Recruiting strategies for the public sector

July 25th, 2022
HireVue Team
Recruiting Teams

The public sector is a vital part of any country. It is responsible for providing essential services to the citizens and employs many people. If you are looking to recruit employees for the public sector, then you need to know about the best recruiting strategies.

Public sector hiring challenges

To discuss the recruiting strategies for the public sector, it is important first to understand the challenges facing the industry today. One of the biggest challenges is decreasing funding for public sector organizations. This has led to a decrease in the number of available positions and a decrease in the budgets for recruitment and retention.

Another challenge is the growing competition for top talent. With the private sector offering more competitive salaries and benefits, many talented individuals are pursuing careers outside government. Additionally, the pool of qualified candidates is shrinking due to a declining interest in government work. As a result, public sector organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain top talent.

With the rise of the gig economy and the increasing importance of data analytics, the public sector has struggled to keep up. Despite these challenges, there are still several effective recruiting strategies that public sector organizations can use. By understanding the unique challenges faced by the industry and implementing targeted recruiting strategies, public sector organizations can continue to attract top talent.

Strategies for hiring public sector employees

Public sector hiring can be a daunting task. There are many different factors to consider when hiring public sector employees. However, using HireVue can help streamline the process and make it more efficient. Here are three ways to streamline and optimize your public sector hiring:

1. Assess applicants for key characteristics

When hiring public sector employees, assessing applicants for key characteristics is important. Identify these key characteristics by using video interviews and AI-assisted scoring to assess a true fit. Assessment tools not only saves your hiring team time, but can help ensure that only the most qualified candidates are hired in a more inclusive way. Hiring teams can see beyond the resume with assessment tools such as these. 

Another challenge in public sector hiring is that many qualified candidates may not be interested in government work. Assess whether a candidate is truly interested in the position by asking questions about their motivation for applying. Candidates who express a genuine interest in the position are more likely to be successful in the role and less likely to leave prematurely.

2. Assess candidates for cultural fit

It is important to assess candidates for cultural fit when hiring public sector employees. A good cultural fit is essential for employees to work well together and succeed. Assess candidates for cultural fit by asking the right questions about values and how they would approach various situations. An automated tool that offers structured interview questions based on desired competencies and behaviors can produce better and fairer hiring outcomes.

3. Improve the quality of public sector employees

The public sector is facing a decline in funding. This has led to a decrease in the quality of public sector employees. Improve public sector candidate quality by providing a modern candidate experience. This drives not only more applicants but allows for a more diverse applicant pool as well. Public sector organizations can only hire the most qualified candidates to improve the overall quality of their workforce.

How to hire government employees

Government recruiting can be even more challenging than on the state and local level due to stricter regulations, as well as the antiquated processes and archaic technology often used by federal agencies. Here are some strategies that can level the playing field.

1. Invest in technology

At minimum the government sector must adopt best practices used by the Fortune 500, and this includes software and IT infrastructure.  Platforms like HireVue provide both the heightened security and diversity standards required by the government along with the best practices of the private sector. In fact, HireVue has made the public sector and government hiring a priority. In 2019, HireVue became the first (and only) FedRAMP-authorized video interviewing and assessment platform. (FedRAMP is a government program that ensures the adoption of secure cloud services across the federal government). Now, 8 of the 10 largest US Federal Departments use the HireVue platform, which has allowed them to transform the way they find, engage and hire diverse, top tier talent.

2. Build and grow a pipeline of younger candidates

Because of accelerated retirement and the aging out of baby boomers from the workforce, it is paramount that government agencies age down. Government employers must use the right tools to find and engage younger generations with a hiring experience they prefer and expect. A text-enabled comprehensive candidate experience, develops a more personal connection with candidates and increases the likelihood of success. And being able to compete with commercial industries for top-tier talent is even more urgent for government defense and intelligence jobs. Our national security demands the best and brightest, so utilizing a state-of-the-art technology platform better ensures a positive candidate experience.

3. Develop a scalable process

Government agencies hire en-masse, and a high-volume hiring process is mandatory. But being able to quickly identify large numbers of properly skilled candidates requires automation, tools and technology that traditional resume processes can’t match.  Again, a platform like HireVue can accommodate even the most aggressive hiring goals. HireVue also happens to be the only platform that is compliant with both FISMA and the Privacy Act to meet the stiff requirements of the US government. Candidates know their personal information is as safe and secure as currently possible.

4. Focus on diversity

The public sector should make a concerted effort to recruit and hire a diverse workforce. In recent years, the public sector has increasingly emphasized diversity. This is due in part to the changing demographics of the workforce and a growing recognition of the benefits of a diverse workforce. As a result, many public sector organizations have adopted recruiting strategies that focus on attracting a diverse pool of applicants.

One common approach is to partner with community organizations that serve under-represented groups. Another strategy is to target specific recruitment events and job fairs that cater to a diverse range of candidates. By taking such steps, public sector organizations can ensure that they can attract the best talent from all backgrounds.

5. Create a positive work environment

A positive work environment is one of the most important factors in attracting and retaining top talent. In the public sector, this means creating a professional and supportive environment. One way to achieve this is to provide clear employee expectations and guidelines.

This includes specifying the duties of each position, as well as outlining the expectations for behavior and performance. Additionally, it is important to offer employees opportunities for growth and development. You can do this by providing training and development programs and offering advancement opportunities.

Let HireVue help you hire for public sector jobs

While steeper challenges may always exist for hiring in the public sector and for government agencies versus the commercial sector, the good news is that cost effective tools are readily available.

For more information on how you can benefit from HireVue’s comprehensive hiring platform, contact us today!