Joined up Jobs (2005)

 

About the jobs project

Objectives

Joined up Jobs is seeking to standardise the way councils and other public bodies communicate job vacancy information with third parties and intermediaries, reducing legal bureaucracy, reducing technical testing costs, reducing data entry costs and reducing data keying errors associated with establishing and maintaining multiple channels to reach citizens with vacancy information.
This will allow councils to concentrate on business issues rather than technical or legal issues. It should also enable new business choices that can:

  • Give jobseekers the widest possible, accurate listing of available jobs, when and where they want to access it.
  • Give councils access to a wider labour market, ultimately raising application rates, raising the quality of staff and driving down overall costs of recruitment.

Concepts

  • Enable easy re-use of public sector job vacancies information in the north east
  • Reduce re-keying of information
  • Increase volume of jobs vacancy information shared with partners
  • Harness emerging technologies
  • Create opportunities to provide improved or new services

Without forcing Councils to get rid of their current online systems or recruitment advertising arrangements

joinedupjobs2

Take existing data from existing systems in a common form

Make that data available to others for re-use so they can collate information from a variety of sources and develop new services. This is the same concept as the tourism services we established for the on-street kiosks

So Joined up Jobs isn’t about introducing new front-ends to vacancy data, or forcing councils to replace their back office system – it’s about making the data transfer and messaging more efficient, which in itself holds significant potential benefits.

Of course, with the messaging freed of technical and structural constraints, it leaves personnel departments free to concentrate on business rather than technical issues.


Scope

Joined up Jobs will not force councils to change their existing relationships with intermediaries, change their front-end systems, or replace their back office systems; the project may however provide insight that enables better informed business decisions about these in the future.

Joined up Jobs is focused on how councils transmit their job vacancy information to the intermediaries they are engaged with. It addresses issues such as:

  • Reducing re-keying of data
  • Whether data can be automatically extracted from back office systems
  • How multiple intermediaries can be supplied with data
  • If standard re-use agreements can be constructed to save legal time when establishing new relationships with intermediaries
  • If standard data formats can be used to save data export/import testing time when establishing new relationships with intermediaries
  • How the set up costs of new relationships with intermediaries can be reduced, encouraging greater use of particular channels for ad hoc campaigns
  • How intermediaries can develop new services safe in the knowledge that the ‘information supply’ is going to be in a format they can understand and use, regardless of the client, thus reducing service costs

Elements of the process Joined up Jobs may impact upon are illustrated below in green.

Slide1_000


Outputs

  • ‘State of the Region’ Report: who are the stakeholders, what are their aspirations for e-recruitment, how ready are they for Joined up Jobs?
  • Technical background research: xml, syndication
  • Investigation into the Re Use of Public Information directive and Commercial Licensing of public sector jobs information.
  • Specification, business model and operational, governance, and implementation requirements.
  • Options, business case and sustainability appraisal
  • Work towards UK national standard schemas for job adverts, job profiles and person specifications
  • A standard commercial licence for the reuse of public sector jobs information
  • Services on the world wide web, on-street kiosks and interactive digital television, giving access to jobs information from all of the participating councils and support the Public Service Academy

Phasing

The Project is organised into 2 phases, with a critical review point mid-way.

Phase I October 2005 to March 2006

  • Engage stakeholders, identify current practice, aspirations and constraints
  • Establish ‘Follower’ organisations
  • Identify the technical infrastructure to establish initial data feeds
  • Identify options for a first joined up public access service on
    • The world wide web
    • The network of 50 public access kiosks (most on street)
    • The interactive Digital TV services on sky, ntl: and Telewest
    • To support the Public Service Academy

Checkpoint – options evaluation February / March 2006

  • Appraisals of options for
    • Data export / import facilities
    • Developing services to reuse and collate data
    • Establishing enhanced services within Councils
  • With an eye on
    • Potential benefits, efficiency savings
    • Sustainability
    • Investigations of opportunities and constraints

Phase II April 2006 to September 2006

  • Implementation of selected way forward

 


Project Rationale

  • We already forward some of our vacancies to third parties for them to put them onto their systems or onto the web
  • There are cost and accuracy issues with having to re-enter the information

Wouldn’t it be better if

  • Third parties working with us could automatically pick up the data from each of us in a standard format?
  • Jobseekers could look in one place and be sure it contained all the available vacancies?

Benefits

  • Give the widest possible, accurate listing of available jobs, when and where they want to access it.
  • Give councils access to a wider labour market, ultimately raising application rates, raising the quality of staff and driving down overall costs of recruitment.

Links to other initiatives

Public Sector Academy Project

  • Investigating establishing a physical ‘joined up’ recruitment bureau

Regional initiatives

  • NEREO is providing Project Assurance to the Joined up Jobs Project Management Board

Your Involvement

We would like you help shape the project.

