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Public sector image damaging recruitment

Public sector organisations are struggling to recruit and retain senior staff as the impact of the cuts is felt.

A survey conducted by the CIPD and recruiting group Hays showed that of 500 employers questioned, 82% reported difficulties in filling at least some vacancies, which has increased since the 2011 survey.

43% of public sector organisations cited pay as one reason for the difficulties, with 24% reporting the image of the sector as a problem. However, a lack of specialist or technical skills remained the biggest reason for the recruitment challenge.

Additionally retention is an increasing issue, as two-thirds of all organisations surveyed reported problems with retention. In the public sector this has increased from 25% in 2011 to 40% this year.

The median number of vacancies in organisations with more than 5,000 employees in the 2012 survey was 275, up from 150 in the 2011 survey.

Rebecca Clake, research adviser at CIPD, says: “Headlines focus on high levels of unemployment and public sector cutbacks, but those stark statistics mask an ongoing struggle for employers to find the skills and experience they need to drive their organisations forward.

“This is a particular issue in the public sector where, now more than ever, they require talented and experienced individuals at senior levels of the organisation to help steer them through times of change.

“The image of the public sector is putting off some new recruits. This, coupled with widespread pay freezes and pension reform, makes jobs in public sector organisations less and less appealing to those individuals who have the skills required for the vacancies.”

Barney Ely, director at Hays Human Resources, says: “It is critical for organisations to understand the recruitment trends within theUK, the marketplace and their organisation and to delve into the complex dynamics between them.”

To view the survey in full, visit:


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