Recruitment and Retention: What We Can Learn from Government Agencies’ Struggles

Ben Renner | | Employee Engagement

recruitment and retention is important for public and private sector orgsRecruitment and retention are a struggle for organizations in both the private and public sectors. One advantage private organizations have is that they can change recruitment strategies quickly. They can also more easily adjust the compensation packages they offer. Government agencies can rarely turn on a dime like that. They're left trying to offer top talent lower compensation than the competition.

And, yet, governmental organizations find ways to make competitive offers to candidates, often by getting creative with their benefits offerings. HR managers can learn from how government organizations and agencies manage their struggle with recruitment and retention. They can learn from how those organizations resolve their issues.

Recruitment and Retention Issues Government Organizations Struggle with Most

Recruitment and retention problems are nothing new for many government organizations and agencies. There are many issues affecting their efforts to find and keep talent. According to a recent state and local government workforce survey the biggest ones are:

Competitive compensation packages

Lack of qualified workers

Employee engagement and morale

Leadership development

Each of these issues could be taken and treated as its own problem. However, they all affect recruitment and retention. There are plenty of qualified workers for most government positions. Reaching out to and getting those workers to apply can be difficult. Keeping them in the building without the competitive compensation packages offered by private sector organizations adds to the trouble.

So, how are government organizations adapting and can you implement some of these same moves to keep your employees around?

Possible Solutions

diversity and inclusion matter to millennialsMore local governments are modifying their benefits packages to make them more attractive to new and longtime employees. Benefits have long been a strength for many governmental agencies and organizations. But, in some areas, they need to be even better to improve the recruitment and retention of their workers.

According to the government workforce study, 28% of local and state governments surveyed implemented wellness programs aimed at reducing stress and helping employees stay healthy. Some measures taken also sought to improve work-life balance, a common touchstone when looking for workers in the private sector. Some government agencies are already offering workers more flexible schedules and paid family-leave options.

The study also showed 11% have moved some of their employees to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with health savings accounts (HSAs). These keep premiums low and offer more convenient payment options for healthcare services. HDHPs won’t work for all your employees. Some of them need low deductibles and high premiums because of existing medical conditions. But, for most healthy employees, plans with low premiums and HSAs are preferred.

Employee onboarding is also a major factor in recruitment and retention. Many governmental employers are working hard to revamp onboarding efforts to help employees feel comfortable and confident at work.

Recruitment and retention will always be important for both public and private organizations. At Flimp Communications, we provide software and services designed to improve onboarding, recruiting, employee communications, benefits election and more.

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