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The Coalition government's hope that the private sector will soak up staff laid off from the public sector took a blow today from a survey showing more than half of UK businesses would not employ people from the public sector. A survey of 500 firms by the FT and Barclays Corporate found 57 per cent said they were not interested …

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WTF?

Thoughts from a person-centred transition facilitator

It's hardly any surprise - can you imagine actually hiring a former public sector worker?

As a profitable private enterprise, we don't actually have any roles for a "person-centred transition facilitator"or an "ambient replenishment controller and regional head of services, infrastructure and procurement" (AKA shelf stacker and caretaker).

We'd have to make up jobs that aren't necessary, double our HR team to deal with their "duvet day" requirements and increase the size of our legal dept. to manage their gripes.

I'd suggest we ship them all to China - a hearty dose of reality awaits ...

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Dear sir,

May I suggest that you spend a while working in an understaffed, underfunded, high stress environment, such as that which I and many of my public sector colleagues do, and you might just realise that what you are typing is a torrent of ill-informed, prejudiced cow excrement.

Thank you.

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Dose of reality...

@Jay Jaffa You're the one who needs a dose of reality. I work in the private sector and know a number of public sector workers. They work harder, longer and are under much more pressure than anyone I know in the private sector. They're also paid a lot less.

You're obviously in a nice cosy world. In the real world people haven't got time to surf the net browsing the Reg, even over their lunchbreak.

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@ RegisterFail - Surprising myself, I agree

Money is spent supporting entire tiers of seemingly pointless management rather than at the pointy end of service delivery where it might well do some good.

In the area I work, staff retention is a bigger issue for its impact on staffing levels than incompetence. We constantly see staff leaving to live in cheaper cities - even though we are in the north of England, our town is by no means a cheap (or even reasonably priced) place to live; hastened by what are perceived - even amongst public sector staff from different areas - as pretty poor working conditions. In 10 years, I have never known morale to be lower than it is now.

I'm not speaking specifically of IT, but on a day when the PM pretty clearly announced an idealogical intention to do away with the entire public sector, I felt I had to speak up for the genuinely hard-working staff of our public services in the face of the ignorance spewing from the likes of Jay Jaffa.

I do work a frontline healthcare job, and as I just finished an extremely long and traumatic week; I can assure you that some jobs are inherently stressful by their nature, and not (always) because of the people we find ourselves working with.

Nevertheless, well said. But as ever, the people doing the real work will often be those treated most unfairly by the axeman.

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Perhaps...

Just a polite suggestion - he should consider working in Marketing or for a Conference organisers. Play up the work at shows and conferences.

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Thumb Up

You're probably right...

Obviously I don't know him personally, and I'm just being friendly so I apologise if I step over the mark.

Perhaps you've hit the nail right on the head. In the public sector the key part to funding is to make sure you spend your budget and 'need' a bit more in the hopes of getting a larger budget from the huge pool of public funds available.

In the private sector you have to make money, or if you're in an area that spends money then you have to prove that what you're doing helps everyone else in the company make money.

Is it also possible that there's a degree of arrogance and entitlement in his attitudes that come across in interviews? Sometimes you have to show some humility, a willingness to work, an interest in what you do and a degree of friendliness that will show you can integrate.

Well, anyway. I wish you luck in pushing him to accepting a few realities of life. Flexi-time, final salary pensions, above average wages - these are things that companies can't afford, particularly at this time of belt-tightening. He needs to get employed to be employable, and that may mean having to work for a year or so in a job he believes is below him in order to even get on the radar of those people who could hire him for anything near what he is worth, let alone what he feels he is worth.

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Doesnt suprise me

Anyone who has tried to get anything done via the council is generally met with jobsworths and people who have no idea what they are doing. I wouldn't employ ex-council staff and I doubt most people would...

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Grenade

Re: Doesnt suprise me

Given the years of crap buggy code that microsoft has foisted on me, one might assume that I would consider ALL MS staff as unable to spell the word TEST let alone do it.

However when hiring, I look through the CV's, and actually select based on total background and experience, and not just the last job, or one particular employer or sector experience.

I've found that I end up with good, productive, dev team as result.

Managers that don't leave their personal pre-conceptions at the door, are letting down their staff, and damaging the bottom line.

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Re Doesn't Surprise me.

Sorry, AC, but leave the public sector to the incompetent? Double your council tax in a year, more like!

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Unhappy

Short Sighted

Having worked in both Financial Services and the Public Sector, I can personally testify that most IT staff in Fin.Serv have it easy, and are not pushed to greater creativity in developing solutions.

