John Sellgren congratulates the public sector for taking on the commercial world in recruiting fresh talent in 'The...
John Sellgren congratulates the public sector for taking on the commercial world in recruiting fresh talent in 'The glamorous council life', (LGC, 23 April). However, private sector professionals attracted by a new career face a very effective barrier to entry.
Let's look at the typical recruitment process. We have the killer question, such as 'do you currently work in a council?' This translates to private sector applicants as 'please drop your completed form into the nearest bin'.
My favourite, however, has featured in the references section of several application forms I have completed: 'May we approach your present employer prior to interview?' If that does not scare off the private sector applicants, I do not know what will.
It seems to me the public sector relies on a rigid process screening out a diversity of backgrounds, talent and experience.
Many public sector organisations feel most comfortable with those whose experience is demonstrably rooted in the public sector. If councils are 'taking on the commercial world head to head in competition for fresh talent', they should open up the selection process. Or they should be honest and state in the job advertisement: 'Private sector applicants need not apply.'
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