Public sector employers are struggling to recruit and retain senior staff as cuts bite
By Daniel Hunter
Public sector organisations face increased problems in recruiting and retaining staff, particularly at a senior level, as skilled individuals shy away from the sector as the impact of the cuts is felt and the image of the sector wanes.
These are the top line findings of the annual Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning survey of more than 500 employers.
Despite the high unemployment rate that will be updated in this morning’s official unemployment statistics, 82% of all organisations surveyed reported difficulties in filling at least some vacancies over the past few months. This figure has increased since the 2011 survey, with the biggest rise coming from public sector organisations (where the 2012 figure is also 82% compared to 66% in 2011).
Recruitment of managers and senior level staff within the public sector is a particular problem. 38% of public sector organisations surveyed reported that it was especially hard to fill vacancies at manager and specialist levels and a further 19% reported problems with finding candidates for senior manager and director level roles. Pay freezes coupled with a perceived reduction in benefits as a consequence of pension reforms may be responsible, as 43% of public sector employers cited pay as one of the reasons for their difficulties.
The public sector was also almost three times more likely (24% compared to 9%) than private sector services to report that the image of the sector/occupation/organisation was a problem in terms of attracting new recruits. This comes as large public sector employers are reporting more vacancies compared to this time last year (median number of vacancies in organisations with more than 5000 employees, 2012 survey: 275; 2011 survey: 150).
A lack of specialist or technical skills continues to be the biggest reason cited for recruitment difficulties across all sectors, with... continued on page two >