5 Steps You Can Take to Recruit Talent*
*and not have to hire us!


Recruiting employees is very, very difficult right now. It is a candidates’ market, and this may not change for quite a while. There are a few steps local governments can take to improve their odds for success in recruiting:

  1. Create an appealing, focused job announcement that conveys information about your organization, the position, hybrid work environment (if appropriate) etc. Once you have a template, you can use it repeatedly with only minor modifications. Please do not cut and paste the ENTIRE job description and upload it as a job announcement. Also, do not post hourly compensation rates – annualize the compensation and mention other key benefits, include comments about your organizational culture.
  2. Consider whether the position really requires a bachelor’s degree, extensive local government experience or other licenses such as a CPA or P.E. – both a CPA and PE should be preferred and not required if possible. Many job descriptions were written 10 or 15 years ago when the job market was more favorable to employers. Consider a substitution clause – “a combination of education, training and experience may be substituted for a bachelor’s degree.”
  3. Post the position announcement to LinkedIN (a major source of candidates for us), government job websites, any subject matter specific websites (APWA, APA, GFOA, etc) your community’s social media and if possible, your and other employees’ personal social media, if you all are willing. You and your colleagues’ well-chosen positive words about your organization can attract potential candidates. Consider the use of a QR code that links directly to your application.
  4. Review the compensation and post a range that reflects as much as you can pay. Many local government employers are hiring in new employees near the top of the salary range. While this can create internal equity issues, it is often a choice between hiring at the top of the range or not hiring at all.
  5. Move quickly! Consider interviewing promising candidates when they apply and if you find the right person, make an offer. Waiting 4 weeks for the deadline, then taking two weeks to review candidates and three weeks more before you interview, will cost you talented candidates. The announcement can say “apply at once, open until filled.”

Heidi Voorhees
President, GovHR USA

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