Any local government IT worker has had to learn how to create bricks without straw, and they handle a greater range of issues every week than a similar post in financial services.

For example one UK insurer complained that it had 14 claims systems, at a unitary council just down the road, the environmental health it team (usually around 10 people on staff), had to hold up over 70 applications, some of them serious safety implications, and keep up with the avalanche of new legislation comng out HMG.

Employers who look at industry rather than skills and experience are short sighted to say the least.

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AC, whose side are you on?

Typical for the council to hold things up... If it was private enterprise it would get on with the job of complying.

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Unhappy

Quite

I too have worked in both private and public sectors and from my experience in public sector work, which ended about 7 years ago, the types of people seemed to polarized. There were some staggeringly talented people with knowledge of IT that would wipe the floor with anyone but they were told to keep it under wraps by dimwitted management types who didn't want to rock the boat. Just stick to the brief. you're told. Get the job done, go home, come back next day. Repeat and rinse until pension day arrives.

Due to this prejudice some very talented people are going to be missed simply for taking a job in the wrong place.

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@don't rock the boat & same in all businesses of all sizes

@"keep it under wraps by dimwitted management types who didn't want to rock the boat. Just stick to the brief. you're told. Get the job done, go home, come back next day. Repeat and rinse until pension day arrives."

I've experienced this in the private sector as well, (time and time again), its not just public sector, it affects all businesses of all sizes. It occurs more often in larger corporations (simply due to more people in large corporations and so more with this pattern of behaviour and they can hide more effectively in large corporations). These management types thrive in corporations from middle management to upper management and they are far more interested in playing office politics like rearrange departments to give them more power, than actually getting the work done. They are also very good at blaming everyone else for their own mistakes, whilst always being up the front to say its their idea, when things go well.

I strongly suspect there's an element of that in this news about bosses reluctance to take people from the public sector, because they wouldn't want to hire office politics type people and larger corporate like organisations suffer from office politics types who thrive in that kind of corporate environment.

Unfortunately in business, (whatever business) you find these types. You even find them in smaller companies, but there its even worse, as they can often be the boss! ... Then you really are in trouble, because nothing you do will ever truly give you a return on investment, because the boss is always determined to say its his actions and not yours that makes the differences. (But then that allows the boss to say, no you're not getting a pay rise, whilst they are happy to fill their pockets with the profits from your efforts).

When they say "Just stick to the brief" what they really mean (though their two faced words) is that they don't want you to stand out. They want you to be compliant to their rule over you. Rock the boat and you are first out the door the next time redundancies come alone. Rock the boat and you don't get promoted. (They think, why give you any power when they fear you will seek to question them even more in the future, with your new found power). They only want "yes" men. People who do what they are told. That isn't what's best for the company, its what's best for them.

If you haven't already guessed, the people who behave like this are the Narcissistic Personality Disordered people (NPD) in society. Their actions show how self interested and two faced they are and they will seek ways to undermine you, whilst they really enjoy having the power of being superior over you. (Its why they are so effective in fighting to the top in politics). :(

Its also why business is so difficult, because every company is up against some ruthless companies with Narcissistic bosses, just as every department head in large organisations has to fight against some Narcissistic department heads, who seek to undermine and sideline them, to gain more power over more people. It doesn't mean all managers are Narcissistic, but the most powerful ones are far more often Narcissistic. The office politics power games they play are not in the organisations best interests, its in their best self-interests. Corporations or government organisations, it makes no difference, a minority of the population are playing these games (for their own gain) and we are all up against their hidden battle against us. Its why business is so difficult. :(

Its also a sobering thought when looking for a new job, to try to avoid these type of people in the future. Not that easy as unfortunately a lot of bosses are like them. Worse still, no sooner do you find a good boss (if you are lucky) and then you unfortunately find ruthless bad bosses in other companies seeking to undermine and wipe out their business (so you then have to think about updating your CV again, ready for your next redundancy notice). :( ... and so the cycle continues ... unless you are very lucky. :(

p.s. as you can tell I feel strongly about this. Its partly because like these poor sods in the public sector, my CV is now back up to date again as well, so to speak! :( ... still once again my current bosses (just like previous bosses) will walk away with millions in their pockets, so it won't be a total loss! :S ... The drink icon, as I need one after thinking about all this!. :(

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FAIL

How does this survey make sense?

The only information of value that can be taken from this survey is that private companies wont be creating jobs as fast as the government is sacking public service workers. Asking companies if they would employ ex-public service staff strikes me as such a poorly defined question, with no situational context, that the statistics are meaningless noise used to back up a newspaper article with predefined conclusions.

What a waste of time and effort - this would never happen in the highly efficient private sector would it.

