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UK: £2.5 Billion Saving to be Made in the Public Sector by Changing Recruitment Methods
Source: onrec.com
Source Date: Monday, December 20, 2010
Focus: Citizens’ Service Delivery
Country: Europe
Created: Dec 20, 2010

  • 2.1 million Public Sector vacancies earmarked to be filled by 2015/6
  • Only 25% of civil service job vacancies are currently open to members of the public

A report published today by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and Totaljobs.com reveals that 2.1 million job vacancies will need to be filled in the Public Sector by 2015/16. Exceeding the overall outflow of 400,000 redundancies outlined by the Government earlier this year, the positions are likely to come via job ‘churn’; through elements such as retirement, illness and the movement of workers into alternative employment.

The ‘Future of Public Sector Recruiting’ report also outlines that a £2.5 billion saving can be made by the public sector by changing its employment practices.

Crucially, the report states that to make these savings, public sector recruitment needs to be more transparent as only 25% of civil service jobs are open to the general public. By opening these jobs to the general public it allows the private sector and unemployed individuals the opportunity to apply for public sector posts, allowing for greater equality and diversity, as well as improved skill sets.

At present, the online channel is mostly used to advertise professional roles, with 83% reported as appearing online, compared to just 44% of semi-skilled roles. However, by increasing the number of semi-skilled jobs advertised, there is a greater scope to decrease unemployment in lower skilled occupations.

The report which provides the first quantification of the possible benefits of online to the public sector using the Government’s latest employment projections

  • Internal vacancies should be the exception rather than the norm. Advertising vacancies only to existing staff lacks transparency and is a barrier to opportunity.
  • The maximum number of roles should be advertised online. This will allow public sector organisations to access a wider talent pool, and to make cost savings.
  • Publically accessible job boards are more effective than a public sector organisation’s own website. To attract the widest range of applicants, roles should be advertised through a medium that is likely to be viewed by as wide a range of individuals as possible.
  • Public sector Human Resource personnel should be empowered and trained to use the online channel actively to gain maximum benefit.

Richard Greenwood, Managing Economist, CEBR: “Even in the face of shrinking headcount, the public sector will still have to recruit in droves in the coming years owing to natural churn. At a time of intense scrutiny of all facets of public sector spending, it is more critical than ever that all cost efficiencies are realised - the £2.5bn opportunity offered by increased use of the online channel for recruitment represents an ideal chance for public sector bodies to boost their productivity and do more for less.”

John Salt, Director, Totaljobs.com: “It’s clear from the research that the future of employment in the public sector isn’t as dire as previously thought. However, changes need to be made to utilise these potential savings for our predictions to be realised. We’re calling for a greater transparency in ways in which public sector recruitment is conducted, and the report demonstrates that online is a viable and, importantly, a cost effective way of delivering this. However, the full benefits of online will only be realised if it can be introduced in an inclusive fashion, one that engages individuals from different regions of the country and across socio-economic groups.”

The report reveals a 40% average saving on the total cost of hiring by moving to an online recruitment model. However, despite its benefits, the online medium is still not being utilised by decision-makers in this area. If more Public Sector HR and recruitment managers were to maximise this channel, it will open up talent pools, leading to a better quality of candidate.

Indeed, according to our survey of HR managers in the public sector with experience of online and traditional recruitment methods found that over two-thirds now prefer the online channel due to the associated cost savings and its ability to reach the right audience. Taking these recommendations into account, Totaljobs.com has partnered with Race Online 2012 to provide advice and support for Public Sector recruiters on how to best utilise the online medium.

Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion, Founder, Race Online 2012: “There are nine million people in the UK who have never been online, many of these are missing out on access to jobs, information and education. The internet is an invaluable tool in today’s job market. It is essential that we help everybody take advantage of this tool.”

John Salt, Director, Totaljobs.com: “We are committed to helping public sector recruiters not only to understand the benefits of online recruitment but also support them in implementing this medium within their organisations. We’re proud to have teamed up with Race Online 2012 to help deliver this and see it as a great opportunity to improve transparency and the address the issue of unemployment in the Public Sector.”

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