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One recruitment process captures many talented individuals

by Greg Hayes


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One recruitment process captures many talented individuals, and it can sometimes seem unjust that only one must be successful. For those unsuccessful, many are seeking a step up in tier and given feedback to suggest a lack of cross-organisational working, or breadth of experience and thinking set them behind others in the process. Which can be frustrating – after all opportunities must be awarded for experience to be gained.

So, how do we award talent opportunity without taking an organisational risk? Secondments – a lesser-used tool that allows aspiring Directors to gain that broader experience, discover links, and make connections that benefit all parties.

The secondee uncovers new skills, experiences, and knowledge, and hone current skills through applying them in a new area. The process offers applicants a much richer understanding of the organisation, where priorities overlap and where tensions can rise. It provides a chance to build networks, personal profile and gain understanding of working practices in other service areas.

The host service benefits from fresh thinking and new approaches. As well as a useful and cost-effective way of temporarily plugging a gap, they too gain knowledge and skills from the secondee and make links and develop relationships across the organisation. The seconding service gains through retaining a valued colleague, and upon their return reaping the benefits of their improved skills and the enhancement of the skills of others.

For authorities striving for a ‘one council’ approach, the benefits of seconding great staff internally area self-evident. Improved knowledge sharing, better understanding and communication, and a more skilled and agile workforce. The workforce is more motivated, committed and valued and the chances of retaining top talent increased.

Whether internal or external, secondments will be an integral part of modern working practice and could be embraced more within the sector.

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