10 Strategies to Attract Younger Talent in Government

  • Innovation and disruption
  • 12/8/2023
Female lawyer

Key insights

  • Attracting young talent goes beyond a typical recruitment strategy; it requires intention.
  • Many young professionals are interested in career development, diversity, social impact, transparency, and a modern work environment.
  • By aligning your recruitment strategies with their preferences and effectively communicating your organization’s special attributes, you can attract and retain talented young professionals.

Seeking young professionals to work at your government agency?

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Hiring young professionals requires intentional strategy. Young workers are looking for more than just a paycheck — they are looking for a work environment aligned with their personal values.

To get new employees, it’s important to create a culture that is fun, flexible, and emphasizes personal development. Government agencies across the country continue to struggle as they deal with the lingering effects of the economy and inflation, an older workforce, and fallout from the pandemic.

Communities may benefit from the energy that comes from newcomers, but it can be challenging to attract and hire young talent in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Explore different strategies that may help.

Transparency and open government

Some government organizations have been increasingly open about their data with the public, introducing significant transparency in an otherwise closed industry. The talent infusion these organizations benefit from are used to and expect transparency in their employers and their community. Opening your organization and focusing on transparency helps align it with a new generation of workers.

Use digital platforms to enhance your brand

Establish a strong and appealing brand that resonates with young professionals. Highlight your company’s values, mission, culture, and opportunities for growth and development. Many people use social media to research potential employers, so make sure your social media shows your organization’s personality. Showcase employee success stories and share content reflecting your values and mission. Choose platforms that resonates most with your ideal employees, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Offer competitive compensation and benefits

Beyond competitive salaries, consider offering uncommon and creative perks appealing to young professionals. This can include flexible vacation policies, wellness programs, incentive pay, or even benefits such as pet insurance or additional money for any use. Research market trends to verify your salary and benefits packages are competitive. Young talent seeks fair compensation, but they also value additional benefits such as flexible work arrangements and professional development opportunities.

Embrace workplace diversity

Young professionals value a diverse and inclusive work environment. Demonstrate your commitment to diversity by actively promoting equal opportunities, fostering an inclusive culture, and implementing diversity initiatives. Showcase diversity and inclusion efforts in your recruitment materials.

Emphasize career development

Young professionals seek out employers offering opportunities for growth and advancement. Emphasize commitment to career development through mentorship, training, and a clear path for advancement (both positionally and in skill development). Illustrate success stories of young employees who have advanced. It’s important to encourage personal and professional growth for all members of your organization.

Provide a modern work environment

Young professionals appreciate modern work environments that embrace technology, offer flexible work arrangements, and prioritize work-life balance. Highlight any flexible work policies, remote work options, or innovative workspaces you provide.

Highlight your social impact

Younger professionals are very passionate making a positive impact in their communities. Align your organization with meaningful causes that resonate with a younger talent pool. Whether it’s supporting local nonprofits or promoting environmental causes, make a genuine commitment to the cause. Be sure to show how employees can contribute to these causes and initiatives. And don’t forget to highlight that working in government also serves vital community needs.

Create a positive candidate experience

Make the recruitment process efficient and transparent. Improve your career website, create an easy application process, and be sure to give candidates regular updates. Individualize communication and provide feedback even to applicants that are not chosen.

Encourage employee referrals

Encourage your current young employees to refer peers and friends to join the organization. Offer bonuses to provide incentive to your employees to recommend qualified candidates.

Participate in university programs and job fairs

Engage with universities and other educational institutions to build relationships and promote your company’s opportunities. Attend career fairs and participate in mentoring programs to connect directly with younger talent.

How we can help

Attracting young talent goes beyond a typical recruitment strategy. By aligning your recruitment strategies with their preferences and effectively communicating your organization’s special attributes, you can attract and retain talented young professionals.

CLA’s state and local government and talent solutions teams can help implement these ideas. Contact us for assistance.

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