Online recruitment gets results saves councils money, reduces administration and speeds up access to vacancies saves councils money, reduces administration and speeds up access to vacancies

A Web site aimed at the public and voluntary sector is helping to reduce the costs of recruitment, writes Caroline Davis. In addition to hosting vacancies in local and central government, charities and the voluntary sector, also features vacancies in the fire, health, police and social housing services. Jobs range from administration posts to executive appointments, including medical jobs and fundraising positions. also offers organisations an integrated microsite publishing service. This is a Web site that lists the current vacancies for the organisation, provides further information on the positions available and online application forms. The site is developed and maintained by and is accessible both from and the organisation's own site.

Currently, most councils receive applications from less than half the job description packs and person specifications that are requested and sent out. However, stops this being an issue by providing these documents online. Candidates can either apply over the Internet or download the forms for printing and fill them in on paper.

The recruitment site has 100 organisations signed up so far, including 60 local authorities. It has also set up partnership agreements with sites outside the public sector, in accordance with the sector's equal opportunities philosophy, to attract candidates from other areas.

Yahoo!'s UK site carries the data, as well as the mainstream recruitment site, which has its own partnerships with, and Freeserve.

Jobsgopublic charges organisations £500 per year to advertise an unlimited number of jobs on its main Web site. To use the microsite service costs in the region of £5,000.

Mocksha Evans, recruitment centre co-ordinator for Lewisham council, has been using for almost a year. "We noticed a dramatic difference since we started using the service," he said. "The look and feel and user-friendliness of the site have attracted a lot of people."

More than 15% of the job applications received by Lewisham council now come through the Web site. "We are hoping this percentage will carry on growing," Evans says. "Basically, it saves us money and cuts down the number of application packs we have to send out.

"The microsite has more than paid for itself," he explains. "It has reduced administration by about 10% and has speeded up access to vacancy information."

The council has seen an increase in the number of professionals applying from the private sector since using the service and has even received applications from candidates in Australia and Indonesia.

"Eventually we would like the majority of recruitment to be done this way," says Evans.

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