The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) published a report on 2 February 2010 examining the practice of recruiting externally to the senior civil service (SCS). Outside recruitment has been used to fill skills shortages and to bring new perspectives to government, but has also been criticised for potentially diluting core civil service values and for being poor value for money.
PASC concludes that the senior civil service has depended too heavily on external recruitment in recent years, and should now take steps to reduce its reliance on outside appointments. PASC also found that external recruits do not appear to perform better than career civil servantsdespite being paid more, on averageand many leave civil service employment relatively quickly. Nonetheless, given the existence of skills gaps and the other benefits that external recruits can bring, PASC believes that there will continue to be a place for outside appointments in civil service recruitment.
PASC further concludes that the extent of recent external recruitment is symptomatic of a wider concern: the ability of the civil service to identify its current and future skills needs, and to plan effectively to meet those needs. PASC recommends that the emphasis of civil service employment policy should be on developing its own people and skills, rather than seeking to draw these in from outside.
Minutes of evidence taken by the Committee