Council automates recruitment analysis and cuts costs with online applications


Council automates recruitment analysis and cuts costs with online applications

Will Hadfield

Job application process cuts down paper trail and stores candidate data.

Derbyshire County Council has cut its contact points for job applicants from 500 to one by introducing a system for online job applications.

People interested in any of the 5,000 vacancies the council advertises each year can now apply online. Before the council implemented the recruitment system from Abacus eMedia, job applicants had to request paper application packs. More than 60,000 packs were sent out each year at a cost of more than £120,000.

The system also enables the council to build a database of job applicants. Candidates are using the online register of jobs to apply for other positions after they make their initial job application.

As a consequence, the council is sending out less than half the number of paper-based packs that it did before Abacus was implemented. Total savings from the system are more than £100,000.

David Hickman, head of the council's change management team, said, "We knew that 40% of all hits on the council's site were recruitment-based, which brought it to the fore as an area for improvement. We identified significant administrative cost and staff efficiency savings that could be made if we were to centralise recruitment processes."

Because candidates file their applications electronically, Abacus can automatically collect management information. The council can then analyse its recruitment practices to ensure that it meets equality targets.

When any of Derbyshire County Council's six departments hire someone, the database and the management information functionality provide the recruiters in those departments with a comprehensive profile of the new employee.

Council chiefs were particularly keen to widen the range of people who were applying.

Council personnel manager James Luckraft said, "The most direct benefit from an HR perspective is that we are widening our pool of applicants. And the number of applications that we are receiving online has exceeded expectations."

The online recruitment system also helps the council to match any of its 37,000 staff that it may make redundant with other available posts.

Derbyshire County Council has integrated Abacus with its existing website and its Call Derbyshire Contact Centre.

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