Posted tagged ‘consultant’

A jaundiced view of promotion

February 1, 2011

Still not angry...

Before Christmas we published a slightly angry post from a local government consultant. It generated quite a lot of interest and comment and so when another, equally angry, e-mail from the same consultant dropped into our inbox we thought it was worth giving it an airing.

Apologies to all people called Joe!

Local Government is proud to present Joe. Joe, a stand up sort of character from the community. Always did OK in school and lives an active life in the community. An ideal candidate for local authorities to try and recruit.

The problem is, is that Joe is not an ideal candidate. Joe has applied to work with children and young people, thinking (wrongly) that you don’t need to have any special skills or experience. The Local Authority eager to encourage social enterprise and community development puts Joe through to the interview stage of this particular post. Joe does OK at interview, the other candidates aren’t suitable. The Local Authority recruitment panel think, let’s try him out, with a bit of training, he might do OK. To go back to advert will take time and cost more money, both the Local Authority doesn’t have.

The unfortunate thing is, is that Joe just about completes the training. He struggles everyday with his role. He is referred to occupational health for stress related matters, who ensure that his working environment is suitable. Probably spending about £3k in the process, new chair, new lamp, new desk etc etc. The bottom line is that Joe just isn’t very good at his job. HR try to encourage his line manager to think about using the probation period. The line manager, also a budget holder, is worried about the price of recruitment, sometimes ranging up to £2,000 for a £18k salaried role. Surely, Joe just needs some more time to settle in?


Learning lessons… are we?

December 16, 2010


Well, maybe just a little disillusioned!

Let us not kid ourselves; there is a lot of anger out there. Some of it is directed at the Government and those who criticise Local Government no matter what we do. However, some of the anger is actually about Local Government; we do get e-mails or tweets telling us to ‘get a real job’ or to stop moaning as all we are is over-priced pen pushers. The following piece expresses some of this anger but does so without resorting to insults. It is also interesting as the author is a self-described Local Government consultant. The piece is reprinted below:

Having jumped (before the rest of the population) into contracting earlier last year, I have had the privilege to work in three local authorities over the last 18 months.
It amazes me the bounteous delights of commonality between them. I am reminded about the staff away days, the team training sessions, but most of all Directors sharing best practice at highly priced corporate events where a glass of orange juice is likely to set the organisers back by £5.60.
In the area of cuts, restructure and the glittery world of transformation, I am amazed at the lack of learning seeming to take place throughout these highly paid and, at times, overpriced workers.

Crossing to the dark side

December 8, 2010

Selling out or working for the greater good?

Today the excellent Guardian Local Government Network are running a live web chat advising possibly redundant Local Government officers about how they might become consultants. For those interested the chat will be at midday and is available here. I urge those of you facing the chop to check it out.

I genuinely do not know how to respond the Guardian’s piece.

Obviously I have nothing against them running it. The Local Government Network provides support and advice to local Government workers and the piece is very logical. As they say in the pre-amble:

For many, consultancy seems like a natural career progression, particularly if you’ve specialised in a certain area, and it’s a proactive way of getting ahead of the redundancy curve. Plus, we all know that when it comes to finding a new solution to an old problem, local government has a history of turning to consultants – could this be you?

100% logical: As mentioned above Local Government does have an addiction to consultants which is worrying; even in tough times. A visiting consultant in my authority confided that in his experience he hasn’t seen so much work for consultants as is available right now. The reasons for this consultancy dependence are many; but three key ones seem to sum it up: