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Public sector talent at risk in Northern Ireland

According to the leading recruiting expert Hays, employers in Northern Ireland's public sector are at risk of losing key talent and are not tapping into essential commercial expertise when recruiting. Although there is the prospect of job cuts, whilst the future is uncertain and budgets haven't been set employers need to take extra care not to lose their employees to the private sector.

Signs of recovery in the private sector, public sector jobs coming under close scrutiny and the prevailing uncertainty is reducing employees' job confidence and causing them to look for work in the private sector. However, in recent research undertaken by Hays only 16 per cent of public sector employers in Northern Ireland were concerned about their employees being attracted to the private sector, demonstrating a lack of awareness of the situation.

Equally, only seven per cent of employers rated commercial expertise as the ‘most important' attribute when recruiting new staff. In the period of change that is expected as the public sector engages more with the private, employing those people with exceptional leadership skills, change management experience and a commercial understanding will be critical.

John Moore, Director at Hays in Northern Ireland, comments: "There are clearly going to be challenging times ahead and although some jobs are going to go, the likelihood is that others will be created. Employers shouldn't be complacent about the importance of having the right skills in place to manage this period of change, with people in place who can add real strategic value and insight. Public services employers need to ensure they have plans in place to retain their top talent and are considering recruiting people with commercial skills."

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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:

Sarah Swailes or Claire Fowler
T. 020 7259 8821