Survival of the dimmest
We all know that money is tight. My borough has all but decided that they are going to join the ever growing band of boroughs (sounds like an ill-fated HBO special) who will no longer be hiring many new staff externally. In effect, they are closing the doors; if you are in you can stay in, but new vacancies will stay internal unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise.
If you are internal already this is great news. People retire, people die, people move on one way or another all the time, so you will have a better than ever chance of getting new opportunities and potentially promotions. I’m led to believe this may also extend to other Council’s, i.e. you can move about within the sector fairly easily. Not so good if you want to get into that exclusive club however.
This might at first sound like a good idea to cut costs and eliminate unnecessary posts, but the merest moments thought highlights some key faults with this approach. As I said above, if you are good at your job you will be able to progress. If you are excellent at your job you may even leave the sector entirely to venture into the brave new world of the private sector.
If you are mediocre at your job, you won’t.
Surely this will leave us with fewer and fewer excellent members of staff, resulting in declining standards and morale whilst the shining stars go off and make their fortunes?
Recruitment to local authorities needs to be better managed, that is for certain. There are too many people doing too many pointless jobs or doing worthwhile jobs poorly. By not allowing new blood to infuse the system these wastrels, vagabonds and n’er do wells will continue to exist without being brought to the attention of the efficiency police (they have an annoying tendency to be able to do ‘just enough’), and they will continue to draw their bloated wage packet for performing adequately when a new person might be able to excel.
We should be making local authorities an employer of choice rather than a fall back for those who see it as an easy touch. Let the talent in and cut the deadwood out.