The BBC North Recruitment drive continues
The move to BBC North will result in the largest single recruitment drive in the history of the BBC.
In the coming years we will be looking to recruit over 500 people from entry level to the most senior to work in areas as diverse as BBC Sport, Children's, Radio 5 live., Learning and Future Media and Technology. It really is a Herculean task - but one that brings with it a very rare opportunity.
A chance to help the BBC change its DNA.
I have said before that BBC North is an experiment in creativity and collaboration - and fundamental to our success will be the team that we recruit, both from inside the BBC where there are many staff whose current jobs aren't moving but are still keen to be part of our journey, and crucially from outside the organisation as well.
The process has already been a hard one, and we will be losing some very talented individuals who have decided not to make the move. This disruption and heartache for so many puts even more emphasis on the need for us to get it right and ensure our new workforce produce world class content and services in new and ambitious ways to strengthen our relationship with audiences across the UK. It's a big challenge, but one that we are ready to take on.
We want to open up the BBC to people who previously had neither the opportunity nor likelihood of working here - who have perhaps assumed that the BBC wouldn't be interested in them. We want to be better at celebrating diversity, to actively encourage difference, to hear unfamiliar accents and voices and to be challenged. And that means we need a renewed focus on values and behaviours as much as on CVs. We are looking for people full of original thinking, open to new ideas, who take ownership and responsibility, have a can do attitude and who are focussed on engaging with audiences and communities.
Let me be very clear - this is not box ticking or political correctness by another name, it is very simply about making sure we recruit the right person for every role.
So we will be looking for experience and potential. People who have spent their careers in media and people who have barely even considered it before. People from our own backyard, and talent from across the UK.
It is only by recruiting this unique mix that we will be able to deliver our ambitions. And to make this possible, we need to spread our net wide and be very proactive.
We can't wait for good people to come to us, we must go to them. So we are splitting our recruitment focus between the specialisms we know we will need and the communities and groups that traditionally don't see the BBC as an obvious career.
You will see our adverts in the Media Guardian and on CWjobs.com, but you will also see us on YouTube on regional media websites like How Do and events across the north. Looking for people whose fresh ideas will have an immediate impact but also that can be nurtured and trained for the future.
To deal with such a high number of roles, we have changed our recruitment process to make it simpler and more efficient for candidates and for hiring managers.
BBC jobs always get a healthy number of applications, and with the new online system boasting a range of exciting opportunities to a hungry jobs market - we expect demand to be very high. Make no mistake, securing an opportunity is bound to be tough.
Only a modest number of those people who register interest will get through, indeed the new online assessment will rule out some candidates early on in the process so that we have a manageable number of applicants, but it is important to remember this chance is not a one-off.
We are planting our feet in the north for the long haul so recruitment and opportunity will become a way of life for the BBC in the north of England.
We have already begun outreach and training schemes to start preparing the ground across the region. The Media Foundation Placement scheme, The Mentor Project and Apprenticeship Scheme have all begun to make inroads in helping make the BBC and with it the wider media sector, more accessible. We want to deliberately increase the number of flexible contracts we offer to help create a more fluid workforce.
We want to help build careers for people across the northern media sector and to develop the depth and range of the talent pool in the region. No longer will opportunities be restricted to those that can or must move to the capital to work in media. All roads will not lead to London.
BBC North should be one of the stamps that you want on your career passport. A place that helps you express yourself, develop with some of the best training in the industry and acquire and share knowledge.
But it should also be a springboard to other things.
Some people have expressed concerns that the scale of recruitment could be a talent drain on the north. I actually think we can be a talent irrigator, providing the media landscape with well trained and ambitious journalists, technologists, content makers, production managers and writers, growing and developing on the landscape that is already there. It ought to become a breeding ground for great new talent, a finishing school for rough diamonds and a place that everyone in the media recognises as fresh, collaborative and open to new ideas.
None of this is going to be easy, and things are not going to change overnight. But I believe that if we can get our talent mix right, then by 2015 we will have a workforce and a sector that is a creative engine for the whole UK and which will be good for the region and for the BBC. Exciting times ahead.
To apply for opportunities at BBC North go to www.bbc.co.uk/jobs/north
Peter Salmon is Director of BBC North