5 Key Problems Local Governments Have With Recruiting

Written by Jonathan Wiersma

Many industries—such as data analytics, cybersecurity, pharmaceutical, and so onhave much more demand for labor than the available supply. While trying to win the war for talent isn’t unique to local governments, many are ramping up their hiring to accommodate recent nationwide economic growth, but they’re struggling to find and retain the right people. Generally, the problems are rooted in these five common and costly scenarios:

1. Lack of Capacity 

Virtually all local governments across the country are being told to do more with less as demands for services increase and budgets shrink. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this resource crunch is that the already over-tasked human resource department, which in some organizations might be one or two people, must evaluate dozens or, in some cases, hundreds of applicants for a single opening. This is creating a major administrative bottleneck that makes it difficult to rapidly identify quality candidates, and efficiently usher them through the recruiting process.

2. Lack of Standardization 

Many local governments lack a standardized hiring process because their environment is full of ad hoc tools, checklists, and templates that have developed over time. This lack of standardization dramatically slows down the hiring process, and once again, leads to qualified candidates being unavailable or uninterested when it comes time to schedule interviews—which could be months after they submit their resumes.

3. Lack of Data 

Many local governments don’t have standardized metrics that allow them to evaluate key performance indicators such as cost-per-hire, time-to-hire, applicants-per-opening, and which advertising methods/job boards are delivering the best return on investment. This data is essential for overall strategic planning, as well as shaping individual recruitment efforts.

4. Lack of Visibility

Many local governments don’t take full advantage of a piece of virtual real estate that they’ve already paid for: their own website. Some local governments make the mistake of advertising jobs on their website, but not doing so in a comprehensive manner that offers a similar user experience to the major nationwide job boards. Typically, the reason for this is that the website content management system (CMS) makes it tedious and time consuming for staff to post and edit opportunities. In some cases, they cannot make changes at all, and must submit requests to their web development firm for updates to each application.

5. Relying on Spreadsheets or Old Fashioned Databases 

Many local governments are still relaying on spreadsheets and legacy databases—i.e., old fashioned software that has been around for as long as anyone can rememberto store candidate data. Searching through these documents or databases is inefficient, and often results in data that is incomplete or contains errors. 

Overcoming These Problems

At CivicPlus, we’ve specialized in serving the needs of local governments for over 20 years. That’s why we’ve built CivicHR: a powerful, yet simple-to-use cloud-based human resource software solution created exclusively for local government. It streamlines the hiring process and helps local governments quickly find and select the best candidates by:

  • Standardizing the hiring process with easy-to-use templates
  • Leveraging a full range of valuable metrics and actionable insights
  • Accessing searchable database of all applicants
  • Tracking, managing, and reducing cost-per-hire
  • Posting comprehensive and compelling job ads to their website

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