Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector – Open Consultation

Why Your Voice Matters – Make It Count

You may be part of the passive generation when it comes to politics, but here’s an issue where your voice counts. The Government has released an Open Consultation that affects anyone in the Recruitment market: from employers, recruitment consultants to employees and candidates. If you’re in the labour market in any way shape or form then this one needs your voice.

Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector – Open Consultation

The Open Consultation is entitled ‘Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector’ and is geared up to find out the what, the why and the who of closed recruitment practices in the public sector. The Government are looking to find out why the Public Sector has traditionally differed so greatly from the private sector in this matter, and whether that’s a good thing, whether that needs to change, and if so why.

Some Definitions: Open & Closed

Closed Recruitment is simply what you think of as ‘in-house’. No external advertising or drawing candidates from any pool other than your own already existing employee base. Open Recruitment on the other hand spreads the net wider and actively markets the positions outside of the employers existing staff base. Open Recruitment considers any applications whether they come from inside or outside of the organisation.

So What’s the Purpose of the Open Consultation?

There are pros and cons to both Open and Closed Recruitment practices. The Closed Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector Open Consultation is looking to find out if the pros are equal to the cons and the wider implications on the labour market.

Seats in arena hosting an open consultation

The Government are seeking evidence, they are on a fact-finding and opinion-seeking mission, to discover how common closed recruitment is in the Public Sector, including whether it is ever used appropriately, and whether any changes need to take place. Whoever you are, this Call for Evidence is seeking your voice. They are also seeking views on the role of Government in encouraging more open recruitment

Why Does It Matter?

Fundamentally the Public Sector has a greater responsibility to the labour market as a whole as it is the arm of Government. This extends to recruitment practices that demonstrate fair employment opportunities for all, as well as tax payer value for money.

So what are the Pros of Closed Recruitment for the Public Sector?

Closed Recruitment holds a long tradition in the Public Sector. Whilst the Private Sector will see the odd closed position where it’s guaranteed it’ll be an internal candidate taking the job, the vast majority of Private Sector Recruitment is open. However, the Public Sector has traditionally relied heavily on Closed, internal recruitment and there have been good reasons for that.

Closed Recruitment is vastly cheaper than Open Recruitment, or at least was in the pre-digital age. For Government departments and organisations highly aware of their budgets and taxpayers money this is a huge deciding factor. Why spend hundreds, possibly thousands sourcing and attracting candidates when you have ample supply already?

Closed Recruitment is generally much less time-consuming. You may even have in mind who’s up for the role and no need to even post it on the intra-web. Closed Recruitment generally works in a quickly cascading manner that sees vacancy to post-filled happen much faster than Open Recruitment with screening, interviewing, offers and notice periods can allow.

A man holding time piece

Additionally, many Public Sector organisations are more specialised than at first apparent. Knowing the system, the role and the organisation means that recruiters within the Public Sector may simply feel more confident that they will find exactly the right candidate, with the right aptitude, skills and expertise, from within their own.

So what are the Pros of Open Recruitment in the Public Sector?

The Private Sector has been aware of the huge benefits of Open Recruitment for decades. Gone are the days of rampant Nepotism and working your way up through the ranks, or waiting for dead man’s shoes.

Open Recruitment allows access to the widest pool of talent. You not only get to consider the ‘known faces’ already in the organisation but you get to throw the net wider and in so doing get to see a talent base that is much broader in scope than internal recruitment alone will provide.

Lots of fish in a pool

Open Recruitment for the Public Sector in particular is important because it sends the right message to the population: employment matters. By opening up recruitment practices the playing field gets levelled and it simply enhances the opportunities for all who are looking for work. It removes the ‘Us and Them’ mentality of Private versus Public employees.

Importantly, particularly for Public Sector organisations in danger or doing same old, same old, Open Recruitment means new blood, fresh ideas and dynamic influences that can effect change and productivity. By welcoming on board new skills and expertise there is a knock-on positive effect to innovation and growth.

So Why Does Your Voice Count?

Whether you are an employer working in the public or private sector, whether you are a recruitment specialist, or whether you are or have been a candidate seeking work, this Open Consultation is for you to have your say on whether Recruitment Practices in the Public Sector should be Opened Up. All you need to do is give your opinion, answer a few simple questions based on your experience, and we might see some changes that have been a long time coming that will benefit us all. Changes don’t happen unless people speak up, and in this instance it’s pretty easy to do so.

What To Do

It really is simple. All you need to do is visit this site, scroll down and click on the Form to fill in. It’s going to take about 10 minutes to do so, so not long. Then either email your completed form to or send it to the Government at:

Labour Market Directorate
Department for Business Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street

Make sure you’ve sent it off well in advance of the closing date: 15th April 2016.

It really is that simple. Have your voice counted, and let’s effect a change in the Recruitment Market.