital talent to adapt. Organizations in every sector need to improve their digital capacity. This has created fierce competition for specialized digital talent. There is also an urgent need to help existing staff adapt to the shifting technical landscape. Many organizations are facing the need for significant changes in their systems and cultures to attract and retain digital talent, such as:

  • adjusting to the opportunities and challenges of remote work
  • reducing organizational silos
  • being more open to experimentation

The GC must modernize its foundational operations while improving and continuing service delivery. For the foreseeable future, GC operations require digital talent with skills from both new and traditional digital domains. This will help them improve current systems and maintain stable service delivery. However, finding and developing digital talent in both domains presents unique recruitment, knowledge transfer, and skill development challenges.

The GC must review barriers that prevent digital talent from joining and thriving in the GC. Institutional requirements, like security clearance processes, mean that staffing can often take longer than in other sectors. Excessive oversight, risk aversion, and organizational silos make it difficult for digital initiatives and digital talent to thrive. Instead, rules should be implemented in ways that are fit-for-purpose and reflect their original intent.

The GC must continue to regularly collect and analyze data to understand the digital talent landscape and make data-driven decisions. Findings and data have informed initiatives for digital talent to date. However, establishing findings and gathering data did not come without challenges: barriers to data collection, data sharing, and reporting make it harder to develop services for the digital community in a timely, coordinated and evidence-based way.

The GC must demonstrate and improve its value as an employer. Increasingly, digital talent consider career development opportunities, workplace flexibility, and impactful work as some of the most important factors in their career decisions. The GC is competitive when it comes to impactful work, employee benefits, stability, diverse career opportunities, and work–life balance. However, industry tends to provide more career development opportunities, faster hiring timelines, and competitive financial compensation. The GC must level this playing field to effectively compete for and retain top digital talent.


While the challenges seem daunting, the GC has unique opportunities to become an employer of choice for digital talent who want to contribute to the public good in a high-impact job and maintain work–life balance.

A civic mission like no other. The GC has the unique responsibility of designing and managing services to address the most complex and high-impact needs of people across Canada. People who use digital skills for the public good contribute to life changing moments, including:

  • accelerating claims processing for Employment Insurance and Old Age Security for people when they need their financial benefits the most
  • streamlining immigration application processing for newcomers to kickstart careers and reunite families
  • providing faster services to veterans and their families who are facing unexpected emergencies

At a minimum, these services must be secure, reliable and user-centred. Digital talent across Canada and beyond are being called upon to lead advancements to critical GC services and infrastructure. Digital talent have the opportunity to rethink how services can be welcoming to everyone, seamless across governments, and proactively tailored to meet an individual’s unique needs. The GC has an ambitious vision of excellent and efficient service delivery for Canada, and it requires digital talent more than ever to design services that deliver on this promise.

A renewed focus on building an environment for digital-era work. The GC is using a new approach to building digital services: good digital services are driven by interoperable technology, clear and optimized structures, and empowered digital talent. In addition, GC leadership recognizes that digital talent want to work across sectors, treat careers as missions with purpose, and learn from experienced colleagues. Leaders are championing this new perspective, along with a flexible, collaborative and enabling environment where digital talent are empowered to bring service delivery from functional to five-star.

A reflection of diversity in Canada. When digital talent reflect the diverse people and communities they serve, the GC will be better able to design and deliver services that are more equitable, inclusive and accessible. Digital talent that bring new perspectives create better services for everyone, which:

  • reduces assumptions and bias in service delivery
  • considers the needs, challenges and preferences of diverse communities early and often
  • over time, encourages internal systems and tools to become more equitable, inclusive and accessible to attract and retain diverse digital talent

An opportune time for partnerships. Since the digital talent shortage is felt across sectors, a siloed sector-by-sector solution is not the answer. With Canada’s growing digital and technology capacity, the GC will need to partner with other sectors, including post-secondary institutions, industry and not-for-profits, to build a highly skilled digital workforce.

