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Recruitment trends paint a different picture of public sector hiring

Recruitment trends paint a different picture of public sector hiring

In terms of Public Sector Recruitment, from the & lsquo;outside looking in’, the general observer would say that requirements are diminishing, however natural attrition, recruitment freezes and increased work-loads have left local authorities increasingly seeking contract workers. Human Capital Investment Group are seeing pockets of strong activity across the public sector including, Revenues and Benefits, Housing, IT, and Property and Surveying.

Revenues and Benefits

HCIG’s Revenues and Benefits figures are going against the forecasted reductions in contractor staff. Peter McConnell, Divisional Manager at Eden Brown explains & lsquo;the impact of the Universal Credit has not yet taken effect and due to the complexity of Housing and Council Tax Benefit, Local Authorities are still extremely busy, when it reaches crisis point contractors are sought.

& lsquo;In terms of numbers, we are experiencing one of our busiest years and we expect this trend to continue. The date for Universal Credit has been put back and the introduction in early stages will be small scale, leaving local authorities with huge caseloads and a high demand for contractors until at least 2017.


Social Housing is a growth area for companies across the HCIG group, particularly in welfare, rental income and housing development. Alex Whisker, Team Manager of The Synergy Group’s Leeds Housing team comments that & lsquo;we have placed more contractors in this region since April, than we did in the whole of last year.’

& lsquo;With limited new housing being constructed, local authorities need to ensure their existing stock remains in good repair. We are seeing an increasing demand for stock condition and void surveyors. Many housing associations are also bringing their repair and maintenance in-house to save on the VAT.’


Jason Granelly, Associate Director at Resourcing Group tells us that & lsquo;the public sector has always been a consistent user of IT specialist contract staff and despite the shift in demand to permanent and fixed term contracts it is still a buoyant market. The requirement for skilled staff will continue to be driven by new projects and consistent upgrades for the foreseeable future.’

IT Departments are finding it increasingly challenging to balance the requirement to implement new technology, aimed at reducing costs across the organisation with hiring the specialists required to carry out the work.’

Property and Surveying

& lsquo;The climate in the public sector surveying and property market is the most buoyant it has been since 2008, this is due to an emphasis on the refurbishment and re-design of existing local authority property’ says James Gedman, Associate Director at Eden Brown.

& lsquo;An example of this is the government’s decision to cut short the & lsquo;Building Schools for the Future Programme’ and replacing it with a massive refurbishment plan.’

& lsquo;We have also seen growth in the area of property rationalisation. The use of general practice and estates surveyors to sell off or lease current council buildings has seen a sharp increase in demand for these services.’

Group CEO Tim Cook sums up. & lsquo;Whilst the public sector as a whole is relatively stable as an employer, there are clearly pockets of strong activity focused around contract workers. In the face of limits on permanent hiring, shifting demands, and existing staff looking for opportunities in the private sector, the need to balance spending with the requirement for skilled staff will continue to drive the demand for contract workers for the foreseeable future. Both the employer (public sector) and the contractors see this as a win-win situation. The contract market remains a strong driver for growth and a flexible solution for all parties.’


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