The Most Effective Recruitment Strategies in Local Government

Recent report shows that most local governments are using these top five resources to reach qualified candidates.

BLOG POST | Dec 12, 2017

When hiring a new employee, are you using online job advertising as part of your recruitment effort? Most likely, according to a recent report issued by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, which shows that 80% of local governments find it to be the most successful in reaching qualified candidates. 

Here are the other most used and successful recruitment practices: government websites (50%), employee referrals (47%), social media (40%), and job fairs (16%). 

If you are in the process of finding the best people to fill vacancies in new or existing jobs, knowing the top recruitment strategies is just as important as understanding the components an effective job ad typically includes. Information from the ICMA publication Human Resource Management in Local Government, recommends that the advertisement should attract applicants with the right qualifications, as well as: 

  • Be specific enough to attract interest, but not so specific (e.g., with regard to compensation level, if compensation is open) that it obligates the jurisdiction to contractual arrangements prematurely.
  • Avoid any mention of sex, race, religion, age, ethnic origin, and physical capabilities, unless those characteristics are considered bona fide occupational qualifications—in other words, requisites to the successful performance of the job.
  • Placed in channels outside of your geographical area and contain general information about your local government, including size, amenities, and other characteristics that might attract interested applicants.

For more tips, download the checklist How to Develop an Effective Job Ad


ICMA Blog


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