The UK public sector is by no means a small market, employing over 5.4 million people every year, it is filled with an abundance of opportunities. Despite this, due to government budget cuts and, with Brexit on the horizon, HR managers are struggling to retain and attract talent to fill vacancies. These challenging times have seen professionals searching for new and innovative ways to attract candidates and prepare for the future. In this blog, we explore some of the current public sector recruitment trends.
Digitalisation has been a massive trend for the recruitment industry in 2018, with more companies improving their digital operations. The way people apply and search for jobs has changed over the last 10 years, with a drastic rise in the number of online applications. Improving the digital experience has been a focus for many, if not all HR managers. The aim across various sectors, including the public sector, is to ensure candidates can apply for jobs online with ease. In addition, many organisations have improved their social presence, utilising platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to advertise vacancies to 1,000s of potential candidates.
One thing which often gets pushed aside is what candidates want. Although employers can’t tailor every job to a candidate’s liking, they need to understand how people work today and whether that matches with what’s on offer. A trend which recently surfaced within the public sector is flexible working, according to recent studies, supply teachers and agency nurses choose to work the way they do for a better ‘work-life’ balance. HR managers can feed this data into current strategies and develop ways to ensure people can work flexibly at different points in their career. For example, the NHS have taken significant strides, providing toolkits like its A-Z guide to flexible working.
The recruitment process shouldn’t come to an abrupt end once a candidate has been employed, employees need consistent support. PwC found that although thousands of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are employed across the UK every year, the proportion of NQTs leaving after just a year in the industry keeps rising. A figure which could be reduced with regular reviews to discuss what is causing teacher dissatisfaction. This has caused a trend for a more synchronised HR strategy, which brings together the initial recruitment process and employee retention, in the hopes that it will help reduce attrition rates within the public sector.
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