Flicking the comics recently, it looks like we're all in for a good kicking, with the first salvos being fired in the anticipated attack on so-called 'non-jobs' in the public sector.

That's managers to you and me. One job was singled out for a particular pounding - the Integrated Whole Systems Care Pathway Manager (Tracker Post) job advertised in the HSJ last week.

Wow! Integrated Whole Systems Care Pathway Manager: turn of the century or what! I only hope that the poor sod that gets it is allowed enough time to introduce him or her self at the plethora of meetings that the job will inevitably involve. (As an aside, elsewhere in the job pages I learnt that only "the best" can work in Manchester, and that they only take "top performers" in Essex. Which I guess explains the problems the rest of us face, what with being left to pick and chose from the merely competent.)

But the main question I asked myself about the Integrated Whole Systems Care Pathway Manager job (and indeed other similarly banded jobs in the back pages of this august publication) was why on earth it was there in the first place. The mere title put four inches on the cost of the ad, and that's without the Tracker Post add-on. What about good old NHS jobs, the electronic age, the future, the low cost option. Well what about it...
This week the NHS Jobs web site proudly announced that it had 9370 available vacancies. 9370!!!!! And by my reckoning there will be at least 200 applicants for each and every one of them, including 190 people who will apply for each and every one of them. Because if advertising has got cheap and easy, they applying for jobs has got cheaper and easier still. So guess what? That's right: they bung them here, they bung them there, they bung those CVs everywhere.

But where there's a bunger there's a blocker, so take a tip for the top. Filter 'em out using top quality filter searches like "Applicant exists in real life", "Applicant has applied for fewer than 50 jobs in the last half hour", "Applicant has not applied simultaneously for posts of consultant surgeon, specialist mental health OT, and Integrated Whole Systems Care Pathway Manager" or "Applicant only suitable for Manchester and Essex". Bingo: straight down to the four shortlistable candidates, only two of whom will turn up.

But to hell with this transactional piffle about recruitment processes: let's talk big picture. The recruitment research I read last week told me the only sure-fire way of hiring the right person is to work with them for 6 months to see how they shape up.

Probationary contracts all round? Let the people speak.

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