Recruitment 411: Private industry tips for public agencies – Part I

I recently ran across an interesting article on About.com featuring Ten tips for attracting employees.” Susan Ward writes about how business owners can compete to attract the best and most qualified job applicants.

At first glance, it seemed this list could never apply to our outreach efforts in the IRS Recruitment Office. As anyone who works for a government agency knows, most facets of our job announcements are set in stone.

However, as I mulled it over, I realized these tips actually can apply to our outreach. It’s all just a question of angles.

Here are the first five tips for business owners featured in the article, along with my take about how government agencies can use them to promote jobs. Later this week, I’ll address the final five tips.

1. Find out what the going rate is for the position and at least match it.

Unlike many private sector companies, the salaries for most government jobs are determined by a pay scale and non-negotiable. However, showing a prospective employee the salary scale lets them see how much they will make out of the gate, as well as what they can make down the road.

2. Offer an employee benefit program.

This one is a no-brainer. Many, if not most, government workers stay in the public sector specifically for the benefits. If a recruiter isn’t promoting their organization’s existing benefits package, they’re missing a golden opportunity to prove why the government is great place to start and build a career.

3. Make lifestyle part of your employee recruitment offer.

Teleworking? Alternate work schedules? On-site gym? Tuition reimbursement program? Active employee organizations? Mentoring and training programs?

You got ‘em? Flaunt ‘em!

4. Emphasize the benefits your small business offers.

Yes, employees in the private sector enjoy a lot of snazzy benefits – I admit, I’m jealous of the gourmet meals and on-site massages available to Google employees! However, the benefits of a government career can just as appealing – especially if you frame them as the building blocks for a career, rather than just perks of a job. Here at the IRS, we talk about the potential for advancement, the training we offer, and the fact that our employees are working on behalf of their country. Suddenly I’m not so jealous…

5. Be creative with perks.

Working in a 5’x5’ cubicle in a limestone building is hardly a selling point. So, really think about what employees of your agency do enjoy about their jobs.

Can I interest you in a standard 8-hour work day?

How about our fantastic annual and sick leave allowances?

Wait…have you heard about our marvelous general family care leave and bereavement leave policies!

No, it’s not flying first class on a business trip, but it’s the kind of benefit that matters most to many people.

What are the benefits of working at your organization – and how do you promote them?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

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