Recruiting Challenges in the Public Sector

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Jennifer Gabbard
Management Communications with Technology Tools
Recruiting Challenges in the Public Sector
December 22, 2008

Final Project: Recruiting Challenges in the Public Sector
There are rules, regulations and ordinances that all guide the recruiting process in the public sector; however, in my opinion these challenges just interfere with a governmental agencies ability to hire the best and most qualified new employees. As an example, a couple of the solutions that I think will help the public sector’s recruiting process are 1) making the application process more simplistic, 2) targeting younger workers by working with universities and colleges and 3) developing a workforce strategy. The public sector has a lot of challenges that lie ahead of it, when it comes to recruiting and hiring new employees. Not only are the recruiting processes in the public sector outdated, too restrictive and too complex to hire a candidate efficiently. However, the applicant pool from which organizations, both public and private, can choose from is growing smaller and smaller every day. This is a problem because more and more employees within the public sector are retiring every year. Recruiting in the public sector is neither the easiest, nor the most time efficient process in the public sector. The restrictions placed on governmental agencies make recruiting and hiring new employees a very difficult process. There are rules, such as Affirmative Action, as well as regulations and ordinances that all guide the recruiting process; however, in my opinion, these challenges really just make a governmental agencies ability to hire the best and most qualified new employees more convoluted. For instance, within the City of Minneapolis, where I work, there is a State of Minnesota law that says that the City of Minneapolis must interview the top three candidates for every open position. It does not state that the top three candidates must be the best fit for the City’s position, but it does say that those top three candidates were the ones that scored the highest \in the selection process due to their qualifications and experiences. For a select smaller portion of our positions, the State of Minnesota has a law that states that we must interview and hire the only the top ranked candidate within a job posting. I am not going to go into too much detail about the testing process within in the City of Minneapolis in this paper, as that is another topic until itself; my point, however, is that we have specific State laws that govern our recruiting process in Minneapolis. No other city in the State of Minnesota has those same restrictions. On top of the restrictions, there is a lack of forward thinking when it comes to the recruiting process in the public sector. The public sector is dealing with a work force that is getting older. In Minnesota alone, the average age of an employee in the public sector is 45 years old (Eggers, Phelan & Phoenix, 2007, p.3). Another amazing statistic is that within the next ten years, over 40% if the public sector workforce in the State of Minnesota is going to be eligible to retire (Eggers, Phelan and Phoenix, 2007, p. 3). This problem isn’t just happening in the United States either, “In the United Kingdom, more than 31% of local government employees are over the age of 50” (Russell, 2008, p. 16). These statistics point out that the public sector has a critical need to upgrade its recruiting process; however, they must also start targeting younger workers to build a candidate pipeline so that hiring new employees becomes easier in the next few years.

I didn’t know much about recruiting in the public sector, until I became a Human Resource Manager with the City of Minneapolis this past summer and it has been my experience, in my previous positions, that recruiting in the private sector is a fairly easy thing to accomplish. My job with the City of Minneapolis is the first...
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