Working on the south coast and interested in a £100,000 p.a wage packet? Then apply for the job of Brighton and Hove City Council’s new Chief Executive.
The council are currently using executive recruitment firm GatenbySanderson to help fill this top job, to the taxpayer funded tune of £30,000.
In the job description given by the Green Party leader of the council, Cllr Jason Kitcat, one paragraph reads:
“As the country’s first Green Party administration we are committed to a sustainable future for our city and to the principles of One Planet Living. Our ability to deliver services in the future has to be underpinned by a greater and smarter use of technology and I am passionate about our journey to become a ‘Digital Council’.”
This ‘Digital Council’ image is backed by an advert developed by the recruitment firm, which has been touted as “Mod Inspired” . Brighton being known as the Mod capital, the firm wanted to mesh Mods and Kitcat’s ‘Digital Council’ image. The advert’s caption therefore reads “From Mods to modems. What next?”
Initially the cost to recruit the new chief exec was said to be around £15,000 but with the addition of psychoanalysis tests and nationwide advertising, recruitment costs have more than doubled to a massive £30,000 for this one vacancy.
Cllr Ann Norman from the Conservative opposition had this to say about it:
“In times of austerity and with finances under real pressure it would surely make more sense for the council’s own human resources department to be doing this rather than employing an expensive consultant.”
A view echoed, perhaps for the first time, by union member Mark Turner of the GMB who said:
“To get a recruitment agency to head hunt for this role is a waste of public money. There are people in the council’s HR department who can put an advert together, if people are interested they will come.
It comes to something that the council has to use this sort of quirky gimmick to get a chief executive.”
So, will this work? The council defended the costs by saying, perhaps rightly, that due to the size of the job it was absolutely imperative to hire the right candidate, first time around.
Perhaps next time they could choose a flat fee recruitment firm like Hunt4Staff? We might just be able to save them £29,400 next time!