Tag: politics

Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector – Open Consultation

Why Your Voice Matters – Make It Count

You may be part of the passive generation when it comes to politics, but here’s an issue where your voice counts. The Government has released an Open Consultation that affects anyone in the Recruitment market: from employers, recruitment consultants to employees and candidates. If you’re in the labour market in any way shape or form then this one needs your voice.

Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector – Open Consultation

The Open Consultation is entitled ‘Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector’ and is geared up to find out the what, the why and the who of closed recruitment practices in the public sector. The Government are looking to find out why the Public Sector has traditionally differed so greatly from the private sector in this matter, and whether that’s a good thing, whether that needs to change, and if so why.

Some Definitions: Open & Closed

Closed Recruitment is simply what you think of as ‘in-house’. No external advertising or drawing candidates from any pool other than your own already existing employee base. Open Recruitment on the other hand spreads the net wider and actively markets the positions outside of the employers existing staff base. Open Recruitment considers any applications whether they come from inside or outside of the organisation.

So What’s the Purpose of the Open Consultation?

There are pros and cons to both Open and Closed Recruitment practices. The Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector Open Consultation is looking to find out if the pros are equal to the cons and the wider implications on the labour market.

Seats in arena hosting an open consultation

The Government are seeking evidence, they are on a fact-finding and opinion-seeking mission, to discover how common closed recruitment is in the Public Sector, including whether it is ever used appropriately, and whether any changes need to take place. Whoever you are, this Call for Evidence is seeking your voice. They are also seeking views on the role of Government in encouraging more open recruitment

Why Does It Matter?

Fundamentally the Public Sector has a greater responsibility to the labour market as a whole as it is the arm of Government. This extends to recruitment practices that demonstrate fair employment opportunities for all, as well as tax payer value for money.

So what are the Pros of Closed Recruitment for the Public Sector?

Closed Recruitment holds a long tradition in the Public Sector. Whilst the Private Sector will see the odd closed position where it’s guaranteed it’ll be an internal candidate taking the job, the vast majority of Private Sector Recruitment is open. However, the Public Sector has traditionally relied heavily on Closed, internal recruitment and there have been good reasons for that.

Closed Recruitment is vastly cheaper than Open Recruitment, or at least was in the pre-digital age. For Government departments and organisations highly aware of their budgets and taxpayers money this is a huge deciding factor. Why spend hundreds, possibly thousands sourcing and attracting candidates when you have ample supply already?

Closed Recruitment is generally much less time-consuming. You may even have in mind who’s up for the role and no need to even post it on the intra-web. Closed Recruitment generally works in a quickly cascading manner that sees vacancy to post-filled happen much faster than Open Recruitment with screening, interviewing, offers and notice periods can allow.

A man holding time piece

Additionally, many Public Sector organisations are more specialised than at first apparent. Knowing the system, the role and the organisation means that recruiters within the Public Sector may simply feel more confident that they will find exactly the right candidate, with the right aptitude, skills and expertise, from within their own.

So what are the Pros of Open Recruitment in the Public Sector?

The Private Sector has been aware of the huge benefits of Open Recruitment for decades. Gone are the days of rampant Nepotism and working your way up through the ranks, or waiting for dead man’s shoes.

Open Recruitment allows access to the widest pool of talent. You not only get to consider the ‘known faces’ already in the organisation but you get to throw the net wider and in so doing get to see a talent base that is much broader in scope than internal recruitment alone will provide.

Lots of fish in a pool

Open Recruitment for the Public Sector in particular is important because it sends the right message to the population: employment matters. By opening up recruitment practices the playing field gets levelled and it simply enhances the opportunities for all who are looking for work. It removes the ‘Us and Them’ mentality of Private versus Public employees.

Importantly, particularly for Public Sector organisations in danger or doing same old, same old, Open Recruitment means new blood, fresh ideas and dynamic influences that can effect change and productivity. By welcoming on board new skills and expertise there is a knock-on positive effect to innovation and growth.

So Why Does Your Voice Count?

Whether you are an employer working in the public or private sector, whether you are a recruitment specialist, or whether you are or have been a candidate seeking work, this Open Consultation is for you to have your say on whether Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector should be Opened Up. All you need to do is give your opinion, answer a few simple questions based on your experience, and we might see some changes that have been a long time coming that will benefit us all. Changes don’t happen unless people speak up, and in this instance it’s pretty easy to do so.

What To Do

It really is simple. All you need to do is visit this site, scroll down and click on the Form to fill in. It’s going to take about 10 minutes to do so, so not long. Then either email your completed form to labourmarket.consultations@bis.gsi.gov.uk or send it to the Government at:

Labour Market Directorate
Department for Business Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street

Make sure you’ve sent it off well in advance of the closing date: 15th April 2016.

It really is that simple. Have your voice counted, and let’s effect a change in the Recruitment Market.

Mind The Gap: How Do We Deal With The UK Skills Shortage?

It appears that the issue of a skills shortage in the UK workforce is not going away. Instead it is becoming an increasing concern for business owners and economists, who see a lack of skilled workers as one of the greatest threats to the country’s economic growth.

And not just that, a lack of skills in a workforce can lead to other employees picking up the slack, which creates all sorts of issues around motivation and morale.

Identifying the problem is easy, finding a solution is far more challenging.

So, what can we do about it?

A report by the UK Commision for Employment in Skills in December 2014 made five recommendations for action, putting the onus on employers to lead on skills development, with government support. The report highlighted the need for more quality ‘earning and learning’ routes, like apprenticeships, better management, better job design and increased employee engagement.

“Employers need online recruitment processes to be straightforward, streamlined and suitable for their business needs.”

But when it comes to recruitment it is important to understand what’s working, and what isn’t. Employers need online recruitment processes to be straightforward, streamlined and suitable for their business needs. That means not just aligning with business goals, but also demonstrating an impact on them.

At a time when hiring the right people is more important than ever, one size will not simply fit all.

It is crucial to have a plan from the start of any recruitment campaign, from how, where and when to search for candidates, to screening requirements, interview and offer processes. Without a clearly defined strategy, time-consuming and costly mistakes can be made. And, for small and medium sized businesses, the risk and reward of necessary growth vs. the challenges of recruitment can feel like an uphill struggle. For ambitious SMEs, finding the right people must sit at the top of the priority list and and, against a backdrop of a competitive and unskilled market, this can be a genuine worry for business owners.

A map being read

The good news? The High Growth Small Business Report (2014) highlighted the value of Britain’s fastest growing smaller businesses, as critical to economic prosperity. Representing just 1% of UK businesses and only 3.4% of the total UK economy, these companies generated 36% of UK economic growth last year and created two in three new jobs (68%) between 2012 and 2013, totaling over 250,000 jobs across the UK.

So, if the power really is in your hands, how do we support the growth of SMEs?

Speaking to employers about the barriers to recruitment led to the development of the Campaign Builder: a simple way for employers to create their campaign and get a transparent upfront quote. Simply pick your requirements from the campaign planner list and we do the rest, removing the hassle and confusion around the process, the very things that can baffle new employers and slow down the search for the right candidate.

A combination of effective recruitment strategies, internal training and investment in ‘earning and learning’ will help to kickstart the skills shortage in the UK. But as employers and agencies, we all need to be on board. Identifying the right candidates against clearly defined job descriptions and supporting the workforce to increase productivity will be crucial. And ensuring that process is as simple and transparent as possible will make all the difference. It is certainly time for employers and agencies to work together to help plug the skills gap and take some joint responsibility for the country’s economic growth.

After all, there is no more important asset for any business, than its people.


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