Talent Management

A Public Opportunity to Improve Recruitment

9 July 2019

3 min
According to statistics, approximately 11% of all Canadian workers are employed in the public sector – this includes not only government workers, but also legions of teachers, police officers, firefighters and countless other jobs that are critical to maintaining a safe, productive community.

Benefits Of Working In Public Sector

The reasons given for choosing public over private sector career paths often include the job stability along with healthy benefits and retirement packages. Another reason given, according to public employee surveys, is the ability to “try” different career options while keeping the benefits of working for just one organization. For example, a government agency might consider moving an analyst in community development into public utilities for a few years in order to increase their knowledge base and broaden their overall skillsets. Doing this can keep employees engaged, excited and learning on a continual basis while at the same time, giving different departments a “fresh set of eyes” to help see problems and solutions from a new perspective.

In spite of the many attractive benefits to a career in the public sector, there is nevertheless a looming problem with an aging workforce in the public sector that is only being made much worse by outdated hiring practices and procedures.

A Public Problem

Recruiters in today’s public sector have named this problem the “Silver Tsunami,” otherwise known as an accelerating wave of baby boomers leaving the workforce for retirement. In fact, studies show approximately 10,000 boomers retiring every day, which leaves a huge void for the public sector to fill.

Why is this phenomenon hitting the public sector harder than the private?


% of public workers

are between 45 and 64 years old


% of private workers only

are between 45 and 64 years old

Another challenge facing public sector recruiters is how to attract people to available technology jobs. It’s no secret that millennials show marked technological advantages being digital natives. This is also a large reason they’re often hesitant to take government positions because of the (often legitimate) perception of working with antiquated technology that won’t allow for development of their skills.

How dire is this situation? According to experts, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025, although they make up only 10 percent of the federal sector technology workforce today.

Hiring But Not Recruiting

In researching public sector hiring methods, it becomes clear that most government agencies don’t “recruit,” per se. Sure, they may post job openings on govjobs.ca and possibly do some college or university recruiting, but they typically do not recruit like the private sector does in the increasingly competitive talent marketplace.

The reason for this is not that public sector HR departments are prohibited from digital recruiting. More often than not, budget restrictions and most importantly, legacy culture are responsible for not using more innovative recruiting techniques.

One top public sector recruiter now working with private companies recently summed up the problem this way, “In this competitive talent market, it’s more than clear that public sector organizations must close the gap with the private sector when it comes to meeting candidates where they are – and that’s online!” Another top level recruiter agrees, “When it comes to recruiting talent, you need to go where the talent is. While many public sector HR departments continue to advertise jobs in newspapers, potential talent is hanging out on social media.”

This is where public sector recruiters can learn from private HR managers who have gained the competitive advantage of using powerful leading-edge tools like Cegid’s RITA Sourcer. Public or private, RITA lets recruiters post an open position just once while distributing to over 2,000 job boards throughout North America and even Europe. RITA is simple, quick, easy and adapts to your HR structure.

When Technology Works Against You

While we’re discussing technological advantages (or disadvantages), another difference in recruiting for the public sector vs. private is evident in the hiring technology used.


% of public sector HR professionals

said they were satisfied with the hiring technology available to them


% of public sector HR professionals

rated their current recruiting technology as having a negative impact on the applicant experience.

It’s no wonder so many public sector HR managers today will say they have inadequate or woefully obsolete information systems that fail to meet their strategic recruitment needs prior to, during and after the process.

This is one more reason why more recruiters for both the public and private sectors rely on Cegid Talent Management solutions to facilitate the intelligent management of candidates, recruiting, training, performance, remuneration and career success.

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