Non-job of the week

May 18, 2011 1:30 PM

There was a time at the beginning of the year when I thought the drought in non-jobs was going to last. With councils having to tighten their belts, it was a reasonable thought, if not rather optimistic. Unfortunately, the drought did not last.

A supporter has alerted me that East Sussex County Council has been looking for a new Assistant Chief Executive, paying £92,230. The job advert expired on 15 April, so it safe to assume this post will have been filled. What ESCC has done is delete a director's job and then advertise for someone else on a similar high salary; all part of its restructuring.  No doubt the director will have been paid-off, with the usual redundancy and pension top-up costs involved. What sense does it make to then recruit another senior officer? This is another example of a council trying to spin the fact it's reducing costs, when the reality is the savings are nowhere near as large as it would have us believe.

The non-job this week is in the London Borough of Hillingdon, which is advertising for an Internal Communications Officer. As one of our supporters said to us:

Whenever I've needed to communicate with a colleague, I've spoken to them or sent them an email. It's old fashioned, but it works! I'm not sure what an internal communications officer would do all day! Work on a staff newsletter?


To enlighten us more, here's what the job description says:

Ensuring our staff are well-informed and feel engaged, you will be a critical part of the council’s award-winning communications team. Cited as model of best practice for employee engagement, you will develop the role by delivering effective internal communications and staff engagement strategies, using a range of existing and new channels.Whether your background is in the private or the public sector, this is an ideal opportunity to use your skills to maximum effect during a period of great change in the public sector.


When private companies are looking to bring down costs, this is the sort of job that goes out of the window. There are enough managers already in councils across the country. Communicating information can easily be done by those managers. The council will already have a communications team who should be able to handle any bulletins that go out on a periodic basis. Hiring someone else is a luxury we can't afford. There was a time at the beginning of the year when I thought the drought in non-jobs was going to last. With councils having to tighten their belts, it was a reasonable thought, if not rather optimistic. Unfortunately, the drought did not last.

A supporter has alerted me that East Sussex County Council has been looking for a new Assistant Chief Executive, paying £92,230. The job advert expired on 15 April, so it safe to assume this post will have been filled. What ESCC has done is delete a director's job and then advertise for someone else on a similar high salary; all part of its restructuring.  No doubt the director will have been paid-off, with the usual redundancy and pension top-up costs involved. What sense does it make to then recruit another senior officer? This is another example of a council trying to spin the fact it's reducing costs, when the reality is the savings are nowhere near as large as it would have us believe.

The non-job this week is in the London Borough of Hillingdon, which is advertising for an Internal Communications Officer. As one of our supporters said to us:

Whenever I've needed to communicate with a colleague, I've spoken to them or sent them an email. It's old fashioned, but it works! I'm not sure what an internal communications officer would do all day! Work on a staff newsletter?


To enlighten us more, here's what the job description says:

Ensuring our staff are well-informed and feel engaged, you will be a critical part of the council’s award-winning communications team. Cited as model of best practice for employee engagement, you will develop the role by delivering effective internal communications and staff engagement strategies, using a range of existing and new channels.Whether your background is in the private or the public sector, this is an ideal opportunity to use your skills to maximum effect during a period of great change in the public sector.


When private companies are looking to bring down costs, this is the sort of job that goes out of the window. There are enough managers already in councils across the country. Communicating information can easily be done by those managers. The council will already have a communications team who should be able to handle any bulletins that go out on a periodic basis. Hiring someone else is a luxury we can't afford.

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