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The future of work: Attracting change makers to local government

One of the things most predicted was that with technology, there would be less jobs. However, according to influencer Cheryl Cran, the opposite is happening. Cran spoke with Municipal World CEO Susan Gardner at the 2018 JLT Canada Public Sector Summit, in The Blue Mountains, Ontario, about the future of work and attracting the change makers needed to drive progress forward.

Cran, who delivered the keynote address at the summit, explained there is currently “a huge war on talent.” All employers, she said, are fighting for the same upscaled and reskilled workers. What she is seeing today is organizations and municipalities discussing how to find people who are willing to work in their environment.

It’s not enough, however, to just talk about attracting talent without talking about culture. If a municipality features a culture of innovation, of change, of inspired leadership, it will have an easier time attracting people.

Cran is also seeing “really creative techniques” used to attract change makers. For example, 67 percent of mobile usage is video, and so organizations and municipalities are leveraging video, through storytelling, to attract new workers. But, if the organization itself doesn’t have an innovation culture, doesn’t have inspired leaders, it will have a tough time keeping those people once the finally recruit and eventually hire them.

Her No. 1 suggestion is for organizations to look at themselves with a critical eye. Municipalities, she said, must ask if they are still mired in bureaucracy and the traditional ways of doing work. This will inhibit them from being future friendly or being able to attract younger, technologically savvy employees.

Strategically, she said, it’s also important to look at how a municipality can deliver services to its residents and how that community service link can be more effectively used in attracting the type of employees they need to hire.

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