Slow recruitment process costing UK taxpayer millions

Employment agreement

UK councils take nearly twice as long as the UK average to recruit new staff into their organisations – inefficiencies that have been calculated as costing tax payers £millions.

A Freedom of Information Request by Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider, Omni RMS, found it takes councils 93% longer to recruit, a level of inefficiency that costs tax payers £350,000 for every 100 new hires.

In 2014 councils hired 124,649 people, so extrapolating the costs out, this equates to an inefficiency cost of £437 million.

The FOI statistics reveal councils take 55.4 days to make a hire (compared to an average across the UK of 28.6 days), although some councils took even longer still.

The data doesn't reveal why it takes councils longer, or whether the total package is the stumbling block, but even amongst councils there is wide variation.

East Northamptonshire Council, took the longest to recruit – in 2014 each hire took an average of 151.2 days (or five months). The second most inefficient council was revealed Enfield Council (taking an average of 145 days per recruit), while Wolverhampton City Council came a close third, taking an average time of 138 days to recruit for each vacant position last year.

Two thirds of councils were also revealed to have more of a reactive recruitment process, beginning from the vacancy arising, rather than implementing a proactive strategy.

A spokesperson for Omni said: “All managers who are responsible for a recruitment budget need to think strategically about the recruitment process. Hiring in a proactive way rather than in a reactive one will not only reduce inefficiencies in the process by shortening time-to-hire, but it will also result in the placement of the best candidate for the job.”