Where to invest in people and technology

Tech transformation continues to be a key priority for the public sector. There are many reasons for this, including heightened scrutiny around the use of public funds amid economic tightening, and growing demand for more streamlined and digitalised services. As ministers and senior leaders implement cost-saving measures, technology represents perhaps the greatest opportunity to improve efficiency. 

The use cases are almost endless, from increasing operational functionality so that public sector workers can focus on higher-level tasks, to standardising and harmonising fragmented processes. Accordingly, the rise in demand for tech talent in the sector – particularly software engineers, data analysts, and transformation experts – has been astronomical.

So, how can public sector organisations access the in-demand technology talent they need? Here, we’ll be sharing some the strategies Page Outsourcing uses to connect high calibre tech professionals with public sector organisations. 

Overcoming the salary gap between the public and private sectors

Technology skills are in huge demand across all sectors and there is a finite pool of candidates – securing the best talent is difficult for all employers. The public sector is at a disadvantage, however, because it tends to offer lower salaries (though typically much higher benefits and pensions) than the private sector. While the generous benefits in the public sector make up some of the difference, the cost-of-living crisis has meant that most candidates are focused on what they will get to take home each month. 

While the salary gap is a challenge, it is not insurmountable. With many big tech firms making lay-offs, the stability of a public sector career could be tempting. We are also seeing more and more companies calling employees back into the office, which is unappealing to many tech professionals and reduces disposable income. The fully remote and hybrid options provided by the public sector may be attractive – as detailed in our latest market report, Talent Trends 2023: The Invisible Revolution, candidates from a range of backgrounds see work-life balance as equally important to remuneration. 

Ultimately, building a leading Employee Value Proposition is not easy and requires expert guidance if you want to access those high value tech professionals not currently seeking new roles. At Page Outsourcing, and the wider PageGroup, we always prioritise boosting the brands of the employers we work with, from setting up dedicated microsites to launching devoted digital marketing campaigns. This way, we are able to deploy the necessary resources to maximise the visibility of clients' vacancies, while enabling the them to retain control over the project.  

Changing perceptions: From slow-paced to quickly transforming

The tech sector is fast moving; candidates are keen to work with the best and latest technologies, and to progress quickly in their careers. This can present challenges for the public sector, which is often perceived to have adopted fewer technological innovations and to offer limited, slower-paced progression opportunities.

However, the sector is now at a point where it is actively implementing new and transformational technologies, giving tech candidates the opportunity to genuinely change the face of this space, and to reshape how it uses tech to manage policy more effectively.

Engaging tech talent means finding candidates who are motivated by making a difference. We have built a network of candidates across multiple tech specialisms who currently work in the public sector. This means they are already aware of the public sector’s ways of working, salaries, and progression opportunities, and are more likely to share its values. 

Our deep experience working with technology professionals in the private sector enables us to tap into this dynamic talent pool when working with public sector clients. At the same time, we are able to embed consultants within your organisation to deliver outcome based projects and also a bespoke hire-train-deploy offering.

How is Page Outsourcing’s talent proposition different?

Page Outsourcing is a unique offering of the FTSE-250 recruitment consultancy PageGroup. Our services are specifically tailored for larger and more complex employers with more dependencies on contingent workforces. By bringing together a variety of service lines under a single offering, our outsourced recruitment and talent management solutions provide public sector clients with unparalleled flexibility, efficiencies, and control over the process. 

Here are just a few of the benefits our clients enjoy:

  1. Streamlining. We dramatically simplify our clients’ hiring and workforce management. For example, some of our clients had previously spent years using multiple agencies to manage teams of temporary workers, generating hundreds or even thousands of purchase orders. By partnering with Page Outsourcing, they were able to either use us as a third party to manage their suppliers, or access talent directly through our networks. 
  2. Reduce your administrative burden. With a more streamlined approach comes a significant reduction of administrative tasks. Page Outsourcing takes these onerous and often fragmented elements of workforce management away from overstretched HR teams. Plus, our specialist Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Client Solutions Team helps clients to tackle growing HR challenges related to DE&I, while other dedicated offerings prioritise issues around social value.
  3. Reinvestment of HR resources. Once a more efficient process is in place, our clients are able to reinvest resource into other core human resources activities like compensation and benefits analysis, training and development, and employee retention.
  4. Compliance. Page Outsourcing are on the CCS and ESPO Frameworks and are fully approved to provide permanent and temporary staff across departments and specialisms. We are audited by the CCS frequently and are well-versed in the systems and processes in place, while also having our own audit team specifically for public sector roles. Page Outsourcings also facilitates compliant routes to market through our frameworks director, who works with clients to enable quick and easy engagement.
  5. Value add services. Page Outsourcing works closely with our Page Consulting division to deliver digital transformation for public sector clients and help them develop employee value propositions optimised to attract tech professionals. From the Hire-Train-Deploy programme to a full digital transformation consultancy offering, Page Consulting takes our clients to the next level of talent optimisation. 

With offices across the UK, we are able to put forward local candidates for in-person interviews or deliver at scale from anywhere in the country. We offer true pan-UK coverage and are ready to fulfil the recruitment needs of employers across the entire public sector. 

What’s next?

For more information on tech sector roles, check out our 2023 guide to salaries and outsourced recruitment, which has a breakdown by average salaries in the private sector, hiring trends, and candidate motivations. 

And if you are investing in your department’s tech transformation, our team will be able to help. We also offer up to a day free of charge to undertake discovery, which can be done on site or via video call. Get in touch with the team today for an introductory conversation.

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