Attracting, developing and retaining staff in the public sector must be addressed as a 'whole of government' issue, if organisations are to be prepared for the changing public sector landscape.

The voice of Generation Next in the public sector

Analysis of over 1,410 respondents from the global 2016 Generation Next survey, showed that:

  • experience in the finance function of the public sector is a valued platform for success
  • 'clear career paths' and 'experience at work' are the two key factors for attracting and keeping talent in the public sector
  • job satisfaction in the public sector is lower than other sectors, probably stemming from difficulties reported with organisational cultural
  • they are willing to leave the public sector at some point in their career, with a large percentage attracted to the corporate sector, and
  • they have the highest entrepreneurial intention of any sector.

What the public sector employers should consider

The future success of public sector employers around the world depends on attracting the right talent to support organisational objectives. They should consider:

  • creating clear mid-career routes into the public sector to capitalise on young professional accountants' significant interest in the sector
  • working to develop the brand of the function or organisation, and
  • advertising the opportunity to learn in an innovative public sector organisation.

The trends highlighted hold significant implications for the future of talent in a sector facing many forces of change. Yet whatever strategies they decide to adopt, it is essential that public sector employers recognise the importance of talent management as a key component of their future strategies.

About lead author, Alex Metcalfe