According to the Office for National Statistics, 6 million people in the UK currently work in governmental agencies. The public sector plays a critical role in the UK employment landscape and, as such, its hiring managers must stay on top of recruitment trends to compete with the private sector for the best talent. As we watch Recruitment 4.0 continue to mature, we’ll see dramatic adjustments to legacy recruitment technology systems and processes.

Here’s where we’ll see the majority of those changes take place:

Feature creep and abandonment are making old tools obsolete

Dramatic leaps in technology mean that across countless industries old tools are being replaced by more modern alternatives.

This is the same in the world of recruitment, too, where recruiters are abandoning older tools. Feature creep – the ongoing expansion of new features – means that older applications are not fit for purpose any longer.

It’s becoming increasingly challenging to find recruiters and hiring managers who can use those tools, too, which can elevate training costs and reduce efficiency.

AI sourcing is replacing Boolean sourcing.

For many years, Boolean sourcing was an essential strategy for recruiters and hiring managers. Elegant strings of operators and quotation marks were able to surface suitable candidates, but this technique wasn’t without its drawbacks.

It’s challenging to master and the results weren’t 100% comprehensive – there was always the danger of missing out on the perfect candidate. Every recruiter will know that it can also be quite time consuming, too.

As Recruitment 4.0 continues to mature, we’ll see AI sourcing replace Boolean sourcing and cement itself as the go-to sourcing method. To give you a head start, here’s a closer look at some of the ways we’re likely to see public sector recruitment change in light of new recruitment trends and technologies.

Sourcing candidates

In the private sector, 47% of companies currently report little to no qualified applications for the positions that they are trying to fill. This dynamic also affects the public sector, which has a strong need for the most impressive talent.

We can expect public sector recruiters to capitalise on new recruitment trends and technologies to source a higher number of qualified candidates:

Contingent workers will present an opportunity for the public sector

The meteoric rise of talent platforms like Upwork and a growing appetite for self-employment among workers means that there’s a higher number of contingent workers. Those professionals are often freelancers, independent contractors, agency workers and consultants.

In fact, there are an estimated five million self-employed workers in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. As this figure grows, we can expect the public sector to capitalise on this trend to meet its talent needs.

Alumni pools will provide proven candidates

As the battle for talent becomes even more fierce, public sector recruiters and hiring managers will make the most of talent pools to keep track of their candidates.

The talent within those pools can be divided into smaller subsections such as referred candidates, applicants, and alumni. We’ll see alumni talent pools play a significant role within the public sector, given that they can make it easier to recruit pre-approved and trusted talent.

Boomerang Employees will reduce recruitment costs

The modern workforce is more mobile than ever before, with three out of four millennials stating that they’re open to finding a new job.

While vast portions of the workforce will seek greener pastures, some of them will inevitably return to previous employers. Those people become boomerang employees, in fact 15% of employees have returned to a former employer at some point.

This is an excellent dynamic for the public sector. Not only will public sector agencies be able to reduce their recruitment costs, but they’ll also be able to source proven and trained talent.

New tech will help public sector recruiters handle more significant volumes of applications.

AI-driven sourcing tools such as Elevate are already helping recruiters and hiring managers around the world to manage more applications and better identify and validate the ideal candidates. 

Meanwhile, new trends like programmatic advertising can target qualified talent with pinpoint accuracy.

These are just some of the ways that new technology will empower public sector recruiters and hiring managers to attract qualified candidates.

Shortlisting candidates

Nascent trends and technologies will also impact the way public sector recruiters approach the shortlisting of candidates. Here’s how:

Automate the screening process

Screening and evaluating candidates is often the most time-consuming part of the entire recruitment process. Frequently, recruiters and hiring managers will also discover that a candidate is unsuitable for different practical reasons like location or salary expectations.

Nascent tools like chatbots and sophisticated survey tools are now capable of offering a helping hand at the outset of the screening process. Take Elevate, for instance: AI algorithms are capable of analysing vast amounts of information faster and smarter than any human. Leading to recruiters and hiring managers liberation to focus on building recruiting strategies and nurturing candidate relationships.

Essentially, AI is capable of delivering high-quality talent at a faster pace while improving the overall recruitment experience.

The recruitment process will become more human

Public sector work is divided into two key areas: central and local government. Also, millions of people work in public services like healthcare, law enforcement, social care and education.

Those are all diverse fields and finding candidates with the perfect blend of personality traits is challenging. A nurse will need to exhibit different personality traits to a police officer, for instance.

New recruitment technology is going to automate routine tasks so that hiring managers can spend more time getting to know their candidates to assess better their characters leading to satisfaction all round, improving employee fit and sequentially retention rates.

Selecting candidates

Once the list of candidates is reduced to a set of finalists, recruiters need to start making their final decisions and perform hires. This is a delicate part of the recruitment process, and recruiters have to be on the top of their game.

Here’s how new trends and technologies will help public sector recruiters to select the right candidates:

Gamification will enrich the selection process

Gamification is cementing itself as a reliable recruitment technology. Games are becoming incredibly popular because they empower candidates to showcase their competencies in practical ways and demonstrate their agility.

These gamification technologies are also a great way to enliven the hiring process and energise public sector candidates. Gamification can also be used to more effectively gauge the personal traits of candidates.

New technologies can help with diversity hiring

Over the years, some media reporting and commentary have suggested that areas of the public sector over-rely on internal recruitment. People who subscribe to this idea believe that the public sector has suffered to incorporate new ideas and profiles.

In the era of Recruitment 4.0, AI-driven platforms analytics and talent intelligence will play a prominent role in the recruitment process. Expect to see recruiters and hiring managers use technology and insights to complement internal hires with talented and diverse candidates from outside the public sector.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that this piece helps you to think how new recruitment technologies could help your talent acquisition initiatives. Have you seen the rise of any unique opportunities? We’d love to hear your thoughts and how you think public sector talent acquisition might evolve.