The GC needs to take collective action to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities to deliver on Canada’s Digital Ambition.


The Strategy builds on the foundation of Canada’s Digital Ambition, namely Strategic Theme 4: a structural evolution in funding, talent and culture, with a focus on supporting fully digital delivery by managing a government-wide culture shift (Priority 4.1) and building a workforce for digital first delivery (Priority 4.2).

The Strategy was based on the GC Digital Standards. It was developed with extensive consultation and input from employees and organizations across the federal public service. It aims to be broadly applicable across federal organizations.

The main audience for the Strategy is the GC digital community, across all digital domains. It is a call to action to attract, develop and retain digital talent with a unified approach over the next three years (2023–26). When the public service adopts one government-wide approach, it creates widespread change, removes systemic barriers and reduces duplication.


The Strategy takes a human-centred approach. It was developed using the Employee Life Cycle for Digital Talent as its framework. The life cycle, as outlined in the showcase below, maps the different phases that digital talent experience as they start, develop and transition in their public service career. Each of the phases represents a strategic point where the GC can take concrete actions to attract, develop and retain digital talent.

Showcase: The Employee Life Cycle for Digital Talent

  • Applying to the GC: they understand the organization, values, team, role, impact, and exactly what to expect throughout the hiring process through regular updates
  • Starting a new job: they feel welcomed and have the connections, tools and context they need to start making an impact
  • Performing the job: they are empowered to design and deliver services above all else
  • Building a network: they find their community through communities of practices, centres of excellences, regular events for digital talent, and more
  • Learning a skill: they have the time and resources to learn or hone skills in a way that works best for their learning style
  • Getting career advice: they are given tailored career guidance with suggested opportunities to advance through new roles, micro missions, learning programs, and more
  • Getting recognized for success: they are celebrated through awards and more opportunities for development or promotion
  • Leaving for a new adventure: they feel proud to be a GC alum and consider the GC for future opportunities


In this section

The Strategy builds on the progress made to date by setting priorities and identifying specific actions to attract, develop and retain digital talent.

The Strategy has four missions:

  • Mission 1 – Attract and recruit digital talent
  • Mission 2 – Develop and retain digital talent
  • Mission 3 – Build fit-for-purpose processes, policies and tools
  • Mission 4 – Create a digital culture defined by diversity, equity and inclusion that puts people first to drive service delivery excellence

Each mission is supported by actions, which are concrete steps that the GC must take to support the digital community. These missions and actions are designed to directly address systemic recruitment and retention challenges in the GC. Many of the missions and actions build on existing work from groups across the GC that have shown leadership and made significant progress.

While the missions and actions are designed to be achievable within the next three years (2023–26), they are at various stages of development. Progress will be reported annually. Missions, actions, sub-actions, expected outcomes and accountable federal organizations will be shared in a roadmap and governance plan.

Expectations of federal organizations

The Strategy’s implementation will vary across organizations. However, there are seven common actions that all organizations must take to uplift digital talent:

  1. Use existing enterprise recruitment and development services before developing new ones
  2. Align with and comply with the Policy on Service and Digital and its digital talent component, the Directive on Digital Talent and Mandatory Procedures on Digital Talent
  3. Review the department’s internal processes that impact digital service development and adjust those that are not fit-for-purpose
  4. Align with government-wide direction on building multidisciplinary teams and using flexible staffing options to recruit and develop digital talent
  5. Create space for continuous learning through the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) or specialized training offerings
  6. Instill a human-centred, outcomes-focused and service-focused culture to help increase the GC’s digital government maturity
  7. Identify and communicate to the OCIO any barriers to recruiting, developing or retaining digital talent


These four missions show the work that will be in focus over the next three years (2023–26).

  1. Mission 1 – Attract and recruit digital talent

Improve recruitment processes and tools to help the GC better meet digital talent needs and expectations when joining the public service.

