Quote of the week
“Among graduating seniors, government was the highest ranked industry.”
— Report by NACE and Partnership for Public Service
One of the challenges facing the public service is recruiting and retaining younger, bright college students. It is often assumed that they are not interested in working for this stodgy, maligned sector.
In the U.S., a report by the Partnership for Public Service and the National Association of Colleges and Employers suggests that many students are in fact attracted to the public sector, but that top graduates will not go there unless federal agencies address some key challenges.
The report notes that over 90% want an organization that offers them a chance to personally grow and develop; 86% want job security (doubtless a reflection of the times), and just a third care whether the organization is considered green.
Those who think university grads have a sense of entitlement might be interested to learn that just over half (57%) expect rapid promotions, and just about the same percentage (53%) want a high starting salary.
If government organizations are to attract intelligent university grads, the report recommends that they help them through the job application process and highlight what they want in recruitment initiatives.
Most managers today would say that they are not in the business of hiring anybody, young or not, given workforce reductions. And yet there is a growing acceptance of the fact that the public service is aging, and that we will need to bring in the best and brightest young people if we are to continue to innovate.
In response to this, the report proposes that leaders use internships and volunteer opportunities to assess talent and to build a workforce pipeline. This is a great idea, and something that managers should think about as they plan for the renewal of their own organizations.
Think of summer students, to take one example. Don’t just hire any summer student: look for a potential future employee, prove to him or her that you have an enjoyable workplace, and set up your pipeline. Then, when the time is right, tap into the talent you have assessed.