appeal of public sector drops as economy picks-up

appeal of public sector drops as economy picks-up

Department of Conservation bucks the trend within the public sector

As stability returns to many industries in New Zealand, the Public sector is increasingly becoming less appealing to potential employees.

The Randstad Award employer branding research shows that the attractiveness of the public sector has declined for the third consecutive year. When asked, only 25.83% of respondents said they would like to work for organisations in the sector, a substantial drop from 28.93% in 2013, and down from last year’s result of 26.03%. Country Manager of Randstad New Zealand, Brien Keegan, believes the drop in attractiveness of the public sector can be explained by changes in New Zealand’s economy.

“At the height of the Global Financial Crisis, many potential employees believed the public sector could provide long-term job security at a time when many industries within the private sector were facing cut-backs. As a result, we saw an increase in the attractiveness of the sector with many people actively pursuing roles in the public sector over those in the private sector.”

Despite a drop in attractiveness, a public sector organisation won this year’s Randstad Award, which recognises the most attractive employer in New Zealand. The Department of Conservation moved from their third place ranking last year to take home the supreme award, beating off strong opposition from last year’s winner, TVNZ, who came in second place and the New Zealand Customs Service in third place.
The research found that the Department of Conservation scored very highly when it came to providing a pleasant working atmosphere, good work-life balance, interesting job content and being environmentally and socially aware.

"The Department of Conversation has set the benchmark for the private and public sector alike, in New Zealand's employer brand landscape,” says Brien Keegan. “A natural connection to corporate social responsibility, strong leadership, and an opportunity to contribute to the prosperity of New Zealand, has proven to be a winning combination in the market, enabling the organisation to attract the best talent.”

In spite of a drop in attractiveness during the past few years, the public sector still has many appealing attributes for potential employees. The research, from HR and recruitment experts Randstad, found that the public sector scored highly when it came to showing concern for the environment and society, providing long-term job security and good training.

The research also revealed that North Islanders are more interested in the public sector than their South Island counterparts, as are those with a Master’s degree or higher.

Five years since the first Randstad employer survey was undertaken, the most important criteria for New Zealanders when choosing an employer continues to be salary and employee benefits, according to 21% of respondents. This was followed by pleasant working atmosphere (10%), good work-life balance (10%), long-term job security (12%) and interesting job content (11%).

The Randstad Award

First launched in Belgium in 2000, the Randstad Award will be hosted in 23 countries around the world including, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Spain and the Netherlands capturing the perceptions of 225,000 potential job seekers. The Randstad Award is totally unique in this market as it’s based on public perception – 7,975 New Zealanders of working age. Organisations are unable to nominate themselves or determine categories or criteria for entry as it’s based on the largest 150 employers in New Zealand, by employee size. For further information visit​.

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Posted: Thursday, 6 August 2015 - 1:22 PM