Hays Public Services has revealed the results of a new survey which shows that more than 80% of public sector organisations believe skills shortages in their organisation would be best filled by private sector workers.
Employers based across public services divisions including education, central and local government, housing, the NHS, charities and not for profit organisations stressed concern about the lack of commercial talent. 47% of respondents also said there are widespread skill shortages generally and this needs to be addressed in order for quality services to be delivered.
Concerns expressed by respondents identified shortages in management skills (54%) and indicated that the most valuable attributes a private sector candidate can bring to the public sector is commercial expertise (61%) and creativity (17%). Other attributes include a different drive and ethic.
The time to move to the public sector may be now, with 63% of employers confirming they have noticed an upturn in applications. Significantly 86% believe this increase is beneficial with job candidates bringing a diverse range of skills experience and willingness to adapt to new methods.
Andy Robling, Director at Hays Public Services, said: “The recession has forced people to re-evaluate their perception of a job in the public sector and they have come to realise that it offers comparable pay, generous benefits and a challenging, yet rewarding, environment. At the same time, many public sector organisations are undergoing a period of change and commercial expertise is highly valued to manage this process and drive efficiencies. Employers need to make sure they are tapping into this pool of talent. Jobseekers with a commercial background have never been more available or more willing to make the move.”
Although almost two-fifths of public sector employers are adamant that the recession has enabled access to a pool of talent that may otherwise not have been on offer, there is also the concern that once the economy picks up many of the new workers will leave and go back to previous private sector employment, once again leaving a dearth of skills.