For those familiar with NEOGOV’s invigorating user conference at The Mirage in Las Vegas, this year’s user conference looked a little different. No less exciting, but safer in the time of the Coronavirus pandemic, NEOGOV’s 20th annual Connect user conference went virtual for the first time.
Attracting enough qualified applicants to public sector positions can be challenging. While many applicants are drawn by the prospect of doing meaningful work and supporting their communities, public sector roles are often overlooked by applicants in search of perks the private sector can offer.
In addition to health concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upheaval of the public sector job market that has left many workers uncertain about their future. With massive layoffs and a hiring freeze, the US unemployment rate increased to 14.4% in April, the highest since World War II.
According to our survey of 23,310 job seekers between April and June of 2020, 51% reported their job status had changed as a result of the pandemic. The top three reasons that caused a job status change were involuntary, including being laid off (32%), reduced working hours (25%), and being furloughed (18%).
NEOGOV’s partnership with 40+ vendors provides our customers with access to a marketplace of solutions that integrate directly with the NEOGOV platform to allow for seamless sharing of data across systems. We have already facilitated over 1,000 integrations and continue to partner with vendors to offer more solutions to support the entire employee lifestyle.
The unexpected disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic caused many organizations to work remotely for the safety of their workforce. When we asked HR teams whether their teams moved to remote work at some point during the pandemic, 93% said they had. Despite a lack of preparedness, the majority we surveyed back in May found that with flexibility, resourcefulness, and a ton of support from their IT departments, they managed to adjust and persevere.
As American society faces a new reckoning around the subject of discrimination and harassment, government bodies are looking for ways to remedy these problems with legislation. One such topic being addressed by state and local laws in the wake of the #MeToo movement is sexual harassment training, with several states and one major city enacting policies that require employers to ensure their employees are getting this important education and training.
By now, all 50 U.S. states as well as territories have been allocated federal funding in the form of the CARES Act, signed into law back in March in order to help American citizens, businesses, institutions, and local agencies recover from COVID-19 related struggles. The chunk of this $2 trillion bill that is dedicated to helping local government agencies, tribal government agencies, and colleges and universities is referred to as the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
If you are like me, you are more than just a bit off balance with all that is going on in the world. At the end of 2019, things were moving along at a nice clip and we were all excited about the prospect of a robust 2020 -- and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit with a ferocity that we had never seen or could have even imagined. Then, we all saw the senseless murder of George Floyd and other Black civilians replayed over and over across media outlets. As a result, the world exploded into a chaos that is at once compelling and traumatizing, one which many of us still have trouble processing. The issue of race relations and racial injustice symbolized by the Black Lives Matter protests have put issues we have historically been ill-equipped to deal with squarely in our sights.
As public sector and higher education organizations plan to send their workforces back to the office post-pandemic, many safety precautions will have to be taken into consideration to mitigate the risk for employees. In particular, conceding that COVID-19 is likely not going away -- at least not completely -- means that organizations may have to step in when local health departments are unable to do so. Automation of these processes can help reduce the danger of disease-spreading while also tracking crucial information that impacts the safety and health of the entire organization. Among the new processes organizations will need to introduce, contact tracing ranks high on the list.
At the current time, our nation has the largest expanse of generations in the workplace than at any other point in time in our history. As a result, the opportunity for misunderstandings and tensions in the workplace is at an all-time high. If we are to achieve the goals we have identified and continue to provide for the well-being of our agencies, it is imperative that we pay close attention to this generational divide. Whether you’re currently working in the office or remotely, there’s a good chance your workforce spans a large range of age groups, and taking stock of that will help your agency succeed regardless of where you’re working from.