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Brighton council recruitment costs actually £30,000
Recruitment costs for a new town hall chief will cost nearly twice as much as originally revealed.
A “Mod-inspired” advert for Brighton and Hove City Council’s new chief executive was made public last week as it looks for “a digitally savvy, forward thinking leader”.
At the time, the local authority said the private firm Gatenby Sanderson would be paid £18,000 to carry out the work.
But according to information revealed exclusively to The Argus, the total cost will actually come to nearly £30,000.
This is to cover the costs of a psychoanalysis test and advertising in national newspapers.
The Argus also understands a separate firm that offered to run the recruitment exercise gave a one-off guide cost of £15,000 yet was overlooked in favour of the more expensive option.
This is despite sources claiming the firms were offering similar services.
Some opposition councillors have questioned why, at a time when the local authority must find millions of pounds of savings, a more expensive option was chosen by the cross-party panel of councillors which will carry out the recruitment.
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “They are companies fishing in the same pool of candidates so I went for the far cheaper option.”
Conservative councillor Ann Norman said: “In times of austerity and with finances under real pressure it would surely make more sense for the council’s own human resources department to be doing this rather than employing an expensive consultant.”
A council spokesman said: “Our residents deserve the best possible management and our chief executive oversees a budget of about £750 million, a workforce of 8,000 and the delivery of 800 services each day. It’s vital that we hire the right person.
“Gatenby Sanderson works closely with the council’s human resources department and offers independent, professional judgement and the ability to conduct a full national search to widen the pool for high performing candidates.
“A cross-party group of members was involved in the decision to hire an external recruitment consultant.”
The job’s salary is not known but is believed to be lower than the £161,500 paid to outgoing chief executive John Barradell.
Potential applicants have until midday on September 12 to apply for the role.
The final interviews will take place on October 3 in the Brighton Centre in front of a panel of three Green councillors, two Conservatives and one Labour member, with the council leader having the casting vote.