We are asking all local councils to complete an online questionnaire so we can assess the ‘state of the region’ regarding job vacancy processes, and design Joined up Jobs to suit.

We have created a web page of latest e-recruitment news which automatically updates itself each time you visit.

If you are interested in following the progress of Joined up Jobs please sign up to our online discussion forum.


Partners

  • Gateshead Council
  • North Tyneside Council
  • South Tyneside Council

Supported by

  • North East Centre of Excellence (www.nece.gov.uk)
  • Tyne & Wear ICT & e-Government Partnership

Pearson’s was selected to undertake technical research and design for the project.
Scope


Presentations, Reports etc

These can be found in our Downloads .

 

Jobs news

October 2005 The kick-off meeting of the Project Board was held.

It was recognised that Joined up Jobs was not about creating new front end customer facing services, nor imposing replacement of back end systems.  However, these back end systems might need additional export modules creating, to make portal-ready content available for re-use.

Three types of stakeholder were identified:

  • content originators (councils etc.)
  • content re-users (those we share our data with)
  • the standardisation community (through which we aim to establish Joined up Jobs as a common approach)

The tender process to identify and select a Technical Advisor to the Project commenced.

November 2005 Pearson’s was identified as the preferred Technical Advisor.

The Technical Team commenced work on 21st November.

December 2005 An online survey was established to assess current practice and ensure content originator stakeholders in the region were engaged.

Invitations to complete the survey were issued to ‘vacancy originator’ stakeholders on 19th December 2005.
D2.1, D3.1 and D5.1 (which are all draft reports with final versions at a later date) were made available for the Project Board meeting on 9th  January 2006.

A presentation was given to the Steering Group of the Public Sector Academy project.

Research and communication with the Local eGovernment Standards Body has revealed that there is an HR related standard already included as ‘recommended’ in eGif, the UK Public Sector interoperability framework.

This ‘HR-XML’ standard may provide much of the basis of a jobs information schema, although it is understood to have originated outside the UK and will need development for wider use in the UK public sector.

An investigation of HR-XML will be undertaken as part of D3 and reported through those channels.

January 2006 Responses to the survey are being collected.

Discussions have commenced with colleagues in Legal Services regarding commercial licensing of data and the Re-use of Public Information Directive.  Their investigations will be fed into the options appraisal in March 2006.

April 2006 Key research deliverables were produced.  Abridged versions of these will be made available on our Downloads page.  In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Graham Jordan .

D2.2 Catalogues responses to originator surveys and interviews with reusers and standardisation stakeholders.

Key findings:

  • Variation in number of vacancies advertised (from 11-1800 in 2005)
  • Although there are some elements of similarity within vacancy data management practices, no two organisations follow the same process
  • There is a general lack of IT systems supporting recruitment or vacancy advertising processes. Most HR operations have dedicated personnel systems that are used for managing the personnel process rather than the Vacancy initiation and advertising processes.
  • Job Vacancy data transfer represents a low % of overall costs – about 2.2% of internal costs to hire
  • All our survey respondents currently use web-based advertising, and can provide vacancy data electronically
  • E-Recruitment is being considered and there is a recognition of the drivers and constraints
  • There is a lower level of interest in electronic channels other than web
  • Councils don’t have one to many relationships – all but 4 use the same third party media placement agent, and they have the one to many relationships
  • There was a commitment to the concept of Joined up Jobs from all reusers, both current and future. They could easily identify the benefits to their organisations e-agenda, and the practical benefits of having standard data formats and legal agreements.
  • It has been suggested through discussions with the standardisation bodies that there is a gap in the information infrastructure where projects and initiatives like Joined up Jobs can be promoted and taken forward towards recognition and standardisation.

D4.2 is the specification of the Joined up Jobs vacancy data exchange protocol.

  • The Joined Up Jobs vacancy data exchange protocol has adopted the HR-XML schema, which is an international recommended standard for data-systems relating to human resource processes in their widest possible form covering everything from appointment to payroll and pensions. HR-XML is cited in the UK Government Interoperability Framework for public sector information sharing, eGif.
  • Relevant elements have been taken from this schema and used it as the basis for developing an easy-to-use Joined Up Jobs schema that can be implemented by councils who wish to share and exchange vacancy data.
  • Long term the governance will have to be determined.
  • Joined up Jobs might be recognised as best practice and made mandatory by local government on a national basis through its inclusion in eGif. Existing Policies, procedures and guidelines could then incorporate the schema roll-out and development.
  • In the short-term this schema needs to be verified and adopted as a regional standard with a best practice consensus.

D5.2 considers the commercial and legal aspects of reusing job vacancy data and identifies options for taking Joined up Jobs forward to Phase II.

