Employers may need to be more creative and flexible to successfully recruit and maintain quality employees in today's hiring environment. Higher wages, flexible schedules, and work-from-home options are quickly becoming an expectation for prospective applicants where, in the past, these would have helped to gain a competitive advantage. Recruiting for small governments can be especially difficult due to limited Human Resources staff, smaller advertising budgets, and the need to have set hours and access for the public.
The current hiring challenges are being seen across all sectors and positions, including essential functions of small governments. Safety services, public works, building departments, etc., have been struggling to find qualified applicants when in the past, those positions have had long eligible candidate lists. Creativity in recruitment combined with efficiency in testing and application processes can help offset some of these challenges.
As small-government entities, we will need to recognize the challenges and react accordingly to the labor market. Educating our leadership teams at the Departmental and Administrative levels will be essential. Starting those discussions now will help to avoid surprises when changes need to be made to fill roles. Recently, small governments have implemented strategies for recruitment, including minimum rate increases, recruiting and advertising in new areas (both online and at events), and offering increased perks such as the use of community amenities.
Please join us for a discussion about recruitment/retention in the Small Government Forum community group.
- Has your community experienced increased difficulty in hiring?
- What departments/roles are having the most trouble recruiting and/or retaining employees?
- If so, how has your community responded to the hiring difficulties?