|Name: Kirsty Clarke|
|Company Position: Lead Consultant|
|Email Address: email@example.com|
|Phone Number: 027 222 8488|
Government & Policy
Where I’m from: I grew up across the harbour in Eastbourne, after 6 years in London, have come full circle!
My professional background: I started off on the academic path, doing tutoring/junior lecturing in history of medicine at Otago University. After moving to London, I joined an HR consultancy where I led a team to create and implement outsourced recruitment solutions for a large UK retailer. For the past three years, I have done executive search and OD advisory for (predominantly private sector) clients across the UK and Europe. More recently, my client focus shifted to organisations at the interface of private and public sector, local authorities, and central government departments. The best thing about this job is the opportunity to engage with people on a meaningful level, and I’m looking forward to continuing that with clients, candidates, and colleagues at Beyond Recruitment.
Why I’m passionate about my role at Beyond Recruitment: Our Government has plans to deliver some really important programmes of work, which – with the right capability – will create significant outcomes for all New Zealanders. As Senior Client Manager, Government and Policy, it’s a huge privilege to partner with senior decision makers within our public sector and work with them to find the right people for this work. Our clients tend to be very passionate about what they do, and recognise that they can’t get anywhere without good people. They are therefore generous when it comes to sharing quality information. This helps us to find candidates with the right skill set to do the work, and the right approach to build high-performing, diverse teams with a culture of inclusion.
What not many people know about me: I have a double-jointed thumb which bends in fairly weird ways…
What I love about Aotearoa, New Zealand: The kindness and openness of people here! Plus, the ability to get outdoors easily and enjoy hiking, sailing, diving, skiing, etc.
What I love about Beyond Recruitment: Everyone is incredibly welcoming, friendly, and keen to work collaboratively. People are motivated and high-performing, which is a great environment to leverage off. We’re respected as an organisation and doors tend to open quickly because of Beyond Recruitment’s reputation for delivering quality work.
The frank and fearless public servant is a critical role in New Zealand’s government system, but recently we’ve seen a shortage of qualified, experienced Advisors, which is leaving gaps in teams around Wellington. So, what is driving this demand and how can we ensure we continue to support our public sector clients? What is Driving the Shortage? Here at Beyond Recruitment, we are observing a number of different factors that may be contributing to the situation. 1.Career ProgressionIn recent months, we have seen a lot of career progression out of Ministerial and OIA Advisors and into broader Advisory positions. Some of the reasons for taking this step include candidates seeking more variety, complexity, autonomy, advancement and salary increases. While this is a positive move for these employees, it is essential that hiring managers have a steady stream of junior Advisors ready to fill the gap. 2.Impacts of COVID-19Increases in workload and volumes of requests, hard deadlines, staff shortages and increased sick leave results from COVID-19 are challenges we hear about frequently. In addition, Advisors report a trend towards proactive release by agencies which is also adding to their workloads. Uncertainty, restructures and changes to functionality are also impacting teams across the board. 3.Changes in operating modelsAcross the public sector, we are seeing changes from teams of siloed functionality (i.e. strategic policy, operational policy and delivery) towards teams with hybrid functionality. This has impacted how Ministerials and OIAs are delivered. We are also observing transitions between centralised and decentralised models, or building teams of broader government advisors with an MS/OIA skill set. The Challenge of Meeting Requirements The root of the issue lies not just in the talent shortage itself, but in the need to ensure government agencies have the skills and resources required to meet the performance standards of the Official Information Act. With the ambiguity and increased pressure in the market, hiring managers are looking to hire people with the right skill sets and relevant experience quickly, at any cost. In the Public Service Commissioner’s release of OIA statistics earlier this year, Peter Hughes said, “Meeting the requirements of the OIA is a bottom line for the Public Service". To further promote transparency and the integrity of the OIA, he decided to make more information available about agency performance, noting that this has held up against another sizeable increase in volumes, particularly in the health sector. “Agencies have managed to maintain a high level of timeliness despite another significant increase in volumes,” Mr Hughes said in a statement. “This is a satisfactory result considering the unprecedented number of OIAs agencies are being asked to process and being in the middle of the challenge of leading the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.” This vital service is currently being performed by committed, hard-working and often entry-level public servants. To meet the requirements, Advisors with OIA and Ministerial services experience are having to hone their writing skills, practise writing for a range of audiences, and learn how to work collaboratively, engage effectively and meet targets and deadlines. People with this expertise are highly sought after among employers within the public sector. The Way Forward Here at Beyond Recruitment, we are discussing different strategies with hiring managers in the public sector to address the shortage of experienced Advisors, including: Growing and developing less experienced candidates who are keen to enter the public service Upskilling candidates in the Official Information Act and other relevant legislation Retention strategies to ensure we keep talented professionals longer in this field Our team enjoys identifying candidates with transferable skills, knowledge and aptitude who can be successful in these positions. We also network constantly to understand and support candidates who are seeking to transition between positions. We would love to hear about your experiences of working with the OIA or hiring in this environment. If you’re looking at hiring for public sector roles in this challenging market, feel free to get in touch with a member of Beyond Recruitment’s Government and Policy team today to learn how we can help. Read more