Millennials are currently the largest demographic in the workforce. Experts say that they will make up to 75% of the global workforce by the year 2020. But even with the presence of the future generation in today’s workforce, many Baby Boomers are not going anywhere soon. Not in the public sector, at least. As it turns out, the government and government-controlled sectors are having a hard time enticing and hiring millennials to apply and work as public servants.
The Challenges That Come with Hiring Millennials in the Public Sector
There are many reasons why the public sector is still short of new qualified hires from Generation Y. Here are some of them.
Decade-Old Hiring Policies
Many government sectors still apply the same old hiring and recruitment process they have been using for many years now. The application process is slow, where most applicants need to wait weeks, sometimes even months before getting called for an interview. Those who needed to take written examinations wait long before getting the results.
Thanks to the old-school way of hiring and recruiting new employees, millennials are moving on to their next job prospects. As graduates of the recession and with their massive student debt, one just can’t wait that long to get a decent job to pay their bills. What they do is to try their luck and apply to private companies instead.
Private companies are a lot more millennial-friendly than the public sector. They allow online job applications and interviews and have a quicker way of hiring employees. Millennials choose not to wait in vain. If they can get hired and get paid for an amount much higher than in the public sector, it pretty much seals the deal.
Inflexible Work Arrangements
Millennials are known to obsess about work-life balance. They want to be able to work in an environment that supports mental health. This is the reason they are into remote work and flexible working schedules.
The public sector doesn’t offer much flexibility to its employees. Many government-controlled sectors require their employees to work in a strict environment and a fixed working schedule. Some will find it hard to take emergency leaves as needed which is something that scares many millennials away.
Poor Workplace Environment
Some branches of the public sector are still considered culturally and technologically out of date. Some are notoriously slow when it comes to embracing technology. Since millennials are so used to technology, some will find it intimidating to work for an agency known to be obsolete when it comes to innovations.
Don’t forget about the fact that many people working for the government often face public disrespect. Some consumers are impatient and would pour their frustrations over the unsuspecting employees whose only job is to assist them to the best of their capabilities. While there are also some rude employees out there, no one deserves to be disrespected and millennials don’t like to be a part of that.
What Can Be Done to Finally Attract and Retain Millennial Civil Servants
The public sector needs to try to keep up with the private sector at the soonest time possible. This starts with reaching out to the potential applicants who have the skills necessary to fill in the roles of retiring Baby Boomers. Thankfully, technology makes it easy to fulfill such a task.
Public sector recruitment consultants can help government and government-controlled sectors to find qualified millennials looking for jobs. One should take this opportunity to find the right people for the right role instead of painstakingly having to go over every application they receive. This can cut a significant amount of time when hiring and recruiting.
The public sector recognizes the fact that they are often left behind by the private sector when it comes to technology. They should try to keep up if they want to improve the working conditions, efficiency, and productivity of their employees. The more it embraces tech and innovation, the easier it will be to entice the tech-loving generation.
Millennials also crave work-life balance. It may be hard to accommodate remote work arrangements or flexible working schedules for all government employees. But there are other ways to keep millennials engaged in the public sector.
One great move the federal government did in the U.S. is to give more attractive benefits to its employees. One of which is the 12 weeks paid parental leave. This is not limited to parents who recently welcome new kids in the family by birth. This can also include those who will adopt and foster new children.
These are but a few challenges the public sector is facing when trying to fill in soon to be vacant roles. With the millennial generation being the future of today’s workforce, the public sector should try to do more to accommodate the new generation of public servants. Working in government and government-controlled sectors can be a fulfilling experience. But until the public sectors adapt to the ever-changing need of the future workforce, positions will be left unfilled.