The top five things to look for in an employer within the public sector

In a candidate short market, those looking for a new opportunity are able to carefully research an organisation and its values, to find a position that’s most suitable to them.

While employers carefully state what they look for in a potential employee, there's often a lack of recognition that employees have their own set of criteria that they are searching for.

It seems that when looking for a new opportunity, salary is no longer the most important factor, with benefits and company culture growing in importance. Certainly, within public sector roles, candidates apply for a position that contributes to their local community.

With a number of opportunities available within the public sector, we take a look at the top five things to look for in an employer.

1. Career development & potential for growth

For many, a career is a place that they can grow both professionally and personally. If this is important to you, it’s right that you look for position in an organisation where development and growth plans are offered. This indicates that employers will invest in you and offer a clear vision, with career progression.

Within the public sector, there are many different roles and programmes available, giving you the opportunity to continually learn and develop within the same organisation.

2. Work/life balance

If you want to enjoy your career but not let it take over your life, it’s important to look for an organisation that promotes a good work/life balance.

Employers must recognise that if employees are overloaded they are likely to burn out and not perform to the best of their abilities. Expectations must be managed and allow time for other responsibilities, relationships and roles outside of the workplace. Many public sector organisations, including ours, offer agile working and flexi-time to ensure optimum performance.

3. Culture & environment

While a good job package and incentives may be one of the most appealing factors, you may be looking for something beyond monetary compensation. A good culture and work environment can determine the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of an employee. With this in mind, it may be beneficial to find an organisation with a healthy, positive and encouraging environment.

4. Values & Vision

Values and vision are one of the core driving factors within the public sector, so finding an organisation that has similar values to you would create a sense of belonging.

It’s important to ask yourself, does the organisation have the principles that you not only respect but believe in? Working towards the vision of the organisation is the main driver and something that you should be on board with to gain a fulfilled experience within the workplace.

5. Leadership

The leader of an organisation has a huge impact on culture and the direction of the business. With this in mind, finding an organisation with a leader that shares similar ethics to yours is crucial.

This is an important time for the public sector, with a lot of transformation projects being undertaken. Having leadership or individuals within an organisation who mentor, advise, instruct, and encourage their employees along the way greatly benefits both the culture fit and the role execution of new employees.

We believe that the above five points are important for a positive and thriving career within the public sector and implement them within our workplace.

If you are interested in a role with Oxfordshire County Council, please visit https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/jobs