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Northern Ireland’s public sector prepares for challenges ahead

According to research by Hays, the leading recruiting expert, almost all (91%) of public sector employers in Northern Ireland believe that reducing costs and making efficiencies will be a ‘very’ pressing issue in the next two years. Reassuringly, 63 per cent of respondents believe that their organisation has plans in place to deal with cost saving targets and potential redeployment/job cuts in their organisation.

Respondents believe that protecting front line services will be crucial, with almost half (49%) confirming that it was ‘very unlikely’ they would outsource front line functions. They also cited ‘creating efficiencies’ as their way of dealing with the necessary cost savings. It is highly likely that organisations will utilise external contractors and management consultants over the coming one to two years in response to commercial pressures; 55 per cent of respondents felt that the use of external contractors was ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ likely and almost a third of respondents (32%) expect they will engage with management consultants.

John Moore, Director at Hays in Northern Ireland, comments: “Public sector employers are under no illusions about the challenges facing them over the next two years and organisations are already looking to make efficiencies and protect front line services as a priority. Given that cuts are inevitable it is positive that the majority of employers have plans in place to do this. Those employers who ensure they have the right skills in place to deliver the necessary changes and who work hard to retain this talent will be best equipped to cope.”

About the survey

The research was conducted by Hays in April 2010. 87 public sector employers in Northern Ireland responded.

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 over 6,700 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 £158.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:

Claire Fowler
Hays
T. 020 7259 8821
E. Claire.s.fowler@hays.com

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