Local councils have always allowed some form of flexibility but with Zoom meetings and purely digital communication becoming the norm, this year has seen even the most technophobic of people come around to this way of working.
The announcement that the United Kingdom was going into lockdown meant that overnight local authorities had to adapt and change the way they delivered services, engaging with staff and residents in completely new and unexpected ways.
There has never been a doubt that technology can help increase efficiency in many working environments. Local councils were quick to use digital technology as a selling point to try to attract permanent candidates but with a reliance on outdated recruitment methodologies like 12 page application forms and written tests, how many were really prepared for the cataclysmic changes that they faced during those early weeks.
Now that the initial shock is over and having spent 3 months living in a purely digital world, are local councils now ready to really embrace new ways of working? “Bots” and automation can’t replace humans in many local authority roles, but there are technology solutions, which have been further innovated to help with COVID related challenges, that can be embedded within services to save time, money, and even eliminate 3rd party suppliers, giving complete control back to the council.
Local councils now face an important crossroads. Many local councils have access to technology suites and services that, previously, have been underused. The majority of local council also face some challenging decisions on the near future, with the majority expressing concerns around their financial viability (after increased COVID-19 spends) and ability to deliver services. There are two schools of thought currently:
- A retreat into the safety of “this has worked well before”
- Or the willingness to explore new methodologies.
But how can you assess your 'digital readiness'? Take a look below!
Taking a bold step and doing something different is challenging and scary but with good communication both internally (with staff) and externally (with those who use services) I think there is a way that everyone can win. Could COVID-19 be the reason services change (hopefully for the better) or could local councils be forced through necessity. Whatever happens, this could be the year that we see fundamental change in local government…watch this space!
For further information and guidance regarding the current recruitment sector during COVID-19, get in touch with our HR Services team now. If you enjoyed this read, you can find more blogs provided by our supplier, People Pool, and other recruitment sector updates here.