  • From 1 July 2005 a new European Directive came into force which allows people to apply to re-use information held by a Council. Re-use means using the information for a purpose other than the purpose for which the document was originally produced. This could include a commercial purpose.
  • Councils are able to recover costs in respect of providing information for re-use.
  • It is necessary for any newly developed or bought-in e-recruitment or vacancy management systems to conform with the Government Interoperability Framework, eGif, which strongly promotes use of the HR-XML standard upon which Joined up Jobs is based.
  • There are efficiency savings to be made. For councils with job vacancy databases, or any agencies they use for each re-user channel they feed they will need to establish separate legal agreements, map data fields and test data transfer and transformation.
    • This could cost a few thousand pounds per channel in real or opportunity costs.
  • Most councils in the north east don’t have a job vacancy database and enter vacancies to their website, and only send data to an agent (which then feeds other channels) and to Job Centre Plus.
    • This takes the councils 10s of minutes per job
  • Joined up Jobs offers a ‘one size fits all’ approach, so export procedures need to be set up once only, regardless of the number of channels served.
  • The costs of establishing a Joined up Jobs feed will be shared across the number of jobs being advertised.
  • If all reusers that councils have to manually enter data into were to allow a Joined up Jobs format feed from either council databases or agents, councils in the north east could save 10s of minutes per job.
    • This represents about 2.2% of the internal cost to hire
    • This could save lots of time in councils that they could use for more valuable tasks.

D5.2 recommended that the Project Board consider the following additional activities for inclusion in Phase II:

  • Develop a data transformation engine
  • Develop a data interface for kiosks
  • Develop a data interface for interactive digital television (DigiTV) and 3G mobile phone services
  • Develop guidance on how to generate a RSS feed from a Joined up Jobs compliant data system
  • Research and produce a Phased Road Map to e-Recruitment which set outs the benefits/efficiency savings of various stages from establishing a simple inhouse system to full e-recruitment.
  • Promotion and take up marketing of Joined up Jobs and enabled web, kiosk, digital TV and mobile phone services
  • Work towards national standardisation of Joined up Jobs through verification of the schema
  • Lobby re-users to take data feeds and save councils significant data entry costs.

Decisions about Phase II of Joined up Jobs were deferred until after consideration of strategic issues at the regional e-government group North East Connects / North East Centre of Excellence e-recruitment summit which was organised to raise awareness and have a regional strategic discussion of e-recruitment processes.

It was decided that in order that the region capitalises on the findings of Joined up Jobs and to link any emerging regional e-recruitment strategy to Phase II of Joined up Jobs, then Joined up Jobs would be open to influence from North East Connects / North East Centre of Excellence as to how Phase II funds would be allocated, the activities included in Phase II PID and how any future management structures for Joined up Jobs might look.

It was accepted that this meant Phase II could not begin as scheduled on 1st April 2006; NECE did not see this as problematic.

Before a new PID (Deliverable D7) for Phase II is produced a meeting will take place between representatives of Joined up Jobs and North East Connects / North East Centre of Excellence.

September 2006 Decisions about Phase II of Joined up Jobs were deferred until after consideration of strategic issues at the regional e-government group North East Connects / North East Centre of Excellence e-recruitment summit which was organised to raise awareness and have a regional strategic discussion of e-recruitment processes.
It was decided that in order that the region capitalises on the findings of Joined up Jobs and to link any emerging regional e-recruitment strategy to Phase II of Joined up Jobs, then Joined up Jobs would be open to influence from North East Connects / North East Centre of Excellence as to how Phase II funds would be allocated, the activities included in Phase II PID and how any future management structures for Joined up Jobs might look.
Phase II did not begin as scheduled on 1st April 2006 pending the outcome of discussions at the North East Connects Online Recruitment Group.
This group, comprising senior HR officers, NECE representatives and chaired by the CX of Northumberland County Council is considering how to further work towards electronic vacancy advertising for the north east of England Region.
The North East Connects Online Recruitment Group was seen to be a more appropriate governance structure for work on eRecruitment and online vacancy advertising and in September 2006 is seeking regional CX approval to move ahead with an electronic vacancy advertising solution for the north east of England Region.
A Joined up Jobs Project Board meeting was held in September 2006 at which it was decided not to proceed with Phase II of Joined up Jobs nor to make any further claim on NECE for funds allocated to Phase II, instead leaving further developments in online recruitment to the North East Connects Online Recruitment Group.
Commitment was made to make the assets and knowledge from Joined up Jobs available to the regional initiative and to suggest that Joined up Jobs Phase II activities are considered as part of the regional initiative.

 

Jobs project

join1 nece
Joined up Jobs is a 12-month project supported by the North East Centre of Excellence. It is organised in two six-month phases – feasibility and implementation – with a hard review point mid way.The project commenced in October 2005 and delivered its outputs by end September 2006.

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