Digital transformation within the public sector

Digital transformation within the public sector

Digital technologies are having a significant impact on the public sector. Recent Deloitte surveys have found that 82% of organisations see digital as an opportunity, and 51% feel that technology is improving their ability to respond to both threats and opportunities.

But in order to complete a successful digital transformation in the public sector, you need the right people with the right digital skills. You also need a strategy, careful project management and a long-term plan.

In terms of hiring, organisations may have a set of major challenges to overcome.  Let’s take a look at just a few of these here…

Attracting the right candidates

If you’re undergoing a digital transformation, it could be that your organisation is far from being an employer of choice for digital talent. And without any history as a digital employer, it can be difficult to ‘sell’ your organisation as a great place to work. You can’t point to a fantastic track record of digital achievement, for example.

This leaves public sector organisations lagging behind tech firms and digital giants. But what you can do is to sell the aspiration, rather than the reality. This is where a strong marketing strategy comes into its own, helping you to transform public perception until you’re seen as a key player in the digital market. 

Overcoming outdated recruitment processes

Public sector organisations can be large, complicated and bureaucratic. This often means that their existing recruitment processes have a tendency to be slow, long-winded and clunky. Recruiters don’t always know where best to advertise roles and the right language to appeal to target candidates. Plus, they don’t always understand the critical importance of speed when recruiting and onboarding digital professionals.

This won’t do when appealing to a digital marketplace. So, one of the first steps to take is to overhaul your recruitment process. Make it as quick and slick as possible, in line with candidate expectations.

Competitive salaries

In the public sector, you may also find that there is not near as much cash available for salaries as in the private tech and digital sector. This means your salaries won’t always be competitive enough to attract the very best talent.

And within the public sector, there can also be inflexible pay structures to deal with. Plus, there are often job grading methodologies which tend to reward managers of large departments rather than individuals with exceptional technical skills.

To make this situation more acute, there is a scarcity of digital skills in the marketplace right now. This means that the best talent can command even higher salaries.

This is something you need to address in your digital transformation strategy. Could it be worth investing in high-level talent to set up your initial infrastructure? These professionals could even be contract staff in the short-term.  

Strong leadership is absolutely critical to the success of this kind of project. Put some money behind getting the top-level people in first, and they can start establishing solid foundations. Then, you can start bringing in junior executives and lower-level staff.

At this very early stage, it can also be hugely valuable to work with a recruitment specialist. At Castlefield Recruitment, we have in-depth knowledge and experience of recruiting for public sector organisations. Get in touch with the team to find out more.