Oh, hang on a second...

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Pirate

Peanuts anyone?

Seems about right; pay peanuts and don't be surprised what you get. Low rates compared with the private sector with little chance of following a technical specialism, e.g. not everyone wants to be a manager.

It's astounding that there's no IT-specialist civil-service grades. Vets, economists, lawyers, but not IT specialists. Oh, of course, that policy was set by a SFB manager.

Managers need to learn their place: without techies they can't "achieve results through the efforts of others". The private sector's learnt this, why can't the public sector?

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Public sector is not underpaid

IT may well be a separate case, but on the whole, public sector workers are not paid less than private sector workers. If anything, they're paid more.

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/economics/2009/02/response-to-polly-toynbee.html

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Unhappy

Re: Public sector is not underpaid

One might suggest that "the tax payers alliance" is not exactly an unbiassed source of information.

Having had to run an IT team in the public sector, I just had to accept for a fact that my main vendor would poach my staff, once I had them trained up, as they could offer far more money (30%+), plus a company BMW.

It was in someways a back handed compliment to the staff selection and training.

The only two weapons I had in the staff retention arsenal, was I could offer a wide range of interesting stuff to work on, more so than at a software & consultancy shop, and I looked after and supported the staff .

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How about the office of national statistics?

The Taxpayers' Alliance used public data sources, you're free to check them.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7036131/Record-gap-between-public-and-private-sector-pay.html

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/public_sector/article6974029.ece

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Pirate

IT specialist != "IT support"

>my local council is £29k - £32k on a sliding scale

By IT specialist, I'm talking about pukker IT specialists, not application support or helpdesk administrators. For instance: programmers, infrastructure, network, security, web designers, architects, technical project managers. All of these people work in a vibrant contract market which has to be used as central and local government can't source the skills in-house.

People -- even permies -- with those skills earn *considerably* more than that figure. Which is my point: when numptie managers consider "£29k - £32k on a sliding scale" to be a good wage all they get is chimps. OK, a sweeping generalisation, but the trend will be to learn your trade in government then clear off to a SI when you're ripe. The SI will then flog these 'bodies' back to government at twice the figure they could get them for.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

"...when numptie managers consider "£29k - £32k on a sliding scale" to be a good wage..."

Christ almighty... I work for a big private firm, who looks after systems for a public body, and I'd murder someone to make £29K a year. I'm not a helldesk grunt either... I look after the WLAN / VoIP / data network and infrastructure.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: WTF?

I would kill all of you for £29k. Mind you, I'd kill most of you for less. But you get the point. These are chimp wages in IT? I wonder how many of you are gibbons, then, or marmosets.

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Anonymous Coward

More Nigel Numpties on the dole

Business has enough problems without having to soak up government's leftovers.

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WTF?

No difference between Public Sector and Private Sector

People are people - they will behave with integrity or not, according to their personality rather than where they work.

Remember, this country has been brought to its knees financially by the private sector. The bankers etc all have been rewarded very handsomely for their incompetence (or whatever)

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No

This country has been brought to it's knees by the previous government overspending for the past decade. The bankers just provided the tax revenue.

Over the same period the Australian government paid down their national debt.

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Unhappy

RE: The Difference

Having worked in both the private sector and local government, I would actually say that councils I have seen are better at managing under/non-performing staff, rather than the private sector.

The large companies I have worked for included several that would promote managers side-ways, to where their incompetence could do minimal harm, rather than the more ruthless approach council's take.

If anything councils HR teams have got to trigger happy, hence why I have seen managers in councils abuse the competancy process, just to get rid of staff they had personal problems with (rather than lack of performance or skills).

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Re:No difference between Public Sector and Private Sector

I have to agree with Dave 3 - the best description of this I have heard can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lW6Y4tBXs

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No Real Surprises

Think about what will happen. The council will go through a simple process, only slightly modified between different councils.

1) Which will cause most public impact, think about firing them first to make a point?

2) How hard would it be to replace them if the money is subsequently found, if hard retain, if not fire?

3) Do they bring in money or cost money, if revenue generating or supporting keep, otherwise fire them.

4) Who do we not want.

Business and even some councils recruit on a similar process;

1) Do we need more staff?

2) What can this skill set do for us?

3) How much value can they add?

3) Can we afford them?

If asked,

"Would you like someone else's rejects?"

most people would say

"No"

as a first reaction.

Ask the right question get a good headline, time will be the only way to find out if the displaced staff have a market value

Get the CV right, present yourself in a good light, show how you deliver value and your future will be rather brighter.

