Nearly half of BBC job vacancies not externally advertised, new figures show

Nearly half of all BBC job vacancies were not advertised externally over a 23-month period, new figures show.

Between January 2013 and November 2014, there were 6,766 vacancies at the corporation, with 3,498 – 51.7 per cent – publicly promoted, according to Mail Online.

The remaining 3,268 were only advertised to those already within the BBC, Freedom of Information data shows.

The BBC told the Mail that this policy is necessary to avoid making redundancies during reorganisations. According to recently released figures, the BBC has a total of 19,671 employees. The 6,766 vacancies figure represents 34 per cent of this total.

The corporation’s recruitment procedures are run by outsourcing company Capita, with positions advertised on the externally-available BBC Jobs website as well as with local and national newspapers. The BBC Jobs website also has an additional section that can only be accessed by users with internal BBC log-in details.

Mail Online reports that most jobs are advertised initially on the internal section of the website and then advertised publicly if no suitable candidate is found.

A BBC spokesman told the website: “As part of our drive to save £1.5billion the BBC is restructuring and cutting the number of posts we have – so when we do need to recruit priority consideration is given to internal candidates in order to save on redundancy costs.”

In November, the BBC was forced to disclose to Press Gazette how certain high-profile journalists were recruited without their positions being advertised either internally or externally.

The corporation initially rejected an FoI requesting information on how 23 recent journalistic recruits were taken on.

However, following an appeal to the Information Commissioner, the BBC disclosed information on 11 of the 23.

The other 12, who include Robert Peston, Lucy Manning and Evan Davis, were claimed by the BBC to be exempt under FoI rules because they are classified as “talent”. Negotiations between the Information Commissioner’s Office, Press Gazette and the BBC are ongoing.

The released information showed that two of the 11 journalists – BBC News and 6 and 10 editor Paul Royall and head of the corporation’s college of journalism, Mark Wray – were appointed after internal-only advertising.

And another three – special correspondents editor Ed Campbell, radio director Helen Boaden and online archive editor Peter Rippon – were appointed to their positions with no advertising whatsoever.

The other six positions were advertised internally and externally.

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