  1. Mission 2 – Develop and retain digital talent

Create skill development initiatives that enable digital talent to keep pace with the continuous evolution of technology, and career pathways that enable meaningful advancement in both individual contributor and leadership roles.

  1. Mission 3 – Build fit-for-purpose processes, policies and tools

Develop organizational agility, reduce administrative burden, and set up digital talent and the enterprise for digital change.

  1. Mission 4 – Create a digital culture defined by diversity, equity and inclusion that puts people first to drive service delivery excellence

Create a digital community that reflects the diverse people they serve to better equip the GC to design and deliver equitable, inclusive and accessible services.

Showcase: Where we are and what we’re working towards

The vision

The GC has the digital talent, processes and culture to design and deliver human-centred, secure and sustainable digital services to better serve people across Canada.

The current state The future state
Mission 1: Attract and recruit

Hiring processes vary widely across GC and are slower than industry.

Processes are simpler, time to hire is faster, and digital talent understand why the federal public service is a good fit for them.

Mission 2: Develop and retain

Learning and career pathways, and learning opportunities on current digital skills are decentralized.

Specialized, coordinated, enterprise-wide learning and career opportunities that bring challenge and purpose.

Mission 3: Build fit-for-purpose processes, policies and tools

Slow adoption of new digital domains and new digital working models.

Organizational agility is increased and work that delivers value to the people across Canada is prioritized above all else.

Mission 4: Create a digital culture

The digital community culture is still emerging, and the community does not yet accurately reflect the diverse fabric of Canada.

The digital community fosters a culture of service delivery excellence, is representative of Canada’s diversity, and underrepresented digital talent are supported and sponsored.

Mission 1 – Attract and recruit digital talent


1.1 Deliver a scalable GC Digital Talent Platform

The GC Digital Talent Platform shares GC job opportunities in digital and technology from entry level to executive for people thinking about joining the GC and for current employees. Candidates apply to opportunities by creating a profile that emphasizes skills gained from diverse experiences and potential, not only formal education or training. Part of the Platform expansion includes the launch of the IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples, a program to attract Indigenous talent.

The Platform creates a consistent approach to recruiting digital talent by consolidating job postings and pools into a single recruitment repository. This means applicants can apply for multiple jobs at once and departments have access to more candidates. This approach minimizes time and effort across the GC and gives departments more time for meaningful engagement with potential hires.

1.2 Coordinate recruitment campaigns with departments to hire digital talent in high-demand domains

Current high-demand domains in the federal public service include cyber security, data science, information architecture, cloud infrastructure, application development, and digital leadership. Comprehensive recruitment campaigns that will reach top candidates across Canada and internationally will be essential to fill digital skill gaps.

1.3 Set up a “tour of service” program to deploy multidisciplinary service teams to enterprise priorities

A mission-based “tour of service” program would allow people interested in joining the public service to contribute to a critical government mission for a select period, ranging from a few months to three years. Individuals would be deployed to an organization as a member of a multidisciplinary team to bring a new outlook to a service, solve problems, and make a meaningful impact. This program will require an assessment of the compensation and benefits necessary to attract people who want to join the public service for tours of service and other short-term opportunities within the GC.

1.4 Test targeted enhancements to make it easier to hire digital talent interested in joining the public service

ESDC, the Canadian Digital Service, and other departments have reviewed their lessons learned on how to better recruit diverse digital talent interested in joining the public service. Other departments have started implementing their own initiatives, like Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, to attract international tech talent. TBS and departments will build upon this progress to test how the GC can:

  • hire more new graduates by partnering with post-secondary institutions
  • hire more early-career digital talent by building apprenticeships
  • hire more mid-career digital talent by piloting fellowships, entrepreneur-in-residence programs, and other programs
  • customize offers based on what’s most important for a candidate
  • reduce time-to-hire digital talent
  • improve each stage of the hiring process for people in employment equity and equity-seeking groups
  • attract and develop international digital talent
1.5 Build efficient, inclusive and seamless onboarding and transition experiences

When joining the federal public service, digital talent should feel welcomed, integrated and recognized for their contribution to the mandate of their organization. These conditions lead to a deeper level of engagement, greater retention and accelerated productivity.

