5 Tips To Recruit Top Talent In The Public Sector

I came across a fantastic article on the HR Grapevine today, that included some useful tips on recruitment for the public sector.  There were 20 tips in total, but 5 of these were public sector specific so I was keen to pick up on them and expand. I work with public sector recruiters across two of our brands here and the process of recruitment for these organisations never fails to both puzzle and intrigue me. It is no secret that public sector recruitment is a challenge. With negative perceptions caused by questionable press and an unfortunate reputation for red tape, public sector organisations are looking to revolutionise their recruitment process like they’ve never done so before. Check out these 5 top tips to give you a little inspiration for the innovation of your public sector recruitment function:


1. Shared services

Shared services is becoming more and more common as a way of organisations to create a more efficient delivery service within their recruitment functions. What are shared services in HR? Employment-studies.co.uk describe it as:

“The key dimension of HR shared service is that the activities involved are available to a number of parties. They are common services. Moreover, the customer defines the level of the service and decides which services to take up. A shared services model presupposes central provision. A variety of activities can be covered in shared services. These include principally administrative tasks (eg payroll changes, relocation services, recruitment administration, benefits administration, company car provision, pensions administration, etc.), but also frequently include providing information and advice, or consultancy and high level professional support.”

Shared services have been proven to reduce costs, increase quality and complement organisational change. To read more about HR shared services, check out the employment studies website.


2. Build your reputation

One of the key things public sector organisations face when trying to recruit is an unruly perception of the space as a whole. One way to combat this is by building your reputation through your social presence. This is a fantastic (not to mention cheap) way of getting your REAL voice heard and really selling the benefits of working within your organisation. Social media is a long game. A few tweets won’t get you a high quality talentpool of candidates over night, but it will help build awareness of your brand steadily over time and it gives you the chance to shape your reputation for yourself.


3. Ideal hires

One of the first things every organisation should do, not just those in the public sector, is identify exactly what makes a good hire within your business. This is crucial to know as it gives you the opportunity to adjust your recruitment process to reflect this. If there are specific qualities you look for, how can you determine these during the interview process? It’s a good chance to get creative and deliver a recruitment process that reflects the wants and needs of both your organisation and the candidate! This will be particularly useful to you when hiring in volume. Find your formula and stick to it.


4. Redeployment

This can mean different things to different people. Generally, in recruitment terms, redeployment is the opportunity for existing staff to apply for alternative roles within the organisation before they are released to the masses externally. Typically, employees need to have been in their current role for at least 6 months in order to qualify but you make your own rules. Redeployment is an incredibly cost effective way of retaining your most experienced members of staff and it can be known to increase employee engagement as well as trust and appreciation within the workforce.


5. Anonymising recruitment

David Cameron announced the use of blind-name recruitment for the civil service at the beginning of the year in a bid to increase diversity and combat bias in the recruitment process.

Hrreview.co.uk says,”It has become common practice to ask ‘legacy questions’, which can indirectly reveal an applicant’s age, sex, education, race and much more. These factors end up influencing recruitment decisions, allowing unconscious bias to appear during the process and must be removed.”

According to the HR Review website, organisations become increasingly more efficient when it comes to unbiased recruitment and a more diverse workforce will do wonders for the organisation both from a productivity point of view and also for its reputation.


We hope these tips have given you a little food for thought when it comes to your public sector recruitment process! If you’re hiring marketing people within this space, we would love to hear from you! We have a large network of public sector organisations who love to use our site to find top marketing talent and yours could be next. Contact our Account Managers on 0203 176 6677  or contact them here for more information.


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