Giving Compass' Take:

• Jennifer Dowd reports that the strong U.S. economy is making it difficult for the government to hire important employees. 

• How can funders help to ensure that essential positions are filled by qualified workers? 

• Learn how CSR efforts can help attract and retain employees

The economy is strong, and the job market is plentiful. That’s a good thing, right? Well, not if you are a government employer competing for talent with the private sector and other municipalities around you. It’s an extremely competitive job market out there and unemployment continues to remain low. According to, a 3.8% unemployment rate means there are 6.7 million job openings and just 6.4 million available workers to fill them. Public Sector has enough trouble recruiting with pensions no longer the main attractor for those looking at a career in government.  These numbers add to the uncertainty of getting qualified candidates. With already hard to fill jobs like policing, IT, and nursing, how do you find new ways to reach outside talent?

The economy is one reason that job seekers are lavished in a wide variety of opportunities. But those hard to fill jobs also have unique nuances that turn off candidates. Take law enforcement for example.  Cities are now considering the need to loosen up on requirements. USA Today reports that in one state, officers and police applicants are disqualified if they smoke cigarettes, even off-duty. Everything from fitness standards to citizenships are being challenged to help recruit more police officers.

The Public Sector is getting creative with ways to appeal to people who otherwise might think government jobs are boring. A 6% decrease in millennials interest in government as a career choice is an indicator that modernization of recruiting and retention efforts is an imperative direction the public sector should head in. The use of social media and videos are popping up more frequently which is a sign that attracting a diverse candidate pool is important. Also, appealing to those who want to make a different in their community helps government stand out from the private sector.

Modernizing the workplace is also key to survival. It’s a growing expectation of employees that their employer provides a great place to work or they are moving on.

Read the full article about a competitive job market by Jennifer Dowd at Governing Magazine.