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10 benefits Federal Government talent wants the most

23 March 2022

Demand for skills in Australia’s Federal Government is soaring but supply of available talent is struggling to keep up.

Departments and agencies are looking to attract and retain top talent with hard-to-find skills they desperately need.

In a candidate short market, employers need to understand what talent wants the most and align their EVP accordingly.

In this blog, we share 10 benefits that Federal Government talent wants the most.

1. Work-Life Balance

The most popular benefit that government talent looks for is work-life balance. They want clear separation between their professional life and personal life, and seek out employers who enable them adequate time for both. This means they don’t want to work late nights and through the weekend. They want to do their job and live their life away from work. Delivering and communicating this benefit in your EVP is what government talent want the most.

2. Job Security

Job security refers to the long-term stability and sustainability of a particular position. Safety is a fundamental human need that secure employment satisfies because it directly determines the quality of life individuals and families are able to have. Jobs and companies that don’t exude stability and security (e.g. high turnover, leadership changes, poor reputation) are unappealing to government talent seeking job security.

3. Open and Effective Management

Management significantly influences the employee experience. Good managers attract top talent whereas bad managers repel them. In Government, open and effective leadership is even more crucial because teams are typically working on complex and important projects that impact many. Openness and effectiveness are two qualities that government talent look for in leader, which is why communicating these through your EVP is important in talent attraction and retention.

4. Colleagues and Culture

Employees spend more time collaborating with their colleagues than with their own families, making culture and colleagues a valid component of the employee experience. Strong culture motivates and good colleagues inspire, both making work far more palatable. These features also correlate with improved mental health, physical wellbeing, productivity, engagement and performance which are highly sought after attributes that benefit all parties.

5. Flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements are opportunities for talent to stray away from traditional working models to accommodate their needs. Flexible hours, compressed work weeks and job sharing are notable examples. Demand for flexibility has unsurprisingly boomed in recent years with many professionals forced to work remotely during COVID-19. In response, some government agencies have already adopted more flexibility into their working models to appeal to talent. This is a key point of difference for some agencies when attracting and retaining talent who value flexibility.

6. Salary and Compensation 

Salary and compensation refers to all financial benefits offered by a company. From base wage to bonuses, superannuation to commission, government talent wants to make money for the work they do. Traditionally, government agencies have struggled to match the financial compensation offered by private sector counterparts. Yet, the remuneration an agency is willing to offer remains a key part of an effective EVP in the government space.

7. Challenging and purposeful work

For about a third of government talent, the challenge of government work itself and the purpose behind it is extremely important. Government agencies and employees undertake a broad range of complex and impactful work. This includes health, tax, education, defence, welfare, employment and much more. As such, some talent are highly motivated by these challenges which gives them a strong sense of purpose in the work they do. Communicating the importance and challenging nature of a particular position is a great way to persuade these people.

8. Inclusivity and diversity

Many government workers value an inclusive environment that accepts people from diverse backgrounds. After all, Australia is a multinational country where the government is tasked with representing everyone within it. Communicating a clear commitment to diversity and inclusivity is an attractive benefit for talent seeking belonging and cultural representation in their public sector career.

9. Training and development

Training and development refers to the ongoing learning that a company provides to upskill or reskill their employees. This could be any form of structured training, coaching or mentoring programs. Simply put, entities willing to invest in the development of their staff are perceived as far more valuable than entities that don’t. In a candidate short market, training is a useful way to build your talent when buying the right talent is more challenging. Furthermore, training also helps engage talent increasing their likelihood of joining or staying at a particular enterprise.

10. Career Progression

Most employees, to varying extents, want to rise the hierarchal ranks within their respective agency or department. Promotions usually mean more money, more responsibility and more benefits which have already featured in this blog. Departments and agencies that present clear pathways to progression for all talent are more attractive to individuals that harbour high levels of professional ambition.

If you want to attract and retain top government talent, understanding what these people want is crucial in building an effective EVP. We’ve shared 8 areas of focus that could help you reach you recruitment objectives moving forward. At Ignite, we specialise in Federal Government recruitment and can help you find top talent you need to help you thrive.

Talk to our team to find our more!