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Why candidates move from the private to the public sector

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Why candidates move from the private to the public sector
Sam Wilson, The 29th of July, 2016

It is a common misconception that because Jobsgopublic.com is a dedicated public sector jobs board, our audience is exclusively people currently working in the public sector. Many people are surprised to discover that approximately a third of our audience work in the private sector. These people use our services in order to find an opportunity to switch into the public. Traffic from private sector candidates continues to grow year on year,this looks set to only continue to rise.

Many might think that the logical switch would be in the other direction. Those in public sector are expected to trade their council offices for the shiny prosperity of the private sector. However, the lure of the public sector has never been greater. We are finding an ever-growing numbers of candidates surrendering to it.

So what is it about the public sector that makes it so appealing to those in the private?

Joanne, 24 from London, cited the training and development opportunities as a huge draw.

“I started my Marketing career in a graduate position with a large agency. I learnt a lot in my first year, after that point there weren’t a huge amount of opportunities to learn new skills. It was very much expected to stick to what was required for my role.

I started to become worried that this might impact my prospects for progression. Talking to a family friend who worked for a London borough council, he told me about all the training that had been made available to him. He’d also been given loads of opportunities to branch out.

I began looking around and found my current position, I’ve been here for about 18 months now and it has been absolutely fantastic. I’ve learnt so much and have an incredibly inspiring manager. She has helped me identify the direction I want my career to go in and how to achieve it. I’ve done a number of training courses and it has helped me grow significantly. I’m so happy I made the switch.”

Ian, 43 from the Midlands, says that the opportunity to contribute and make a genuine difference to a community was what drew him to the public sector.

“I worked for my previous company for around eight years and for the most part enjoyed the work. There were times, however, where it felt a little soulless.

The projects I was involved in were almost exclusively development projects for large corporations. Whilst I was proud of the work, it often felt a bit empty. I began looking for something else and found an opportunity within the city council. It involved taking a pay cut but after meeting with them I got excited about the prospect of having a positive impact on the local communities.

I’m so glad I did it. So much of the work I do leaves me feeling so good. You get the chance to make a real difference. There’s nothing better than going to visit the completed developments and seeing the positive influence they’re having.”

Jenny, 37 from Liverpool, chose the public sector when returning to work after having children. The opportunities for flexible working and a better work life balance were the influencing factors for her, allowing to spend time with her young family.

“My previous job was so demanding, a 60-70 hour week was nothing out of the ordinary and my personal life so often had to take a back seat. I’m incredibly lucky to have an incredibly understanding and patient partner. Once I became pregnant, we agreed that there was no way that I would be able to sustain this kind of working life. Spending time with my children in those early years was incredibly important to me.

I quit my job when my son was born and took three years off, during which time I had another child. It reached a point where I was ready to go back to work but had no desire to go back to my previous lifestyle. Talking to a friend, she pointed out that her organisation offered flexible working and encouraged a healthy work life balance.

An opportunity came up and, with her putting in a good word for me, I got it. The culture and expectations couldn’t be more different than my last position. I’m home every night in time to give my kids a bath and put them to bed. Flexible working means that I can take every other Friday off to spend with them.”

These are just a selection of the stories that we hear from candidates that have made the switch having found opportunities through Jobsgopublic. Speaking to them provides us with a clear insight into what motivates them to make these moves. This makes it easier for us to give them what they want.

The advantages for public sector organisations taking on private sector candidates are significant. The increasing demand for commercial acumen and digital services are amongst a variety of challenges faced by public sector organisations. These can be alleviated through recruiting those with skills more often developed within the private sector.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you attract and recruit private sector candidates looking to make the transition that more and more are making.

How can we help?

Let us know how best to contact you and one of our recruitment experts will be in touch.

If you are a candidate having trouble applying for a vacancy or require any other kind of technical support, please contact our Support team via support@jobsgopublic.com