Attracting Specialized Candidates to Public Sector Jobs 

public sector jobs

Filling vacant job roles with high-quality talent is a struggle in all industries—and public sector positions have heavy competition when it comes to candidate recruitment. 

Adding to the challenge is the complexity of hiring for roles that require expertise in detecting healthcare fraud, waste and abuse (FWA), such as medical reviewers, investigators or auditors. 

In order to attract this specialized talent, you first need to address the challenges often found in public sector hiring and appeal to the unique company cultural aspects of working for an organization with a built-in sense of mission and purpose. 

Appeal to mission 

Even if public sector jobs could compete financially with private sector opportunities, they still must compete with the desirability of “trendier” organizations. 

Your mission is what sets you apart—and it will attract those candidates who believe in and want to be part of that mission. Show potential hires what you do, and how it makes an impact on real people and real issues. Give them a chance to make a strong connection to your mission and build on the idea of working for a great cause. 

If it’s between a position with a great cause or one that offers a bowling alley in the break room, you want the candidates who choose the cause. So, promote that mission loud and clear—highlight blogs, videos and other consumable media on your careers page, and encourage current employees to share their stories as well. 

Enhanced hiring process 

It takes 98.3 days on average to hire a federal position—much too long for today’s top talent. 

STAT: Top prospect candidates are off the market in 10 days. 

 (, 2019)? 

In a tight labor market, putting candidates through an almost 100-day hiring process is a lose-lose situation. Public sector positions seek to recruit a younger demographic, but that young talent cannot afford to wait and sustain themselves for 3-4 months waiting to hear if they have a job. The result is the loss of candidates to faster-hiring processes and a staggeringly low percentage of federal employees under the age of 30. 

STAT: 8.3% of federal employees are under 30.  

(White House, 2022)

It is critical for the public sector to make the application process user-friendly with consistent and timely communication, mobile-friendly sites and apps. No applicant should feel as though their resume fell into a black hole. 

STAT: 60% of job applicants have quit an application process midway because?of its length and complexity. (, 2021)? 

In addition to considering the use of a talent firm that speeds up and improves the hiring process, it is also up to the hiring manager to work to improve interdisciplinary relationships within the organization to help smooth the transition for a new hire.  


Most people know that public sector jobs may not compete financially with salary at the beginning of a career. However, if candidates are impressed with the hiring process and drawn to the mission, they may consider a lower-paying offer with competitive benefits and increased salary as their tenure continues. One of the government’s best hiring assets is its stability—which is very enticing for those looking for long-lasting job security. 

It’s hard, but worth the effort  

There is not a magical answer to the problem of attracting specialized candidates to public sector jobs. Transforming your workforce and hiring success requires future thinking, time and persistence. 

Start hiring differently today. Commit to enhanced standards to expedite the hiring process and continue to highlight the purpose behind the work your organization is responsible for. Show your commitment to modernization and make your progress visible.  

Soon, you will attract those high-quality, specialized candidates because you focus on the appeal to the mission, offer enhanced hiring processes and competitive benefits, and leverage your current expertise. 

Intara Talent helps fill specialized public sector roles with highly qualified candidates. Contact us today to learn how we can help.