Council Hiring is Recovering – Now is the Time to Consider a Career in Local Government

It’s no secret that recruitment has ground to a halt over the past few months as countries and governments have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with lock-downs and stay-at-home orders. Lives have been permanently disrupted and local government hiring mostly screeched to a halt. As Australia navigates its way out of this public health and economic crisis, we’re starting to see good signs of recovery in the Council job market.

As you can see in the chart below, the number of vacancies in Local Government Australia-wide fell of a cliff in April as stay-at-home policies took full effect. Since mid-April, we’ve been following a slow but steady recovery. As of July 1st, the number of nationwide vacancies is up to 80% of its pre-pandemic average. With the Federal Government recently announcing $1.8 billion in Local Government funding for infrastructure projects, we’re optimistic about the future in local government.

Of course, the future is uncertain and there’s no guarantee that other states won’t experience a second lock-down like Victoria has, but there are signs of an economic recovery in recent weeks. Council hiring is accelerating as the uncertain future becomes slightly clearer each day. Maybe it’s time to start searching for the right Council opportunity to jump-start your career in local government?


The Benefits of a Career in Local Government

While companies worldwide are turning to remote work and flexible work arrangements to continue operations in line with reopening policies, many local governments are a step ahead having already embraced remote and flexible working arrangements. Parents needing to leave early to pick up kids from school and employees seeking flexibility have long turned to Councils to find the role that fits their needs.

In our Future of Council Recruitment Report in 2019, 59% of job-seekers indicated that workplace flexibility was a high priority in their local government job search. Given the events of last few months, we might expect that number to be even higher if we were to conduct the survey now. The state of the labour market has transformed in 2020 and companies worldwide are switching to permanent Work from Home policies, so we can only expect that more and more job-seekers will be prioritising flexibility in their search.

Councils have also been leading the way in adapting workplace policies to ensure the safety of their employees. While some Councils have been resistant to change, Councils with large numbers of outdoor workers have adapted rapidly to ensure those who can’t Work from Home, are able to return to their workplace with effective sanitisation and social distancing protocols. By reducing team sizes and protecting at-risk employees, many Councils have adapted their policies to ensure they can return to work on key projects safely and effectively.

Though Councils haven’t just led the way in adapting to a new-normal, they’ve long been heralded for their job security. While decision-makers must respond to sales pressure and shareholder priorities in the private sector, Councils are traditionally more friendly to employees looking for a long-term employer. Once again, job security was a high priority in our 2019 Future of Council Recruitment Report, with 51% of jobseekers indicating it was a top three priority for them in their job search.

Finally, it’s undeniable that Australia faces a long road to economic recovery. What’s even more undeniable is how critical local governments will be in the country’s recovery. Local governments are not just responsible for essential public services such as libraries and parks, but they’re also a key driver of regional economic development and community support. With 36% of our job-seekers searching for a local government role for the meaningful impact they can have, it’s a safe bet that you can have a powerful impact on your local community in a local government role.


Time to Future-Proof Your Career

As Australia navigates the muddy waters of a new-normal, an economic recovery and an uncertain future, now is the time to consider making the switch to a career in Local Government. With strong flexible working arrangements, workplace flexibility and the potential for a meaningful impact in your community, Council Jobs are becoming more appealing by the day.

Perhaps you’re a civil engineer and have never considered a career in local government, or maybe you’re an administration expert who has been thinking about making the switch for years. The benefits are clear, and they’ve never been more relevant. Local governments are leading the way in Australia’s economic recovery and they need talented employees to continue the impactful work of LG’s nationwide.

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