Agenda item

Agenda item

Overview of Council vacancies

Report of the Head of HR Operations attached


This report provides an overview of current vacancies across the Council, whether the posts are being actively recruited to and how long posts have been vacant for.


The Sub Group considered the report of the Head of HR Operations that provided Members with an overview of current vacancies across the Council.


The Head of HR Operations referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -


?              Information and data relating to current vacancies;

?              Information on whether posts were being actively recruited to; and

?              How long posts had been vacant for.


Some of the key points that arose from the Sub Group’s discussions were: -


?              Clarification was sought regarding the definition of a true vacancy, commenting that consideration needed to be given to terminology used to assist the lay reader;

?              Consideration needed to be given to providing context for the data provided within reports, including a breakdown by grade, levels of sickness and employee capability cases per directorate;

?              Information and analysis of factors relating to staff retention would assist the understanding of this subject;  

?              What were the circumstances that required the services of an Executive Search partner and what was the cost of employing those services;

?              Further information was sought on the time taken in respect of the Parks Service redesign;

?              Recognising the impact that vacancies had on existing staff and teams in terms of managing workloads; and

?              Further information was sought on the use of agency staff to cover and unfilled vacancies, this to include where and when used and costs.


In regard to the comments from Members regarding additional data and analysis, the Chair stated that officers had provided the information that had been requested and she would discuss with officers the scope and content of any future update report. 


The Interim Director of HROD informed the Members that the term true vacancy was used to describe those posts that were not actively being recruited to or being held. The reasons for these were various, including historical issues regarding the recruitment to social worker posts and ICT positions; the complex nature of the organisation and the range of functions undertaken, including seasonal work and the timing of income and grant funding for posts. Members were informed that these vacancies were regularly reviewed and vacancies over 12 months old would be challenged to ensure they were still valid.


In response to the time taken for the redesign of the Parks service, the Head of HR Operations acknowledged that both this and the Highways service redesign were outliers. Members commented that a summary of all redesigns and lessons learnt be provided. The Interim Director of HROD stated that the reasons for the time taken to deliver service redesigns could be complex and varied and that she would speak to the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) to understand the reasons and feed back to the Members.


The Interim Director of HROD advised that Executive Search partners would only be employed as a last resort when all other avenues for recruiting to the post had been exhausted and used for specific specialist roles. She said that she would analyse how long staff recruited using this method remained with the Council and feed this back to the Members. 




To note the report.


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