When leaving the federal public service, digital talent should feel proud to be GC alum, have the opportunity to mentor digital talent, or return to pursue project-based work.

The GC will continue to explore pilots that will test how to cultivate community building, relationship management, and coaching during onboarding and transition experiences.

Showcase: The IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples

The IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples is an innovative GC program that helps Indigenous Peoples who have a passion for IT get a job in the federal public service. It aims to increase representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in the GC’s IT field.

The program has been developed for, by and with Indigenous Peoples across Canada. The program removes some of the biggest barriers to employment and replaces them with an innovative model that combines on-the-job learning with online training and professional development.

At the end of two years, apprentices will have the experience, skills and credentials needed to continue a career in the IT field. Apprentices who are involved in the program say that it is “life-changing,” that it represents “a chance to have a better life through technology,” and that “there are no barriers to succeeding in this program.”

Highlights of the IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples as of end of September 2023:

  • 492 applications have been received from over 204 different Indigenous communities across Canada
  • 123 Indigenous people hired as IT apprentices with the GC 
  • 33 of the IT apprentices are living in and working from an Indigenous community
  • 43 of the IT apprentices identify as women

Mission 2 – Develop and retain digital talent


2.1 Establish a baseline of current digital capabilities, talent and culture across the GC

The GC needs an understanding of today’s digital talent landscape and capacity to make evidence-based decisions, foresee digital talent gaps and risks, and manage change effectively. Collecting and analyzing digital community workforce data inside and outside of government will be essential to develop evidence-informed, coordinated and sustainable workforce planning recommendations across the GC.

2.2 Define foundational digital skills and continue to offer learning on digital topics for all public servants

Defining the digital skills that all federal public servants, including the digital community, need is essential for a modern workforce. The digital skills needed by the entire public service and the digital community should be outlined, as well as a plan to embed the digital skills in future learning and career pathways, workplace analytics, and HR systems.

2.3 Facilitate and scale specialized learning offerings for digital practitioners

The few departments that offer specialized training have discussed the positive feedback from learners, a growing demand for specialized training, and a culture shift towards learning and experimentation. For example, the Cloud Skills Adoption pilot led by SSC attracted 850 learners from six departments, many of whom gained industry-recognized technical certifications as a result of the pilot. Going forward, enterprise-wide specialized training will be offered to reduce duplicate efforts, address critical skill gaps, and ensure that training is openly available to departments.

2.4 Build career pathways for individual contributor and leadership roles

Career pathways provide a structured framework that outlines the progression from entry-level positions to more advanced roles. This clarity will help individuals understand the experiences required to achieve their career goals, which may include becoming a senior developer, a product manager or a director. Self-service career pathways will involve skill development, mentorship, job shadowing, coaching, micro-missions and community networking.

2.5 Build a common framework for digital development programs across the GC

Digital development programs are run by departments. They are cohort-based programs designed for new digital talent to hone digital and leadership skills. Digital talent are quickly onboarded to the organization and digital domain of choice, while building new relationships with their cohort peers. While programs differ between departments, a common framework will be created with and for departments that do not have development programs and are interested in creating their own.

2.6 Explore an internal development program focused on short-term placements for digital practitioners

Similar to a tour of service, an internal development program would allow digital practitioners to rotate through a series of placements across the GC to gain hands-on learning experiences. The GC will explore, and if required, enhance staffing options best suited to internal short-term placements and build partnerships with departments to pilot the program.

2.7 Expand talent management services

Talent management services offered by TBS include providing career advice, sharing new job or development opportunities for executives and aspiring executives, and succession planning for data and digital leaders. TBS will expand services to include managers and digital practitioners, and host more mentorship opportunities for aspiring digital leaders in employment equity and equity-seeking groups.

