Thursday, August 11 2022

Survey results indicate how organizations are coping with the public sector hiring crisis, the widespread and severe consequences of unfilled vacancies, and reveal key strategies to help organizations overcome these challenges in today’s new normal.

With many organizations already struggling with hiring shortages, new survey results released today by NEOGOVa market leader in public sector employee lifecycle management, titled “The quiet crisis of the public sectorhighlights the spectacular drop in the number of job seekers in the public sector.

The report shows a 56% drop in applications per job opening from 2021 to 2022. About a quarter of all current public sector job openings receive seven or fewer applications. As a result, nearly 20% of state and local government agencies have reduced their services due to staff shortages. If this trend continues in the next quarter, more than 40% of public sector organizations expect to reduce services to the public.

“In today’s hyper-competitive labor market, the public sector faces some of the greatest hiring challenges of any segment. We wanted to dive deep into the most pressing issues for HR managers and job seekers. Survey results indicate how organizations are coping with the public sector hiring crisis, the widespread and severe consequences of unfilled vacancies, and reveal key strategies to help organizations overcome these challenges in today’s new normal,” said Shane Evangelist, CEO of NEOGOV. .

The report, based on data from the NEOGOV job site GovernmentJobs.comexamines the opportunities and challenges of 299 public sector HR professionals and provides valuable insights from 609 survey respondents who applied for public sector positions through in 2019 or later.

Key findings include:

HR survey results

  • There is a growing gap between job offers and job applications. 80% of respondents answered that the number of job offers is higher than an average year.
  • Of those surveyed, 217 cited voluntary turnover as the main driver behind the increase in job openings. The inability to fill positions over time and retirements also have a significant impact. 76% of voluntary employee turnover was directly related to salary, with employees citing salary as the main reason for leaving. Opportunities in the private sector, opportunities in the nonprofit sector, the ability to work remotely, and greater work flexibility remain the other top reasons employees leave the public sector.
  • 79% of agencies are currently unable to find qualified candidates for vacancies, which provides a clear answer in a competitive job market.
  • 61% of public sector HR agencies said law enforcement had the most difficulty recruiting.

Candidate survey results

  • 60% of respondents cited benefits as the main reason for working in the public sector. Benefits far outweighed pay and stability when responding to what appealed most to them about working in the public sector.
  • Transparency and clarity remain critical elements that public sector HR teams must maintain as in recruitment. 55% said they liked the clarity of the requirements, the clear delineation of the process and the clear salary expectations.
  • Survey respondents expressed the need for a faster application process, the option of an online application, and better communication throughout the hiring process. 70% of respondents to an open-ended question indicated that process, communication and timeliness were extremely important.

Solutions for a new normal

  • Traditionally, the public sector has maintained a less flexible approach to work. But the needle is moving towards a more adaptable work environment. Of 241 respondents, 69% of organizations change terms and conditions to fill vacancies. 41% are reducing minimum qualifications for their jobs to attract more applicants, and 30% have expanded remote work options.
  • In addition to making public sector jobs more attractive to candidates, today’s job market requires new methods for finding and recruiting candidates. Online job boards, digital advertisements and social media are useful new tools. Public sector HRDs who can speed up the hiring process will give themselves a significant competitive advantage. Conducting interviews virtually and providing faster turnaround time from application to offer are strategies agencies should consider.

The full report can be seen here.

Founded in 2000, NEOGOV provides industry-leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to automate and streamline the employee lifecycle for state and local governments, serving more than 7,000 organizations. For more information, visit

About NEOGOV NEOGOV, a Carlyle and Warburg Pincus portfolio company, serving more than 7,000 organizations, is the leading provider of integrated human resources, payroll, talent, and policy management solutions. compliance for the public sector. NEOGOV customers report increased employee productivity and engagement, time and cost savings, better compliance with regulatory requirements, and reduced paper-based processes, with the net result being better services for citizens . More information at and

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