In today’s labor environment, everyone is facing recruitment challenges. The pandemic has had a lasting effect on the recruitment process, as well as the work culture required to retain individuals once they have joined an organization’s ranks.
Nowhere have these challenges been more present than in the public sector, including local governments.
Even before the pandemic, public sector recruiters faced numerous obstacles to attracting new talent. Baby boomers have been retiring at high rates, and the tight job market and stiff competition from higher-paying private sector employers have made it difficult to draw in millennials and younger Gen-Z talent to fill the vacancies they have left behind.
The post-pandemic labor market has exacerbated these problems and created entirely new issues. However, these challenges are not insurmountable.
Public sector recruiters like local governments may have to deal with hiring limitations like budget restraints that are out of their control, but many of the best recruiting practices are wholly within their reach.
Public Sector Recruitment Best Practices
Strategic human resources management in public administration is key to helping your organization become a talent magnet. Here are a few of the best practices for recruiting that your organization will need to adopt:
- Human Resource Planning
One of the biggest mistakes public sector recruiters can make is to fail to plan. Whether there is no recruitment strategy at all, or the plan lacks clarity, it is difficult to become a talent magnet when you do not begin with the most basic step.
Successful public sector recruitment begins by proactively identifying and targeting top talent. It is not enough to throw up a job and hope for the best. Identify the kind of talent you need, research where you can find them, and create a proactive strategy to go out and recruit them.
- Streamlined Hiring Process
Delays in the hiring process, as well as improper recruitment and onboarding practices, can send up red flags for the kind of talent you are hoping to attract. Simplify the recruitment process and employ technology to effectively communicate, evaluate, and advance applicants.
Using technology to streamline the government hiring process timeline will demonstrate that your agency is a modern, innovative employer.
- Generous Job Benefits
Government entities often fail to communicate to prospective applicants the advantages they offer beyond the paycheck. While public-sector employers typically cannot compete with private-sector salaries, money is not the only motivation you can use..
The substantial job benefits that come with public sector careers can more than make up the difference between public and private sector employment.
For instance, public sector jobs come with generous benefits packages that include pensions and other retirement savings plans, group life insurance, paid leave and vacation allowance (plus sick days), and full and affordable health insurance options.
Another benefit that will draw in top talent is the promise of greater job security and satisfaction. Annual turnover in the US government is 7 to 8 percent compared to 22 to 27 percent in the private sector.
Job satisfaction will come through positive employee experience as you provide opportunities for career advancement via occupational development, professional training, mentorship, and paths to leadership and other promotions.
Learn to communicate the value proposition that you offer applicants. They will be drawn to the interesting, meaningful, and purpose-driven work your organization provides.
- Modernization and Digitization
Innovation and modern technology will not just make the workplace more efficient, but also more attractive to the top talent you are hoping to hire.
For example, by using RDA’s cloud-based software, you will be able to offer flexible remote work opportunities. Thanks to the pandemic’s wide-scale introduction of remote work, this is a job perk that many applicants now prioritize when deciding which job to take.
Additionally, by updating your IT infrastructure and moving away from paper filing and old computer programs, you will speed up and improve response time to your constituents and help your current staff become more productive. This will allow you to make better use of your existing staff and reduce hiring needs, which will also help with the tight labor market.
Become a Talent Magnet
Government agencies are often perceived as inefficient and outdated, especially when compared to private sector employers offering high salaries to tech-savvy talent. It is possible to overcome this stereotype and become the kind of workplace where high-quality workers want to be.
Understand the value you offer to potential hires and find ways to effectively communicate the opportunities you provide for the kind of purpose-driven work that comes from serving the local community. As you plan, streamline, modernize, and digitalize your public sector recruitment system, you will begin to see results as your organization becomes a talent magnet.
At RDA Systems, we find great satisfaction in improving talent acquisition and retention within public sector organizations like local governments by offering the right ERP support.
RDA’s innovative ERP software provides meaningful transparency and access for your community and staff, along with powerful insights into data. The RDA Solution is hosted in the Cloud, providing regular backups, product updates, and concierge support, ensuring that clients feel confident and are successful with their new software.