Promoting vs. Describing Jobs: Competing for Public Sector Talent

by Libby Bevin on March 03, 2020

Hiring in the public sector today is becoming increasingly difficult, as high retirement numbers are causing jobs to open up a rate the public sector can’t keep up with and the near-record low unemployment rate making competition for talent tough. One way to lessen the current talent gap is to grab job seeker attention through engaging job promotions.

Organizations often post job “descriptions,” with a list of requirements and job duties, essentially asking “why should we choose you to work for us?”. However, the changing landscape of public sector recruiting requires organizations to change their approach. Instead of simply listing the requirements for a role and making the applicant fit your mould, try promoting the job with the benefits to the job seeker. Use a job promotion to answer the applicant’s question of “why would I want to work here?”

Here are tips for writing job promotions:

Include the Top Motivators for Public Sector Job Seekers:

After a survey of 2,000 public sector job seekers, we found that the most enticing aspects of a public sector role were job security, benefits, meaningful work, and serving the community. Attract applicants by showcasing these aspects in your job promotion that are specific to your organization or the open role.

Lead With the Most Appealing Aspects of the Job:

On average, job seekers only look at a job posting for 14 seconds before deciding whether or not to apply (LinkedIn). Grab their attention by highlighting interesting benefits of the role in the first line, such as the ability to make a difference in the community or doing meaningful work.

For more tips for improving your public sector job postings, download our infographic, 6 Tips for Writing Killer Public Sector Job Descriptions.


Libby Bevin

Libby Bevin is a content writer and editor for NEOGOV. Libby earned a Master of Arts in English Literature and Language from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Stetson University. Contact Libby at