How 7 Local & State Governments Used Recruiting Software to Transform Hiring

by Mike Tannian on June 04, 2024

If your agency struggles to recruit and retain employees, learn how government recruiting software empowers your team to do more with less.

Article Highlights:

Staffing shortages continue to plague the public sector. But even as government HR struggles to find qualified candidates, they also have to stem the flow of employee turnover. 

A 2023 survey of 779 HR professionals shed some light on the challenge. Nearly 71% of respondents are experiencing staffing shortages, with the majority reporting 6-10% of their jobs unfilled.

Staffing shortages put additional pressure on existing staff, increasing overtime and causing a reduction in services. Eventually, this strain leads to more turnover. 

How can government agencies break the cycle? Say goodbye to time-consuming, manual processes and hello to recruitment process automation. 

Recruiting software lets you accomplish more in less time and with fewer resources. Many state and local governments have implemented recruiting software with transformative results. In this article, we’ll explore how seven government agencies solved their biggest recruiting challenges with recruitment technology. Before diving into case studies, however, let’s look at how to get started and the software available.

How to Automate Recruitment Processes

Whether it’s an over-reliance on paper-based processes or long and drawn out hiring processes (leading to candidates dropping out of the pipeline), automation helps solve these problems. It works faster and more effectively with minimal oversight. This frees you and your staff from tedious tasks so you can focus on more important things like employee engagement, employer branding, etc.

Government recruiting software is the best way to automate the recruitment process. There are tools for sourcing candidates, managing the candidate relationship, tracking applicants through the hiring process, and onboarding new hires. 

NEOGOV provides each of these software solutions and more. With NEOGOV’s recruiting software, you can choose the single tool you need most or get multiple tools to streamline the end-to-end hiring process.

With limited budgets, procuring recruiting software may feel more like a dream than a real possibility. It’s important to note, however, that the benefits outweigh the cost. Let’s look at the real-life benefits of recruitment process automation.

Benefits of Automating Recruitment Process

Government recruitment software eases the burden on existing staff. From sourcing qualified candidates to tracking them through the hiring process, it streamlines recruitment workflows so you can accomplish more with the employees you already have. 

Now, let’s look at the challenges of several government agencies and how they used recruiting software to solve them.


The State of West Virginia

ChallengesAttract-Virtual Recruiter-Screenshot

From 2020 to 2022, the number of unfilled state jobs in West Virginia grew by nearly 50% (to over 500). To make matters worse, the number of applicants during that same time decreased by 40%. The shortage was most severe among correctional officers and nurses, putting extra pressure on them and increasing the risk of burnout.


With Attract, NEOGOV’s candidate relationship management software, West Virginia increased their pool of qualified applicants exponentially. They reached over 150,000 potential candidates with targeted email campaigns and Virtual Recruiter (part of the Attract feature set). Over 3,800 job seekers responded or expressed interest in their open roles.

With a much larger pool of potential applicants, and user-friendly tools that share the benefits of working for the state, West Virginia was able to hire eight correctional officers and 15 nurses in just two months.


Pueblo County, CO


In the past few years, thousands of people have applied for jobs at Pueblo County. This created a natural pool of candidates any time a new position was posted, but the HR team had no easy way to reach out to them. 

Not only that, their careers page needed updating. It didn’t provide important information about each department, the benefits of working for Pueblo County, or a way to connect with hiring managers. Despite their best intentions, HR had to rely on IT to edit their careers page, which delayed critical updates.


Thanks to Attract by NEOGOV, Pueblo County was able to expand their recruitment outreach to over 8,000 more potential candidates. Now, previous applicants are organized into pools based on their skills and experience. Virtual Recruiter then automatically emails the candidate database when they are eligible for a position that is posted.

Furthermore, Pueblo County HR can now create and edit department-specific career pages in minutes – no IT needed. Job seekers also have the ability to learn about the benefits of the specific department they are applying for, as well access the necessary contact information.

The State of Iowa


The State of Iowa struggled to find qualified candidates for hard-to-fill roles. Recruiters were frustrated with manual efforts that didn’t work and crucial jobs were left unfilled.

In addition, it was hard for the state to efficiently connect with job seekers they met at career fairs and events. They used spreadsheets and paper to collect candidate information, which made it difficult to follow up. Spreadsheets could be saved to personal computers and inaccessible to others, and paper could easily be damaged, misplaced, or ineligible.


