Since 2013, the number of government job postings has increased 11% but the number of applicants has fallen 35%. A recent report the National Association of State Chief Admistrators considers why this is and what governments can do to attract more people.

Job applicants see government work as safe and steady with an opportunity to contribute to the community, but not anything that provides opportunities to be innovative or advance one’s career. Governments like North Carolina’s have moved to more consistent branding of state agencies so potential employees can see the variety of ways they can have an impact.

Governments are slow to bring people on and slow to let people go. The report suggests a number of ways to make hiring, evaluations, and succession better.

In Governing Magazine, consultant Howard Risher focused on more flexible pay systems with greater variety in salaries, or at least separate systems for jobs in high demand, like health care and technology. North Carolina’s Office of State Human Relations has been redoing classification and compensation rules for years to make state government more competitive in hiring.