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New Trends in Recruiting Young Workers for Government Roles

Updated: Jan 31

Four young workers around a table on laptops, government work

As the new year rolls around, new trends begin to emerge in the recruiting world. It is up to recruiters to keep up with these trends in order to attract and retain employees in their businesses. In recent times, many are struggling to fill job positions, including state and local governments. Much research has been done in order to figure out the necessary steps to take to attract young workers to public service careers. A survey of Lead For America (LFA) fellowship candidates was conducted with MissionSquare Research Institute and found that meaningful work was identified as the top priority for young workers, followed by workplace culture and compensation.

Meaningful Work

In order for public service recruiters to attract young talent to their organizations, they must prove to these job seekers that the work they will be hired for is meaningful and rewarding. According to McKinsey & Company, when employees find their work to be meaningful, their performance improves by 33%, they are 75% more committed to their organization, and are 49% less likely to leave. However, only about 50% of employees find meaning in their work today. Recruitment efforts should emphasize their agency mission in their job postings to tie in with this demand for positions that have meaning, showing candidates that they can deliver on that front.

Workplace Culture

The second highest thing that young workers are inspecting during their job search is workplace culture. These job seekers want to work in an environment where they feel welcome and valued while they do their jobs. According to MissionSquare Research Institute, 77% of young workers say employer mindfulness of an inclusive and welcoming environment for all identities is very important. They want to be sure that the workplace is not just welcoming of them, but of everyone else around them as well. Companies having a diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) strategy implemented in their core has become a very important requirement in order to attract and retain employees, and it is no different in the public service industry. 81% of these respondents stated that personal recommendations influence their decision to apply for a position, so it is important for these agencies to be sure that all of their employees are given fair treatment at all times.


The young talent that government agencies are trying to attract are going to expect fair compensation for their work, and it is not only regarding their salaries. In addition to high wages, these candidates look for good and competitive benefits. In the conducted survey, 58% of the respondents identified paid leave as being very important. Many are also looking for traditional benefits such as healthcare and retirement, but also additional appealing benefits that might include flexibility, student loan repayment, and childcare. Public service recruitment efforts should take these into account when searching for young candidates, as 83% find local government benefits to be competitive. If an agency’s offer does not meet the bar set by the job hunter, they may just move on to continue their search elsewhere.

These trends in the recruitment of young talent in public service positions are only going to grow in popularity as the year progresses. It is up to these agencies and their recruiting teams whether or not they will keep up and adapt these trends. This is also choosing to risk the possibility of not being able to attract young, natural leaders to their agencies. When making the decision to update what is offered by working in these open positions, it is important to take a company’s long-term success into consideration. Presenting a fair and welcome work environment and high wages may bring in talent that could shape and impact the company for the better.

Are you looking for public services agencies that offer meaningful work and competitive benefits? Send us a message on LinkedIn or Instagram today and our team will help you find the perfect fit.



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