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Leaders needed following recession, but lacking in south west


Public sector chief executives and managers believe they lack the skills needed to deliver services when funding cuts start impacting in 2010 and beyond, according to a survey, undertaken this month by Hays, the leading recruiting experts in public services.

Almost half (44%) of workers in the South West feel, either completely or to some extent, that their organisation doesn't have the resources in place to manage reductions in staff. Managers and employees in the region believe they lack the skills needed to deliver services when funding cuts start impacting in 2010 and beyond.

The Hays Public Services Leadership Survey, which was carried out across local government, the NHS and social housing sectors, found that workers were in agreement that having adequate leadership development plans in place is vital (67%) but less than a quarter (18%) rate their organisation's leadership training as very effective. Respondents agreed about the qualities that a leader should possess: an ability to communicate, forward vision and integrity, but only 3% felt that all of the leaders in their organisation possess what they deem to be the most important leadership attribute.

"We found that everyone knows what good leadership looks like, but there are gaps in the training needed to acquire those skills," said Iain Dennis, Director at Hays. "Strong leadership skills are going to be vital to organisations over the next year, particularly in the public sector where cuts are expected. It is crucial that in 2010 companies re-engage with their staff to ensure business survival and growth, without strong leaders it's going to be a lot tougher to do this. More could be done across the country in anticipation of the cuts, particularly in terms of sharing best practice between sectors, which would give people in the public sector more experiences to draw upon. It really is a given that if you bring people in with different experiences they are more likely to see where efficiencies could be made. For example, the public sector needs to improve its redeployment of staff through more effective use of outplacement services."

The Hays Public Services Leadership Survey was conducted in January 2010. It received over 195 responses from managers and junior staff across the public sector in the South West; encompassing those working across local government, NHS and social housing.

For further information contact Iain Dennis, Director at Hays, on 0117 929 7308 or visit

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs 6,933 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • The Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158 million.
  • The Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 270,000 people into temporary assignments.
  • The temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees.

For further press information please contact


Sarah SwailesPR Manager, Hays 020 7630