At the local government level an honest effort of advertising positions would help. In the Buffalo, NY area the higher level non civil service positions are rarely advertised or if they are advertised the fix is already in for someone who is politically connected. I have been on both sides as far as being politically connected and being connected to the wrong political group.
Hiring people based on their political skills and not their management skills has a negative impact on the morale of all employees.
Civil Service job descriptions are antiquated and many of the tests I have taken don’t seem to be very relevant to the position. As an attorney I have been interested in positions that are not legal in nature that have required a Masters degree and several years of relevant experience. I have had my applications rejected three different times because I did not have a Masters degree. I have had to appeal just to take a civil service test and argue that a law degree is at least equal to a Masters degree and in my opinion is a higher degree.