The silver tsunami is coming, and standing in its wake are more than 89,000 local governments across the United States. It’s projected that by 2018, 28 percent of public-sector workers will have reached age 61. As these older employees begin to retire, they will need to be replaced. And as local government human resource departments brace for the impact of the silver tsunami, they are wisely beginning to develop strategies focusing on recruiting the next generation of local government employees: millennials.
Compared to their private-sector counterparts, local governments are at a higher risk of the impact of the silver tsunami because they typically employ a less age-diverse workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of government employees is 45.3, compared to the median age of 42.3 in the nation’s workforce as a whole.
Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000, making them approximately ages 17 to 37. As adults, this generation has shown a dependence upon technology, and are looking for jobs where they will remain engaged, motivated and acknowledged. According to the Harvard Business Review:
According to comScore Media Metrix, 21 percent of millennials almost exclusively use a mobile device to go online, and according to a study conducted by Jobvite, 37 percent of millennial job seekers expect career websites to be optimized for mobile, allowing them to search for jobs anytime and any place. To attract today’s mobile-savvy job seekers, local governments need to ensure that job postings or digital talent acquisition tools are optimized for mobile by following these best practices:
Millennials are more likely than earlier generations to find job opportunities using social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. In fact, an Aberdeen study reports that 73 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds found their last job through a social network. Many job seekers are even using social media to share employment opportunities and refer friends and colleagues, making it a powerful platform for amplifying the reach of your job openings. If you’re ready to leverage the power of social media to help identify and attract talent for your civic staff, start by implementing these best practices:
Before the silver tsunami has an opportunity to leave your municipal administration understaffed, overwhelmed and missing key personnel, begin the process of actively recruiting and hiring millennials into your workforce. By targeting millennials using the most impactful recruitment channels, and onboarding them before their predecessors’ ultimate retirements, your community will be well positioned to both benefit from historical institutional knowledge, as well as new perspectives and the skills of younger generations.
Jonathan Wiersma is the general manager for CivicHR. His primary focus at CivicPlus is on following the trends in the local government human resource landscape, and leading product enhancements for CivicHR to ensure the solution evolves as the needs of local government evolve.