Attracting top talent in the government and defence sectors is a challenging task that organisations worldwide are facing. In the UK, government and defence agencies are no exception. However, there are various recruitment trends, such as diversifying the workforce, upskilling employees, and modernising the recruitment process, which can provide answers to some of these challenges. Despite efforts, many still struggle to attract the best talent. Where can you focus your recruitment efforts to ensure you are attracting top talent in the government and defence sectors?
Unlocking the benefit of a diverse workforce
Diversity plays a crucial role in government and defence agencies, as well as many other industries across the globe. Research by Harvard Business Review showed that 86% of employees that a diverse workforce is crucial. In the UK, there has been a concerted effort to increase diversity, within the government and defence sectors. The Civil Service reports a significant increase in ethnic minority staff members, up from 4.9% in 2010 to 15% in 2022. Additionally, women now account for 54.5% of the service. Similarly, there has been an increase of those declaring themselves as having a disability which now stands at 14%.
To promote equal opportunities, organisations have implemented initiatives and unconscious bias training. Increased diversity offers numerous benefits, including improved problem-solving, creativity, innovation, positive organisational culture, and enhanced reputation. McKinsey found that companies with gender diversity in the top quartile were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.
Increase interest and retention with upskilling
The demand for upskilling employees in government and defence sectors is rising due to technological innovations. With a current skills gap in these industries, providing employees with necessary skills through training and development opportunities enhances the appeal of a role in terms of both acquisition and retention. This is shown in the Censuswide survey which showed that 67% of employees believed that opportunities to upskill their skills would help them achieve their career goals. Offering access to training and development opportunities increases job satisfaction and employee retention rates. Upskilling also improves organisational productivity, efficiency, and can lead to cost savings. Research suggests that over a four-year period, a company with 30,000 employees could potentially save between £75 million and £115 million by upskilling current employees into the roles they need to be filled.
Modernising the recruitment process
Modernising the recruitment process is crucial for government and defence agencies to attract top talent and remain competitive. Utilising online platforms, social media, and advanced recruitment technologies, such as AI and machine learning, can significantly improve outreach and candidate selection. Agencies can reach a wider audience through online platforms, connecting with candidates who may not have considered a career in government or defence. AI and machine learning can streamline hiring processes, saving recruiters time and effort. This is true within the UK defence sector where it is reported that the average advertising spend per armed forces recruit is ten times higher than that of NHS England per new nurse and seven times higher than the Department of Education spend per new teacher.
The UK Ministry of Defence have successfully used social media platforms to target younger audiences and improve diversity in the military. Additionally, the UK defence sector has also developed recruitment strategies encompassing AI tools, with the Royal Navy using AI to aid their recruitment process.
Maximising your recruitment success
To attract top talent, job adverts should be crafted with inclusive language that avoids jargon, which can be off-putting to potential candidates. A study by Milkround found that 71% of people can be discouraged from applying for jobs because of jargon. There has also been a shift in these sectors with regard to offering flexible working arrangements, such as remote work or job sharing, which can be an effective way to increase the appeal of a role. According the Behavioural Insights Team, adverts offering flexible working attracted up to 30% more applicants.
If you're looking to attract top talent in the government and defence sectors, focusing your recruitment efforts on key areas can make all the difference. At Electus, we believe in staying ahead of the curve by embracing current recruitment trends.
As a trusted and responsive recruitment agency, our aim is to make the hiring process as easy and fast as possible for our clients. With our extensive network of candidates and customised recruitment services, we've become known as the go-to recruiter for FTSE 100 companies, global organisations, engineering and technical consultancies, and SMEs in the UK and beyond. Our expertise lies in recruiting for sensitive organisations and providing access to a wide range of candidates who hold current DV, SC, CTC, or NATO security clearances.