Mission 3 – Build fit-for-purpose processes, policies and tools


3.1 Simplify and implement policies and processes that improve GC-wide coordination and service delivery

Service and digital policies and processes are mandated across the GC, but they are valuable only if they help government deliver better services. To simplify these policies and processes, the Policy on Service and Digital will be reviewed and strengthened to be more flexible and service-oriented. For example, the Directive on Digital Talent helps departments apply a consistent approach to workforce planning and provide the GC with a strategic perspective on digital talent recruitment, contracting, leadership and skill gaps.

3.2 Enhance and expand the digital community’s interdepartmental HR products to easily recruit and hire digital talent in new and emerging jobs

Interdepartmental HR products, such as standardized job descriptions, define digital jobs and the skills each job requires in the federal public service. The products are essential for understanding diverse jobs, staffing, skills assessments and career progression. Future interdepartmental HR products will reflect the current and future digital community. In addition, federal organizations will receive expert guidance on digital recruitment to help them use new products, expedite HR processes, and ensure that the right candidates are selected.

3.3 Create a permanent senior individual contributor role to hire highly experienced digital technologists

The GC is re-thinking career development, flexibility and compensation. These are some of the most important aspects for senior digital talent when they consider joining or leaving a job. Compensation, progression and benefits offered should be comparable to digital jobs in other industries. For example, the federal public service currently lacks a “dual track” progression model, which means digital talent who want to advance in seniority and compensation must take on people management responsibilities. As an initial step, the GC will create a business case to explain the need for the IT Job Evaluation Standard to include a benchmark “Principal Technologist” job description at the IT-05 level to support advancement into senior, non-management jobs.

3.4 Develop action-oriented guidance that will help organizations and teams deliver against the GC Digital Standards

The digital community has advocated for more centralized leadership and clear direction to support their work in more flexible, modern and inclusive ways. Some examples of future guidance for organizations and teams include:

  • how to adopt flexible and responsive work environments, including the creation of multidisciplinary teams
  • how to hire digital talent from across Canada
  • how to adopt agile and product management approaches in funding, procurement, risk management and governance
  • how to consider diversity, equity and inclusion in service design and delivery
  • best practices on sharing guides, solution playbooks, or reference architectures across the GC
3.5 Review and improve methods for digital talent to access tools and technology

Accessing tools and technology varies by department, which can be frustrating when people expect tools to be ati vailable to them when they need them, not weeks later when joining a new department or starting a new project. Next steps to address these concerns are to identify common tools across the GC, review and improve processes to request and access them, and develop specific direction on configuring, testing and using technology securely and responsibly.

3.6 Assess official language impacts on recruiting and retaining digital talent

Organizations around the world are facing difficulties recruiting and retaining digital talent with strong skills and technical experience to deliver services. The current GC language requirements, compounded with a scarcity of digital talent, impact the GC’s ability to find in-house digital talent. The GC will assess necessary language levels for the digital community, balancing classification and official language considerations.

3.7 Maintain IT exceptions to the common hybrid work model for specific high-priority domains

The common hybrid work model was introduced in winter 2023. Before this, the GC faced difficulty recruiting and retaining digital talent in mission-critical domains. The IT community is the only functional community that was given exceptions to the common hybrid work model guidance to address recruitment and retention concerns that could impact digital service development and delivery. The Chief Information Officer of Canada and departmental CIOs will review the exceptions, which may evolve based on their impacts on recruitment, retention and diversity in the digital community.

Showcase: The Directive on Digital Talent

Introduced in April 2023, the Directive on Digital Talent provides the GC with a strategic perspective on digital talent recruitment, contracting and skill gaps.

