November 27, 2013

No Town job ads if internal candidates qualified

As published in The Erin Advocate

A proposal to require external advertising of all Town job openings was voted down at the November 19 council meeting.

Mayor Lou Maieron said advertising both internally and externally would open up an opportunity for people with suitable qualifications to compete with existing staff for available positions.

“There are concerns from the public that we are hiring from within generally, and as a corporation, we should be an equal opportunity employer,” said Maieron.

“The internal candidate will only be given preference when their qualifications, experience and other relevant factors are deemed equal to those of the external candidate,” he said.

John Brennan supported the motion, noting that the evaluation of qualifications would be made by Chief Administrative Officer Kathryn Ironmonger.

“It’s a good practice to look everywhere,” said Brennan. “You need a healthy mix.”

The motion was defeated by Councillors Callaghan, Wintersinger and Tocher, who referred to the extensive effort put into training existing staff to take on additional responsibility through succession planning.

“I firmly believe that it is a solid business practice,” said Tocher, supporting the existing policy of advertising externally only when there is not a qualified internal candidate.

She said it is important to build loyalty in the workforce, and that often in the past new employees have come to Erin to get some experience, then moved on quickly to larger municipalities.

Maieron is not opposed to the hiring of internal candidates, but said, “The Town has to do the best by its residents, and new blood is not a bad thing. It brings in some vigour and new ideas.” Bringing in new people can also produce a cost saving, he said.

The Town has recently advertised externally for a Compliance Administrator for the Water Department and for an Equipment Operator for the Roads Department.