This is a guest post by Steve Vermette, vice president of brokerage at Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.
Budget cutbacks, an aging workforce nearing retirement and the need for a deeper pool of talent are creating a perfect storm for governments looking to recruit skilled workers — and keep them long term. Public sector employers are now being forced to be more creative and responsive in the design, timing and generosity of their benefit plans.
While providing richer benefits helped attract employees to the public sector in the past, it’s no longer a financially sustainable recruitment or retention tool.
A focus group of National League of City members during the 2017 City Summit, as well as a survey of 167 state and local government officials conducted by the Governing Institute in March of 2018, revealed that budget pressures have chipped away at some of the public-sector’s strongest recruiting tools, such as traditional retirement plans and long-term income and job security.
What attracted many workers to the public sector in the first place was the stability and benefits that extended well beyond their working years, helping them build a strong financial legacy for themselves and their families.
Our research proves what we already know — benefits can play a key role in both recruitment and retention. Sixty-five percent of the Governing survey respondents said benefits have been a critical factor in their decision to stay in the public sector, while 28 percent said benefits are a best practice for attracting and retaining employees.
Public sector organizations need to develop innovative and effective strategies to meet the goals of containing costs and managing the quality of employee health care benefits while recruiting high-performing employees.
Join us during the NLC City Summit in Charlotte on Thursday, November 16, at 9:00 a.m for our Solutions Session, Recruiting a 21st Century Workforce. We will host a panel of NLC members who will share best practices and innovative ways for controlling benefit costs while remaining competitive when recruiting and retaining top talent.
Then, on Friday, November 17, at 1:00 p.m. join us for our City Showcase, Effective solution for boosting retention and recruitment efforts, to learn about a simple strategy cities of all sizes can implement to contain employee benefit costs in order to redirect savings to fund recruitment and retention needs.
For more information on our survey results, download our recently published article in collaboration with Governing Institute: “Benefits Modernization: An Effective Solution to the Public Sector’s Recruitment and Retention Challenges.”
Learn more about Recruiting a 21st Century Workforce at City Summit in Charlotte on Thursday, November 16, at 9:00 a.m. for Colonial Life’s Solutions Session.
About the Author: Steve Vermette is vice president of brokerage at Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. He is responsible for building integrated teams to market Colonial Life’s products, programs and services to brokers as well as public sector employers in education and local and state government agencies.