The Directive on Digital Talent provides:

  • government-wide and department-specific business intelligence to improve targeted recruitment and training
  • practical steps to those involved in talent sourcing decisions
  • data and information that will be used to improve the quality, speed and availability of digital talent sourcing
  • practical steps for interdepartmental coordination on talent development and upskilling, as well as steps to improve equity advancement
  • clarification that departments are expected to use the flexibilities and best practices in various policy instruments to ensure that they have a strong, sustainable digital talent base

Mission 4 – Create a digital culture defined by diversity, equity and inclusion that puts people first to drive service delivery excellence


4.1 Create mentorship, sponsorship and other development opportunities for those who are underrepresented in the digital community

Recruitment and development programs designed to build a diverse digital community are thriving, including:

  • the IT Apprenticeship Program for Indigenous Peoples
  • the Digital Community Mentorship Program for aspiring executives in employment equity and equity-seeking groups
  • recruitment campaigns for persons with disabilities and others underrepresented in the digital community

In addition to more programs, a communications campaign promoting diverse digital careers in the public service and emphasizing the mission, community and inclusivity will be necessary to reach communities across Canada.

4.2 Openly welcome people interested in joining the federal public service

If someone with digital skills wants to use their talent to work on complex challenges, modernize digital systems and, ultimately, improve meaningful services to people across Canada, the GC is the perfect fit. The GC must demonstrate its unique value to candidates, from new graduates to top senior technologists. The GC will engage with prospective digital talent to showcase the value of digital careers in the public service and demystify the hiring process through open houses or Q&A sessions.

4.3 Convene, celebrate and scale community-driven engagement across the GC

The Digital Government Leaders’ Summit, the Digital Government of Community Awards, and other reputational events foster a sense of belonging to and amplify the success stories of the digital community. Future events will be led with digital communities of practices across the GC and other partners, including the DPI Association of Public Sector Information Professionals.

4.4 Encourage a commitment to ongoing learning

The benefits of learning opportunities and engaging with peers happen only when digital leaders instill a culture of ongoing learning and encourage their employees to carve out time to learn new skills, apply them, and share lessons learned with peers through communities of practice.


Over the next three years, departments will work toward building the digital workforce capacity and capability needed to design and deliver robust services to people across Canada.

The Strategy is now being implemented, starting with actions to expand the Digital Talent Platform, define essential digital skills for all public servants, and create modern job descriptions for digital jobs.

Moving forward, a streamlined governance process will be used to review progress and approve new initiatives driven from the Strategy. Updates over the next year will be evaluated, measured and shared publicly.


In this section

Appendix A – GC Digital Talent Strategy Infographic

Infographic text version below
Infographic - Text version

#GCDigital Talent Strategy

Delivering government services simply, securely and efficiently by building a skilled digital workforce for the future

A spaceship is depicted flying into the stars.

The Vision

The Government of Canada (GC) has the people, processes, and culture to design and deliver human-centered, secure, and sustainable digital services to better serve people across Canada.

Mission #1: Attract and recruit digital talent

Targeted enhancements to recruitment processes and tools to help the GC better meet digital talent needs and expectations when joining the public service.

Mission #2: Develop and retain digital talent

Skill development initiatives that enable digital talent to keep pace with the continuous evolution of technology, and career pathways that enable meaningful advancement in both individual contributor and leadership roles.

Mission #3: Build fit-for-purpose processes, policies, and tools

Efforts to develop organizational agility, reduce administrative burden, and set up digital talent and the enterprise for digital change.

Mission #4: Create a digital culture to drive service delivery excellence

Commitments to help create a community-driven digital community that reflects the diverse people they serve, to better equip the GC to design and deliver equitable, inclusive, and accessible services.

Appendix B – Connection to GC initiatives

The GC Digital Talent Strategy aligns with and bolsters existing GC initiatives, including:

Canada’s Digital Ambition 2022 – A government-wide plan that provides a clear and long-term vision for the GC to advance digital service delivery, cyber security, data and digital talent.

Policy on Service and Digital – An integrated set of rules that outlines how federal organizations manage service delivery, information and data, information technology, and cyber security in the digital age.

The Government of Canada Digital Standards – Form the foundation of the government’s shift to becoming more agile, open and user-focused. The Digital Standards guide teams in designing digital services in a way that best serves people who live in Canada.

