Redefining public sector employer brands: Promoting your local authority as a workplace with purpose
Alexa Bradbury

6 minutes

Redefining public sector employer brands: Promoting your local authority as a workplace with purpose

The public sector is facing a staffing crisis of attracting and retaining talent in a competitive market. Well publicised budget cuts, staff shortages, and increasing demand means that many local authorities are struggling to showcase their employer value proposition and stand out from other sectors.  

However, there is an opportunity to leverage the unique mission, impact and purpose of public service to create strong employer brands that appeal to current and potential employees.  

What is employer branding? 

Employer branding is the process of creating and communicating a positive and distinctive image of an organisation as an employer. It aims to attract, engage, and retain the most suitable, best talent whilst also building trust and loyalty among existing employees. 

Addressing 2024’s talent challenges in UK local authorities 

One thing is certain in 2024: Local authorities in the UK are facing unprecedented challenges in delivering public services and meeting the needs of their communities.  

When it comes to talent, compliance, driving cost savings, and planning the future of the workplace, a strategic partnership is an ideal solution to drive optimal performance and return on talent investment during difficult times 

Why does employer branding matter for the public sector? 

Employer branding is relevant for both the private and public sectors. A report from LinkedIn stated that 75% of job seekers consider an employer's brand before applying for a job, and 83% of employers say that employer branding helps them hire faster and reduce costs 

For the public sector, employer branding can help address some of the specific challenges it faces, such as: 

  • Diversity: The public sector has a responsibility to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves and to ensure equal opportunities for all. Employer branding can help the public sector attract and retain a more diverse workforce by showcasing its commitment to inclusion, equity, and belonging, and by highlighting the stories and perspectives of its diverse employees.

Employer branding can help the public sector improve employee engagement and retention by creating a sense of pride, identity, and belonging among employees, and by recognising and rewarding their contributions and achievements. 

How can local authorities promote their workplace with meaning? 

Local authorities are at the forefront of delivering public services that make a difference in people's lives. From education and health to housing and environment, local authorities have a direct impact on the well-being and prosperity of their communities.  

However, many local authorities struggle to communicate their value proposition as employers and to highlight their workplace with meaning and purpose. Here are some tips on how local authorities can improve their employer branding and attract and retain talent: 

Define your employer brand  

Start by describing what makes your local authority an attractive employer. What do you stand for, aim for, and excel at? What do you offer and how do you help your employees grow? How do you create a good and diverse work environment? These are some of the questions you need to answer to establish your employer brand and communicate a strong and coherent message that appeals to your potential candidates. 

Demonstrate your impact 

Show how local authority work matters and connects with your employer brand. Use facts, stories, feedback, and examples to show how your local authority helps your citizens and stakeholders. Emphasise the results and successes of your work, and the difficulties and possibilities you encounter. Display the variety and difficulty of your work and how it provides valuable and satisfying careers for your employees. 

Engage your workforce 

Engage and enable employees to be representatives of your employer brand. Your employees are your most valuable and trustworthy resource, as they can offer their genuine and personal stories of working for your local authority.  

Motivate your employees to take part in employer branding activities, such as social media, events, webinars, blogs, and videos. Invite them to give feedback, ideas, and testimonials on your employer brand. Appreciate and reward your employees for their efforts and accomplishments and celebrate their diversity and individuality. 

Optimise your channels  

Use a variety of online and offline channels, such as your website, social media, email, newsletters, brochures, posters, or banners, to communicate and promote your employer brand effectively. Make sure your channels are easy to use, accessible, and updated frequently. Use elements that appeal to the eye and the mind to attract and engage your audiences. Track and evaluate the results and impact of your channels and change your strategy as needed. 

Employer branding with Comensura 

Employer branding is not a one-off project, but a continuous process that requires commitment, collaboration, and creativity. Comensura work with local authorities on an ongoing basis, redefining and promoting employer brand, positioning local authorities as a workplace with meaning and attracting and retaining the talent needed to deliver excellent public services. 

Use Advanced Direct Sourcing to activate your employer brand and build talent communities 

Comensura's end-to-end Advanced direct sourcing solution activates your employer brand and EVP to attract, curate and engage talent communities unique to you, to support repeatable hiring requirements. 

Our approach is not reliant on technology alone. It’s a holistic, integrated solution that includes talent marketing and talent delivery expertise - underpinned by the latest technology. We work in partnership with you to develop a bespoke direct sourcing strategy and build talent communities. Find out more here  

Interested in regular updates on how to make your local authority a workplace of choice? Follow us on LinkedIn. 

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