31 May

Facing the Future: See the Results of IPAC's New Professionals Survey

Exploring the Recruitment and Retention of New Public Servants in Canada

There is a growing concern that Canada’s public sector may be falling short of attracting and retaining the best and brightest to its ranks. Some perceive that the newest (and often youngest) recruits to public service are less passionate about their jobs and may be less committed to sticking around. This could hinder succession planning and limit our capacity to bring new and innovative approaches to the work that we do. A recent IPAC survey of new public servants offers fresh insights and helps to dispel some of these perceptions.
We found that new public servants are committed to making a difference in the lives of others and are also attracted to government work because it offers an island of stability and a more attractive work/life balance. Many recent entrants also found that their education was a good fit with their new job. However, many newcomers were not happy with the recruitment process itself and felt there was a lack of support for career development once they were in the job. It also appears that the Canadian public service has trouble with retention, especially for the long term (more than 10 years). New public servants also expressed concern that there were limited opportunities for innovation and working horizontally.
Strengthening in the areas of recruitment, onboarding, recognition, and career planning stand to significantly improve the perceptions of new public servants about their workplace.

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