Staffing crisis at City HQ
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Stephen Corrigan
~ 3 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Galway City Council is in the midst of a recruitment crisis as once highly desirable public sector jobs are failing to attract even a single applicant.
City Councillors were told that the local authority could not compete with the conditions on offer in the private sector; despite recruiting 97 new staff since the beginning of the year, the Council had lost 76 – a net increase of just 21.
The scale of the problem was illustrated in a report presented to councillors which outlined how the local authority shed almost a quarter of its staff between 2008 and 2014 – and has been playing catch-up ever since.
Pay and conditions weren’t measuring up to what was on offer in the private sector, but complex recruitment processes, few opportunities for career progression and Galway’s crippling traffic and cost-of-living problems were also stifling demand for jobs in City Hall.
While opportunities to work remotely had been presented as a solution to the latter, the Council’s Director of Services for Human Resources (HR), Ruth McNally, said it hadn’t yielded results.
“Blended working makes us eminently more attractive as an employer, but it is not the panacea that some people thought it would be,” said Ms McNally.
“HR has run 59 separate competitions for recruitment [this year],” she added.
“In some competitions, we’re not getting anybody – either no applicants or nobody who is qualified for the roles.”
Ms NcNally said the Council’s HR team of four had doubled its productivity in the last year but the challenges they were facing had got worse instead of better.
“Things are not improving and it’s not a case of not putting enough resources into it,” she added.
At a meeting of the City Council, Cllr Mike Crowe (FF) said there was clearly a problem with the Council’s HR department and retention required more focus.
“The truth is that the model in HR is not working – and I say this with respect, it hasn’t worked for the last few years.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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