Business Irish

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Central bankers ramp up spend on recruiting staff

Taxpayers hit for €2m as Dame Street bankers go head hunting for more of their own kind, writes Simon Rowe

The Central Bank on Dame Street. Photo: Bloomberg
The Central Bank on Dame Street. Photo: Bloomberg

Simon Rowe

A Central Bank recruitment drive has cost taxpayers nearly €2m in the past 18 months.

This outlay includes a €1.1m spend on external recruitment - head-hunting firms, executive search services, advertising and candidate and relocation expenses - plus €800,000 on internal management costs.

Recruitment agencies hoovered up the bulk of the banking regulator's €1.1m external spend - around €660,000 - by way of agency placement fees.

Approximately €165,000 was spent on assessment tools, and €132,000 was forked out on so-called "executive search support services".

About €77,000 was spent on advertising and around €66,000 was paid to candidates for expenses including relocation expenses, such as economy class flights.

On top of this hefty external recruitment bill, the bank has revealed that it has clocked up €800,000 in internal management costs dealing with the hiring of hundreds of new bank staff.

"This cost includes all screening and shortlisting activity, interviewing and the cost of the internal resourcing team who are responsible for the end-to-end recruitment process," said a bank spokeswoman.

"Costs are based on average salaries and the filling for just under 600 roles including all external competitions and all internal promotional and transfer competitions."

Referring to the €660,000 spent on recruitment agency fees, the bank spokeswoman said: "Specific recruitment tools, such as agency placement fees and executive search, are essential in order to hire high-calibre senior executives in an increasingly competitive employment market," she said.

However, despite spending nearly €2m on a hiring drive in 2015, "recruitment remained a challenge" for the regulator, according to internal bank documents.

Although the Bank has targeted a staffing increase of 20pc, or 300 jobs, over a three-year period - bringing its total headcount to 1,829 - "resourcing remained a key focus and challenge", according to the Central Bank Commission, an internal oversight body.

Last week it was revealed that Central Bank bosses are growing increasingly concerned at a rapid turnover of senior staff - with some divisions experiencing a 20pc turnover rate - along with high levels of 'internal churn' according to internal bank documents.

The annual staff turnover rate at the Central Bank has been almost 8pc since 2013.

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