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LGovt Recruitment hindered by poor perception

Local Government recruitment of skilled staff hindered by poor public perception

New research carried out by Haines NZ Ltd shows that local government’s recruitment of skilled workers is being hindered by an image problem.

Haines has a long history of recruitment advertising for local government and commissioned a pilot study into recruitment and retention within the sector. Nine councils participated with 55 staff selected to represent one of the five skill areas in which most councils found recruitment difficult. These include Building Consents, Engineering, Environmental Health, Planning and Policy.

The poor public perception of local government emerged as a central theme of the study. 65% of participants felt that local government’s image was poor. The main reasons given for this were: Too much bureaucracy in dealing with councils Confusion over what is the active role of local council Council workers seen as lazy or overpaid Councils seen as stalling development Regulations are increasing, making it even harder to deal with councils

Other key findings were:

Recruitment channels Respondents were most likely to have seen their current role advertised in the newspaper (38%). Networking was the next most popular method, at 18%. Only 7% found their job through Internet advertising – this is quite a low result considering previous research conducted by Haines showed that councils were starting to advertise online more often.

Retention Positive factors for staying in a local government role included the chance to get involved in the community, and the variety of work available as the best things about working in local government. Those in Environmental Health differed from the rest – this group was most likely to mention dealing with the public as a benefit of working in local government.

Negative factors influencing staff to leave local government included the burden of dealing with politics and legislation. Excessive bureaucracy, and dealing with the public were often mentioned.

Long Term Career Goals Almost half (46%) of the respondents thought that they would stay in local government throughout their careers. Engineers were most likely to state an intention to stay, while those in Policy were least likely.

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