Harmonisation risks gaps in recruitment processes warns branch

Inez Teece

Responding to the consultation on the review of council recruitment processes, the Branch has highlighted the dangers of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in the proposals for harmonising staff recruitment across services and has warned that there is the potential for gaps in some services.

The council is proposing to centralise recruitment functions. UNISON attended all the consultation meetings and also heard direct from many members.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary, who compiled the response said, “Although a core team for one element makes sense, from the responses received, the recruitment process itself is not the major issue when it comes to getting people into posts.

“There has been a failure to take account of the checks, references and organising of the process, and our members worry that this will not deliver any great benefit or reduction in the time in getting posts filled.”

She also pointed out that staff in some services face upheaval to their jobs and remit.

“The staff within the Social Work staffing team have, over the last year, undergone a stressful review of their service, only to have it pulled at the last minute in favour of this proposal,” added Inez.

“This has left many members feeling disillusioned, undervalued and ignored.

“Many of the staff were only given temporary contracts because of the review and now face an uncertain future because of a very different review. They feel the rug has been pulled out from under them.

“UNISON is calling for these staff to be considered alongside others in the process.”

The Branch response has also highlighted concerns from members across other services, with a view that the “easy” elements of the recruitment process are being removed potentially along with the staff, yet the time consuming and difficult elements are to remain in the services but potentially without the staff to carry out the tasks.