Recruiting for jobs with specialist commercial or digital skills continues to be a challenge, the Civil Service Commission has said.
Only 12 of the 25 positions for commercial directors were filled by the Civil Service Commission last year, which undertook a recruitment drive to transform the government’s commercial function. The poor recruitment statistics were revealed in it 2015-16 annual report and accounts.
A lack of suitable candidates resulted in 34 (22%) of the total 158 senior roles offered during that period remaining vacant, compared to the previous year's 8% shortfall.
While this was influenced by the ‘ambitious’ recruitment drive for commercial directors, the report added: “Even with this competition excluded, 16% of the other senior roles were not filled. Many, but not all, of these jobs required specialist commercial or digital skills, and there continues to be a challenge to recruit to these kinds of roles in the Civil Service.”
The report attributed the drop in attracting good applicants for some roles to greater demand for senior digital commercial roles and Civil Service remuneration being “at the lower end of what is on offer” .
“The commercial director recruitment campaign is an example of this, where despite an unusual degree of flexibility being agreed for the remuneration package, only 12 of a possible 25 vacancies were filled,” the report said.
The Commission said that there had been a 100% increase in the number of posts competed at Senior Civil Service pay-band 2 and above, despite an overall decline in Civil Service external recruitment.
In competitions run by the Commission to make appointments, only one candidate proved suitable in 38% of the cases, compared to 29% in both the previous two years.
According to the report, 41% of successful candidates for senior roles were already civil servants, with a third from the wider public sector and 26% from the private sector.
The Commission said that initial figures indicated the Civil Service recruited 28,000 staff in 2015-16. Around 27,000 were recruited below Senior Civil Service pay-band 2, a large drop from 38,900 the previous year, but a little above 2013-2014 (26,300).