Government takes up to four months to fill vacancies, says Bullhorn

Recruitment agencies could teach Whitehall a thing or two about the urgency of filling a vacancy after it emerged that some ministerial departments in the UK are taking up to four months to fill some posts.

Tue, 15 Jul 2014

Recruitment agencies could teach Whitehall a thing or two about the urgency of filling a vacancy after it emerged that some ministerial departments in the UK are taking up to four months to fill some posts.

Recruitment software company Bullhorn found that, for example, the Department for Work and Pensions had 1,315 positions open in the 2013/14 year and took an average mean time of 2.5 months to fill its vacancies.

The Department of Health with 116 vacancies took an average of four months to fill its positions, while the Dept of Education with 79 slots took 3.42 months on average. The Home Office, with 6,170 vacancies in the period did not provide an average time-to-fill period.

At the time of publication, it said, the Department of Energy & Climate Change registered the largest increase in recruitment spend in 2013/14 with £836,000.

Bullhorn’s international managing director Peter Linas says: “The results provide a fascinating insight into Whitehall’s recruitment efforts. We were shocked by some of the time-to-fill and percentage of positions filled figures posted by the ministerial departments.

“The fact the Department for Culture, Media & Sport has a fill rate of less than 50%, for example, and took an average of three months to find the right candidates for its open roles, is surprising.”

From its own research, Bullhorn found that recruiters on the high street took six to 46 days to fill vacancies depending on whether they were temporary or executive placements.

Bullhorn contacted 24 government ministerial departments and used Freedom of Information requests to ask for information on total recruitment spend in the financial year 2013/14.

It received complete information from nine of them. Five departments said it would be too expensive to compile the information and no responses were received from the remaining departments.

Bullhorn also requested information on the number of advertised vacancies in the last financial year, along with the percentage filled and the time they took to fill.

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