myjobscotland, run by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), is the national recruitment website of the Scottish Local Government.
With over 4.8 million candidates visiting the site annually, the website is the country’s go-to place for job seekers looking to apply for roles within Scotland’s public services. As the biggest public services’ jobs board in Scotland, myjobscotland is a key recruiting tool for building up the public service workforce.
In over a decade of service, myjobscotland has seen huge growth – going from just six registered recruiters to 760 across local authorities, further and higher education establishments, early years providers, charities and more recently adult care providers.
However, as with many recruiters, the COVID-19 pandemic presented serious challenges to this success. Scottish Councils needed to continue operations whilst working remotely. It was quickly established that using video facilities was the right way forward. However, with tight council budgets, limited resources and concern over legal reporting requirements, finding a flexible solution that would cater for all recruiters’ needs was challenging.
Preparing for the digital shift
myjobscotland has been a partner of TalentLink, and consequently Cornerstone OnDemand, since its launch, working together to achieve success, providing a Customer Success Manager along the way to get the most from the system and to learn from other clients. With the arrival of COVID-19, myjobscotland needed a video questionnaire facility, not only to share relevant questions to assess candidates, but to conduct pre-interview processes as well– all remotely. With public organisations being expected to do more with less, it was critical the return on investment was considered and identified throughout the project.
From the outset, Cornerstone and myjobscotland worked to understand what success would look like, and how this would be measured. myjobscotland knew the transition may be challenging, with some councils sceptical of video at first. However, Cornerstone assured that the shift would be smooth, implementing solutions within 24 hours once requested, offering flexibility and helping to speed up processes, rather than be a barrier. myjobscotland also facilitated shared learning sessions with councils throughout the process. Trials of the system were set up in 10 councils including Dundee City, City of Edinburgh, Glasgow City and Aberdeenshire.
The video revolution
Across all councils involved in the pilot, 253 job roles used the video system, assessing over 5,200 candidates. Feedback from those involved in the pilot found 100% of Hiring Managers thought the system was easy to use and helped streamline the shortlisting of candidates. “Using the Video Review Facility to help with shortlisting really brought to light skills that you don’t normally see at this stage. Seeing them deliver a prepared answer shows a level of competence you don’t get from their application form”, said one Senior HR Officer at Glasgow’s City Council. With a 100% satisfaction rate, it was abundantly clear that the benefits of the video function were quickly being felt across Scottish councils.
Alongside a number of other process improvements, video review has helped to dramatically accelerate time to hire. For example, some councils reported Home Carer roles reducing from 74 days to offer to just 15, and, in some cases, time to hire reduced from 119 days to just 44. For roles such as accountants, solicitors and headteachers, some councils reported time to offer as being just 10 days and time to hire as being just 34. This drastic reduction in time-to-hire has not only allowed myjobscotland to attract more talent but has also enabled councils to fill skills gaps faster.
The candidate experience
Enabling video facilities within the recruitment process also hugely improved the candidate experience. Today, candidates no longer need to travel to a physical location to have an interview – rather, they are able to do this process online. This has saved candidates both time and money. In fact, one post even saved £432 in travel costs. This also meant that myjobscotland could hire from a wider talent pool, as candidates were no longer limited geographically to apply for certain roles. A survey found that 87% of candidates said they would like to conduct pre-interviews via video in the future, further highlighting the success of the video function.
Previously, pre-interview processes, such as identity verifications, could prove to be extremely time-consuming. Today, these processes can be easily and quickly done through the video function, granting councils more time to focus on value-adding tasks. Unfortunately, this type of verification process will end in August 2022 when it is expected a more robust identity driven verification process will be required with accreditation being required by the UK Government from third-party services.
#Digitising the public sector
Implementing the video function has also sparked wider conversations about overall processes within the Scottish public sector, which has enabled organisations to work more collaboratively. “…Working collaboratively with other local authorities across Scotland, we were able to effect change quickly, creating a digital shift that we want to embrace and keep in the future”, said one HR spokesperson from Dundee City Council.
It’s evident that the implementation of the video review function has been hugely beneficial to myjobscotland’s partners. Not only has it been able to streamline hiring processes, leaving councils with more time to focus on value-adding tasks, but it has also resulted in an improved experience for the candidates themselves. With a happier, wider pool of talent, myjobscotland is continuing to help Scotland’s public services to hire the best talent more efficiently.