Deputy Minister Core Services Committee – A group of leaders who deliver essential services that focus on improving service transformations and identify opportunities to address systemic challenges of transformation initiatives.

Beyond 2020–A public service renewal initiative to build an agile, inclusive and equipped public service.

2023–2026 Data Strategy for the Federal Public Service – Building off the 2018 Data Strategy Roadmap for the Federal Public Service, the renewed Strategy sets priorities and goals for the enterprise to proactively consider, steward and manage data, as well as empower the public service to gain data skills.

Public Service Skills Strategy – In response to the latest TBS Mandate Letter, a long-term government-wide strategy to ensure that the GC has the capacity, particularly through digital skills, to support Canadians in an increasingly changing world.

Clerk of the Privy Council’s Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service – A call-to-action that drives leaders to appoint, sponsor, support and recruit Indigenous, Black and other racialized employees.

Cloud Adoption Strategy – An evergreen Strategy that explains how the GC will optimize its use of cloud services to maximize business value, reduce accumulated technical debt, and continue to evolve the service-focused culture of the GC.

Appendix C – Highlights from other jurisdictions

The following are examples of digital talent-related initiatives from other jurisdictions:

British Columbia: Implemented a cross-ministry hiring pilot, where one job posting is consolidated for hiring multiple similar jobs across ministries. Digital talent goes through only one hiring process, resulting in a consistent, streamlined experience for both hiring managers and candidates.

Alberta: Restructured digital-related positions, job descriptions and organizational structures for a more modern government. This included restructuring leadership roles to focus on digital delivery and creating roles for digital practitioners (such as DevOps specialists, service designers).

Ontario: Finding new and innovative ways to recruit, retain and develop high-performing digital teams. This involves developing new approaches to recruiting digital talent, building digital skills across the public service, creating new talent pipelines and cultivating new digital communities of practice.

Australia: Developed the APS Career Pathfinder tool to help people explore digital jobs in government that match their skills and interests. It also allows employers to see exactly what skills they need to hire for and review learning paths to help develop the digital skills of their staff.

Colombia: Developed tests for digital skills as part of recruitment processes. In addition, the Government of Colombia is carrying out training on digital topics such as user experience, data, emerging technologies, and more.

Denmark: Built the Danish Government Digital Academy to increase the digital literacy and digital capability of their public service, including increasing the use of technology. A big focus of the Academy is supporting managers in their digital journey to better support staff.

Estonia: Created the e-Governance Academy, a partnership between the Government of Estonia, Open Society Institute, and the United Nations Development Programme, which partners with central and local governments to collaboratively build digital-centric organizations, policies, strategies and digital services.

Israel: Brought on various roles, including data scientists and anthropologists, to review and rethink the hiring process for digital talent. Digital Israel explored the cultural shift of going from the private sector to public sector, recruiting like a start-up, and expediting hiring processes.

New Zealand: Developed a Strategy for a Digital Public Service, which introduced a commitment to develop a leadership talent programme that will provide digital leaders with new digital skills and help them with modernization efforts in their organizations.

Portugal: Developed the National Digital Competences Initiative e.2030, better known as Portugal INCoDe.2030, aimed at increasing the digital literacy of the entire country’s population, including the public service.

Singapore: Assessed candidates for digital jobs against the GovTech Technical Competency Framework through coding tests, pair programming and scenario-based interviews.

United Kingdom: Developed the Digital, Data, and Technology Profession Capability Framework. It outlines the skills and career paths for jobs across diverse digital domains. In addition, the Digital, Data, and Technology Cross-Government Recruitment Service offers recruitment support, including designing inclusive recruitment strategies and producing tailored job postings, to teams for all types of digital jobs.

United States: The United States Digital Service is an organization within the United States government. It partners with teams to improve mission-critical digital services and recruit staff using a “tour of service” model to attract top digital talent, deploy them to priority services in a multidisciplinary team, and empower them to do their best work.

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