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Public sector agencies can do more targeted outreach and take other steps to fill their growing number of staff openings, one report says.
As public service agencies face challenges attracting talent, there is a pool of potential workers overlooked called "Hidden Workers," according to a report by Accenture.
Accenture defines the hidden workers as a diverse group of individuals including caregivers, veterans and military spouses, immigrants, refugees, people without traditional qualifications, those with physical disabilities, mental health challenges and those from less-advantaged populations.
Accenture's research shows how hidden workers can face immense challenges finding work or increasing their hours. This is because they are often screened out early in the hiring process.
In fact, 90% of executives surveyed believe qualified candidates are vetted out of the process because they do not match exact job criteria.
Barriers for Hidden Workers
Several challenges exclude hidden workers, including overly specific job descriptions, inflexible working practices and challenging job application processes, according to the report. All these contribute to the finding that only about 7% of hidden workers manage to obtain a full-time job offer.
According to Accenture, around one-in-two hidden workers surveyed said the job application experience stopped them from applying for employment in public service.
Organizations face barriers that prevent them from tapping into this pool of hidden talent. The three most critical according to the report are:
- Recruiting systems that automatically screen out eligible candidates.
- Recruitment functions that overlook the business case for hiring hidden workers.
- Widening the training gap to allow employees to keep up with any advancements.
Making Jobs More Accessible
According to the report, there are some ways public service agencies can access hidden workers:
- Shift filters from negative to affirmative.
- Refresh job descriptions to focus on skills.
- Adopt an experience mindset for recruitment.
- Undertake more targeted outreach.
- Foster culture that supports hidden workers.
For more information from the Accenture report click here.
Andre Claudio is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.
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