Making a career in the public sector an attractive proposition

Government agencies may need to improve their brand image to attract such talents, says Kit Foong, Regional Director at Universum Global.

By Nayela Deeba
Dec. 19, 2016

Since young Singaporeans are keen to work for the public sector upon graduation, government agencies should consider revising their brand image in order to attract such talents, said Kit Foong, Regional Director at Universum Global.

He explained to the delegates at the GCIO Forum 2016 that graduates are looking for employers with a good reputation that provide a friendly work environment and culture, as well as offer good remuneration and job advancement opportunities.

Graduates' perception of jobs in the public and private sectors

Universum's survey revealed that local graduates believe that jobs in the public sector do not provide a sustainable work-life balance due to the rigid work hours. Most also agree that such jobs do not provide opportunities to move up the career ladder due to a "scholar-driven" environment.

On the other hand, respondents perceived the private sector as unstable due to the possibility of being laid off when the company is facing heavy losses, and having an overly-competitive culture.

The survey also revealed that graduates who prefer jobs in the public sector are driven by corporate social responsibility and ethical standards. Meanwhile, the private sector appeals to graduates who wish to earn high salaries or have the entrepreneurial mindset and aims to run their own company in future.

Importance of a brand image

As quoted by Sir Terence Patrick Leahy, Former CEO of Tesco: "Your employer brand isn't what you say it is; it's what people tell you it is."

Therefore, Foong urged organisations - be it those in the public or private sectors - to establish their image and maintain a good culture. He quoted 'promise of a brand', which indicated that the employer experience for most graduates depended on the reputation of the company.

"[Even if] you are not recruiters or in HR, you [should] make sure your organisation has a distinct proposition to appeal to young talents," concluded Foong. 

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