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Stay Ahead: 5 Key Trends Shaping Public Sector Recruitment

Staying up to date on the latest trends in public-sector recruitment is crucial when creating an effective talent strategy.

In this article, we delve into the key trends impacting recruitment in the public sector and answer the questions organisations should be asking to successfully attract and retain top talent.

What is the impact of the rise in flexible/remote working in the public sector?

“Recruiters will have to get creative when it comes to outlining alternative benefits. With that in mind, it is perhaps not surprising to see the work-from-home and training options becoming more prevalent.” - Dawn May, Associate Director - Walters People

The popularity of flexible and remote working opportunities across workplaces has meant public sector organisations must adapt to meet employees' expectations and retain top talent effectively. In the Public Sector Salary Survey, flexible work options emerged as one of the top three most valued benefits among public sector employees. Recognising this trend, public sector organisations should offer flexible arrangements such as remote work opportunities or flexible hours.

These options not only enhance work-life balance but also demonstrate a commitment to employee well-being. By promoting a flexible work environment, hiring managers can attract and retain top talent who value flexibility and value their personal lives alongside their professional commitments.

How can ED&I (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) be prioritised in public sector recruitment?

Equity, diversity, and inclusion have become essential considerations in public sector recruitment. Organisations need to prioritize creating diverse and inclusive workplaces to foster innovation, enhance decision-making processes, and represent the communities they serve. By implementing inclusive hiring practices, providing unconscious bias training, and promoting diversity at all levels, public sector organisations can attract a broader pool of talent and build stronger, more representative teams.

How can public sector organisations address budget constraints and wage inflation?

“Looking ahead, the big challenge facing the public sector / not-for-profit sector will be wage inflation. Whilst in the private sector, businesses will pay what is necessary to retain key staff, with inflation now rampant, the latest interest rate rises are designed to curb this, where it is unlikely the government will support any inflation-busting pay rises.” –  Dawn May, Associate Director - Walters People

Public sector recruitment faces challenges due to budget constraints and the impact of wage inflation. To address this challenge, it's beneficial to highlight the non-monetary benefits of working in the public sector, such as job security, pension schemes, work-life balance, career development opportunities, and the chance to make a meaningful impact on society. By showcasing these advantages, hiring managers can appeal to candidates who prioritise job satisfaction and making a meaningful impact over monetary compensation.

How can the demand for new skills be met in the public sector?

In the ever-evolving landscape of the public sector, there is an increasing demand for new skills and expertise to address emerging challenges and meet the evolving needs of communities. However, this demand is often met with a skills shortage, making it difficult to find qualified candidates with the necessary capabilities. 

Public sector organisations can adopt proactive measures such as investing in training and development programs to upskill existing employees, partnering with educational institutions to foster talent pipelines, and implementing targeted recruitment strategies to attract individuals with transferable skills from other industries.

By actively addressing the skills shortage and fostering a culture of continuous learning, the public sector can bridge the gap and ensure a skilled workforce capable of tackling the complex issues of the future.

How can public sector organisations adapt to the digitalisation of the sector and the increasing demand for tech skills?

The digitalisation of the public sector has led to an increased demand for tech skills. Public sector organisations are leveraging technology to improve service delivery, enhance efficiency, and streamline processes.

To meet this demand, it is crucial to incorporate digital skills and competencies into recruitment strategies. By attracting candidates with expertise in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and digital transformation, the public sector can build a workforce equipped to navigate the digital landscape and drive innovation. By using a talent mapping exercise, organisations can locate top technology talent and enhance their public sector recruitment strategies. 

Embracing flexible working, fostering ED&I, addressing budget constraints, meeting the demand for new skills, and embracing digitalisation are essential steps in creating a diverse, skilled, and motivated public sector workforce

Looking for support with public sector recruitment? Submit a vacancy and one of our specialist recruitment consultants will be in touch.

Robert Walters is an approved recruitment supplier on the Crown Commercial Services Permanent and Temporary Recruitment and Digital Outcomes & Specialists 5 frameworks.

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