Scottish Councils Move to Online Recruitment

Scottish local authorities have slashed millions of pounds from the amounts they spend on advertising jobs in newspapers, according to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, indicating a significant shift to online recruitment methods. 

Since the launch of the Scottish public service job portal,, in 2008, some councils have practically abandoned putting adverts in newspapers altogether.

While the move saves taxpayer money for the councils, it has struck a heavy blow against local newspaper revenues, which had always been able to count on income from statutory notices of local council job opportunities. 

The biggest cut in spending was seen in Glasgow City Council, Scotland's largest local authority, which spent £668,000 on recruitment adverts in 2007-8 but by 2009-10 had slashed it by more than half a million pounds to just £137,979.

The figures were obtained by BBC Scotland through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. A small proportion of the drop can be accounted for by fewer actual vacancies needing to be filled or being made available to the public, but it is believed that the bulk of the cuts have been made by adverts being posted online.

Geoff Newman from online recruitment agency Recruitment Genius doesn’t have much sympathy for the newspapers.

“The tax payer is saving a fortune and recruiting more effectively. The newspapers had plenty of opportunity to adapt but most dragged their heels. Recent research confirms over half of job seekers would never use a newspaper to look for work now. I only see this trend continuing.

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