The island’s cost of living – including housing and childcare costs – is causing "significant challenges" in recruiting overseas job candidates, according to the latest report from the Jersey Appointments Commission.
The Chief Minister yesterday presented the Jersey Appointments Commission (JAC) Annual Report for 2022 to the States Assembly.
The Commission revealed that one of its main concerns is that "significant challenges remain in the attraction and securing of candidates who are required to relocate to the island".
"The cost and availability of accommodation and property in Jersey is also a significant barrier for many overseas candidates," the report states.
It added: "Caring responsibilities, which disproportionately affect women candidates, is often a key factor."
The gender split for all applications was 80% male to 20% female. All five applications for Deputy Chief of Police and all three for Deputy Greffier were male.
Although the Government provides support and relocation packages for all overseas appointments, the report says that "evidence is being shared to suggest that some candidates see the cost of living in Jersey as a negative factor which outweighs the increased remuneration and quality of life".
Pictured: The island's cost of living, which is the highest it has been since the 1980s, is putting off potential candidates during the recruitment process.
A report last month revealed that during the twelve months to March 2023, the All Items Retail Prices Index (RPI) for Jersey increased by 12.7%, which with the previous twelve months marked the highest rise since the 1980s. This was 3.8% higher than the UK's rate of inflation.
The primary drivers behind the rise were housing costs, which had increased by 24.4%, and food prices, which climbed 14.2%.
On the other hand, the JAC's report also noted that "under-representation of suitable local candidates in the applications process" remains a concern.
Only 28% of applications were from Jersey-based candidates, with two of the 16 who applied for Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit considered locals.
To mitigate the risk that locals will not apply for public roles, the Commission is planning an outreach programme for 2023/24 with key local stakeholders to ensure the widest participation in developing recruitment pools for public roles.
It also admits that "more" could be done "to attract private sector workers to public service" and recommends that organisations "ensure their attraction approach for recruitment is reviewed to meet the need for greater localisation and diversity and inclusion."
Pictured: JAC oversaw the recruitment of now-resigned government CEO Suzanne Wylie, who was hired from outside the island.
The Commission's other main concern was the need for modernising recruitment processes within the public service to avoid bias.
In particular, the Commission encourages "utilisation of software applications for reviewing CVs, psychometric testing and panel interviewing the purpose of which would be to reduce the risk of bias contaminating the selection process".
The report further recommends a review of current recruitment practices in Government bodies "to identify areas where new and emerging recruitment practices can be embedded within existing processes."
Last year, the Commission assisted in the completion of 35 recruitment assignments, a 25% increase from 2021. This was spread across 16 recruitments within the Government of Jersey with a further 19 assignments within other organisations.
The JAC is an independent body that oversees the recruitment of States' employees and appointees to States supported or related bodies.
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