A joint report by Accenture, the National Association of State Chief Administrators and NEOGOV highlighted challenges state government leaders face in the recruitment, development and retention of talent.
The Job One: Reimagine Today’s State Government Workforce report used data from a survey of chief administrators and human resource directors in 33 U.S. states, nearly 3K state-government job seekers and more than 14M public sector job postings.
Sixty-four percent of administrators considered skills gap as among the top issues for their offices. The survey also found a significant gap between the number of vacancies across state governments and the number of people applying for those jobs.
“Over the last five years, the number of applicants per job opening has dropped 30 percent, requiring state leaders to focus on making their jobs more attractive, broadening their hiring search and developing their existing employees for succession,” said Shane Evangelist, CEO of NEOGOV.
The low interest of younger generations in “lifetime employment,” less-competitive salaries in the government, rising competition against industry and negative perceptions about working for government contributed to the federal workforce gap, Accenture noted.
The report recommended that state officials rethink job descriptions, emphasize training and improve branding for public service and improve employee experience to address the workforce challenges.
“In this era of fast-paced change, with lots of implications for workforces, state government leaders would do well to evolve their HR functions and people practices, with emphasis on recruiting and the employee experience,” said Ryan Oakes, head of Accenture’s public sector practice in North America.
“This is a big part of the modernization agenda facing public leaders, and indeed efforts to streamline citizen services and seize new digital opportunities depend on thriving, creative workforces," Oakes added.