NEOGOV’s Attract software saves Iowa recruiters time with personalized outreach to candidates in bulk. The State used automated email campaigns to inform job seekers about open roles, resulting in a 63% email open rate and a 17% application submission rate.

Attract also allows candidates to scan a QR code with their mobile device to submit an online form of interest. The system automatically adds them to an event candidate pool for quick and easy follow up about opportunities.


City of Portland, OR


Due to the disorganization and inefficiency of manual, paper-based processes, the City of Portland was taking too long to fill positions – 111 days on average. With over 6,000 total positions across the city, the HR department knew they needed to streamline the hiring process.


Since implementing Insight, NEOGOV’s applicant tracking system, the City of Portland has seen a 31.5% reduction in their time-to-hire. The City is now hiring at an average of 76 days, well below the national public sector average.

The City no longer jumps through hoops to run reports or send notifications to candidates who aren’t being hired. With Insight, they can easily select who needs to be notified. The system then intuitively suggests the correct template, sends an email, and provides time-stamped tracking.


City of Newport Beach, CA


The Newport Beach HR team used manual, paper-based processes for hiring. Although the City created an in-house system for online applications, they found it to be insufficient, leaving them to process everything with Word and Excel. 

The City’s manual recruiting workflows and excessive paperwork led to several issues. First of all, it created large amounts of duplicate applications. Secondly, they couldn’t capture critical recruiting data to make important strategic decisions.


Newport Beach staff saves close to 50% more time thanks to the efficiency of Insight. This allowed them to attract and manage a larger number of applicants. At the same time, they reduced time-to-hire and increased operational efficiencies, which improved staff morale.


Fresno County, CA


New employees didn’t have the opportunity to learn about Fresno County’s work culture and benefits until new hire orientation – weeks after accepting an offer. This left them feeling uninformed and unprepared to choose the right benefits for them and their families.

With 20 municipal HR departments, Fresno County lacked onboarding uniformity and HR staff wasted time shuffling papers. Between this and coordinating their two-day new hire orientation, HR felt bogged down by tedious, uninspiring work.


Thanks to NEOGOV’s Onboard solution, new employees in Fresno County get access to information before day one. An onboarding portal lets Fresno County share its culture and benefits information with new hires online so they can review and make benefits decisions before orientation.

Going paperless gave Fresno County a centralized, standardized onboarding process that reduces toil and takes just minutes to complete. Now, HR can focus on supporting new hires. They were even able to convert a file room into office space.


San Luis Obispo County, CA


When it came to recruitment, San Luis Obispo County (SLO) needed help increasing their applicant pool and promoting their career opportunities. They also struggled with a 200-day recruitment process, engaging with candidates, recruiting proactively (instead of reactively), and maintaining compliance with evolving hiring regulations.

SLO’s onboarding process had its own set of challenges. They had 126 forms across 22 departments, making it difficult and time-consuming to track onboarding. The onboarding process required interactions with a manager, payroll and benefits coordinator, HR, Payroll Auditor, Pension Trust, Risk Management, and IT – which further complicated tracking.


Using NEOGOV’s public sector job board,, SLO doubled its number of applicants. And thanks to data from Insight, the County can track applicants throughout the hiring process and identify bottlenecks. With these tools working in tandem, SLO lowered their recruitment process from 200 days to 99 days.

With the help of Onboard, SLO digitalized, organized, and secured personnel records for archiving and record retrieval. They successfully automated 126 forms and policies across 22 departments, eliminating time spent scanning and verifying documents. They can now see every onboarding candidate and where they are in the process, which is quite the accomplishment with roughly 60 people onboarding a month.

Getting Started With Recruiting Software

Today, public sector HR faces staffing shortages and high rates of employee turnover. These challenges feed into each other, but recruiting technology can help break the cycle. Are you ready to say farewell to manual, paper-based processes and welcome recruitment process automation into your agency? 

There are recruiting software solutions for sourcing and managing candidates, tracking applicants, onboarding new hires, and more – all designed to help you hire and onboard qualified candidates faster and easier. With the right recruitment software, your return will surpass the investment.

The seven local and state governments above all took advantage of technology and continue to benefit from it today – and you can too. Schedule a no-obligation demo today to learn how NEOGOV’s recruiting software can help.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.

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