Recruiting and Retaining Employees in the Public Sector

Government agencies have always been challenged in recruiting right resources to build their teams. With a goal to provide adequate and immediate services to the people they serve, they need and want to find and retain the best talent available. Currently, private technology companies are including incentives that government agencies sometimes can’t provide. As well, with a large number of employees retiring, there is an even bigger requirement for the future.

Agencies understand that delivering services to the people they serve requires staff who are passionate about that mission.  In order to recruit and retain that talent, there are several steps and processes that can be followed:

Create an engaging agency website that is easy to maneuver. This includes an adaptive portal that can be accessed from any device. Potential employees want to know they are going to work for an organization that is modern and uses new technology. Consider the websites they would access from private technology companies and how compelling they are to a new recruit. Providing a great experience engages them and peaks their interest in becoming a member of the team.

Provide a quick and effective on-boarding process. Once an employee has decided to join the agency, they need an effective way to fill out paperwork and sign off on documents. This ensures they understand the agency cares about their time. It also gets them up to speed on their actual job requirements sooner than later. As well, it provides HR with an easy process to follow and keeps the burden of moving paper from one place to another to a minimum. Manual processes slow service delivery and reduce enrollments.

Retaining employees is more challenging than recruiting. Once an employee has on-boarded, it’s important to engage with them in a relevant way. Personalized interaction that provides a continual positive experience for talent ensures that they feel valued. This motivates them to build a career within the public sector world.

Show the flexibility of the agency to meet employees’ needs. Providing workers with technology and showing them the ability to work in a collaborative environment draws staff to stay engaged. Employees want to feel as though they are working for a contemporary management model.

Finally, it’s important to recruit employees who understand how important it is for government to provide relevant services. Finding the right staff who want to give back to the people they serve is an important part of the process. Engaging talent who want to be a part of something bigger is very relevant. It is also one of the key components to recruiting talent and retaining them for years to come.

Jennifer McNeill is part of the GovLoop Featured Contributor program, where we feature articles by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Contributor posts, click here.


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