Blue light services – can budget cuts lead to greater output?

CLARE RYDER • 01 Mar 2018

It’s been widely reported over the past decade that ‘blue light’ services face a continued period of budget cuts and simultaneously, are expected to improve services holistically whilst responding to a changing ‘world of work’.

Sir Ken Knight, CBE QFSM FIFireE, and Fire Minister, Brandon Lewis, have both written and spoken at length about the challenges facing ‘blue light services’, concluding that agility, seeking greater efficiency and shared resources are key to maintaining standards:

“Police and Fire and Rescue Services continue to face cuts in funding. They have risen to the challenge, managing to cut costs while maintaining high standards of service. As the pressure on funding continues to bite the need for transformation and efficiency is greater than ever.”

Extract from a speech made by Fire Minister, Brandon Lewis


Decentralisation and Autonomy versus Centralised Services

Decentralisation and Autonomy versus Centralised Services is a growing hot topic in the sector. Many local departments and services are striving to demonstrate the ability to stay in control of their own destiny and, in turn, their own budget and achievements.

People are the indisputable core of blue light services. Without the commitment of those who work in the sector (both front line and back office staff), delivering the services through a period of austerity would be impossible.

Recruitment technology and ensuring a good return on investment

When it comes to recruiting, the service must balance agility, create efficiencies and shared resources. There are security challenges, rigorous screening and onboarding steps that are all underpinned with strict compliance requirements.

Procuring and implementing the best recruitment technology is part of the solution. However, to secure funding there is also a need to justify the value of new technology and what the expected return on investment would be.

From our own experience of working with blue light organisations in Jobtrain, we have developed existing functionality and created new features in our applicant tracking system – all designed to help our clients meet their end goal in the most efficient way. Our clients often come from a lengthy and challenging recruitment process to an engaging experience for candidates, where not only skill but aptitude and cultural fit are tested along the way.

What features to look out for

  • Using a two-stage application process is an easier way to engage candidates. The Isle of Man Government’s candidate satisfaction score rocketed after implementing this
  • Timed assessments at application stage are critical in helping fire services manage their testing against national standards
  • Integration with testing providers and pre-employment checking providers
  • Sharing candidate details across talent pools and working with wider authority partners
  • The agility to have different recruitment processes for different types of roles
  • To manage your own careers website in-house
  • With candidates 25% more likely to respond to an advert that has images or video content, using video and images within job adverts is critical
  • A solution that is GDPR compliant, fully secure, is a UK cloud-hosted solution and can be deployed in weeks

Building a business case for recruitment technology

Read our report on building a business case and proving the return on investment of recruitment technology. Download the report here: How to build a business case for recruitment technology.

If you’d like to find out more about how Jobtrain can help overcome recruitment challenges, please contact us.

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