Richard

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Dumb but true

Unfortunately this level of thinking is actually quite typical of UK business - which explains a lot. I've heard that certain companies bin unread any CV that has those deathly phrases on it.

It's very much a 'kick the cat' ideology, the concept that even these 'business people' have failed in the international marketplace, they are at least better than 'public servants'.

The reality is that those schooled in the techniques of government are far more skilled at multidimensional management than the typical UK business type - balancing ten things at once is just tickover. I've known many than have jump ship for the commercial world, and almost universally they have done well and reported back "its easier and better paid".

Frankly, given the stuff-up the cons are making of these cuts, I'd expect the sharper businesses to be buying in well connected staff to position themselves from the wealth of outsourcing that will hit when people realise they've sacked the people they need to make things work. While there are time servers, they are the ones most likely to be in the civil service to the bitter end.

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Culture shock works both ways

Having worked in both public and private sectors, there are some extremely talented people in both, and a similar number of clock-watchers.

However, it's definitely true to say that the culture, outlook and personalities you find in each sector are very different. If we do see a mass exodus of former public sector workers to the private sector, the new approaches which they bring are likely to benefit business in the medium to long term.

Of course, quite a lot of people who have become comfortable in their private sector roles will be challenged by these people and their ideas. Perhaps that's the real reason that they don't want to hire them?

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Unhappy

RE: Culture Shock - Clock Watchers

"Absolutely, I mean, why would private sector want to be challenged by people whose ideas consist of "3pm, don't care if server is down, home time, will work it back at some unspecified point in the future via 'flexi' time. P.S. Would like a 5 grand payrise despite being lazy and incompetent".

Actually having worked in both sectors, the number of clock watchers is about the same. I have in both sectors being involved in situations that required staff to work on into the early hours of the morning to get everybody up and running the next day, the only real difference is that the private companies paid on call allowance, call out and overtime, where as the public sector worker is lucky if his manager will give him flexi-hours credit, there being no chance of on call allowance, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

And this is news?

Overpaid, underworked jobsworths with extreme negative attitudes - not really surprised the private sector don't want 'em.

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Anonymous Coward

what experience do you have to make that claim?

I assume that you actually have some evidence to back this up which makes it unique compared to, say, the banking sector

Or did you just cut and paste it from The Daily Mails website

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Anonymous Coward

Herp derp - AC @13:48 21/2

Oh right - so the only private sector is financial?

First hand experience of dealing with them and with other private sector workers.

Check the Audit Commission's report on absenteeism in the public and private sectors.

See the difference?

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach.

Those who can't do or can't teach get a job for life with the public sector.

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Anonymous Coward

too true

I got this treatment from a combination of a recruitment agency and a consultancy whose name begins with M and got taken over last year.

They also asked quite a lot of questions about my age which I would have thought were illegal these days

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Flame

Nearly right

Not equipped to work for us

Should read

Not equipped for work

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Anonymous Coward

Some contributors really or to get out more and meet their neighbours...

Or they are benighted Sociopaths.

FFS these people are like ones you come across everyday. Most are regular human beings. Without doubt a small percentage will be ill equipped technologically and attitudinaly to cope with Private Enterprise but most should be able to get on in the corporate sector.

What this survey is really saying is "If these folks want a job - and they probably will - don't expect a pay rise to come into Private/Corporate sector. We will take you on if we can use you to drive down wages...) Without market expansion, most businesses have the necessary numbers of UK folks to manage nicely. No need for more workers unless they are cheap, fearful and fit in. "Welcome compliant ex Public Sector employees."

As with any redundancy all the folks that go wont be 'crap', they'll just be the surplus who cannot be integrated.

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FAIL

Dear AC,

"Some contributors really or to get out more..."

Did you mean that they OUGHT to get out more?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, well spotted.

I realised after I'd sent it

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Anonymous Coward

Some nutters on here ...

The next people I interview will be asked about their attitude to public sector workers.

I doubt anybody above would have the gall to answer honestly in an interview. Actually I doubt that any of the whiners above are actually in a postion to interview anyone. Maybe they feel threatened. Bless.

(For what it's worth I've found the laziest, most complacent workers in the insurance industry - would this make me biased against anyone coming from that background ? No)

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Honest answers in interview

Dude,

no fucker answers honestly in an interview. Neither the interviewer nor the interviewee - they both give the answers they think the other wants to hear. On the rare occasion these answers coincide with the truth it is done so by the fickle finger of fate rather than conscious design

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Anonymous Coward

re: lies catch up with you

I would far rather find out I was the wrong person for a position during the interview phase than three months in.

I have an approximately 80% success rate at £100k (+/- £20k) positions. so I'll stick with my technique thanks.

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