Leadership and Talent - Early in Career
Getting it right early in career is crucial for both individuals and system-wide talent management.
We are investing in ensuring that people have a strong start in the State Services, from their first days as a new professional through to their first experiences of leadership.
This means ensuring that there is effective engagement with the tertiary sector, and with the other channels that support those in their early career.
Students, graduates and other new professionals need an understanding of the full range of opportunities available to them, whether they are seeking temporary roles over the summer recess or are transitioning to a permanent professional career.
Outdated perceptions and language, a lack of visibility and some inconsistent experiences have meant that the State sector is not a preferred employer for many.
This must change. The modern State Services have roles in every sector of the economy, and in every community. Positions are available at every level including the front line, service delivery, policy and technical roles; in regional offices, corporate centres, and in other specialist settings.
As the largest "career shop" in the country, the State Services have not just a huge range of opportunities on offer, but also the ability to connect experiences across sectors and agencies. This can be done through induction, developmental programmes, deployment and more.
New professionals starting in the State Services can look forward to both:
- exposure to a range of opportunities, to inform their future choices of employment or specialisation, and
- networking among their peers and other professionals, throughout their career.
Our Early in Career work is currently focused on talent management and career development for interns, graduates and emerging leaders. The work covers new professionals in general and those identified early as "high potentials" based on their demonstrated performance and their level of aspiration to become a future leader.
Summer Interns and Graduates
The State Services Commission (SSC) is working with agencies from across the State Services to develop a set of common principles for our collective approach to the attraction, selection, development and retention of graduates and summer interns across the system.
We are taking a more coordinated approach to our relationship with education providers and engagement with students, to provide effective, seamless experiences.
We will host central inductions for summer interns and graduates, and will host events that focus on career opportunities within the State sector. These will build on the first of the intern events that were successfully run in the 2014/15 summer.
Programmes will be available for emerging leaders - those who are either ready for, or are taking on, their first leadership role. These will be professionals who have demonstrated they have both the skills and aspirations for leadership, whether this involves people management or thought leadership responsibilities, or both.
Over time SSC will work with agencies to identify best practice emerging leadership programmes and to create opportunities for emerging leaders to have access to this support. We will also work with agencies to align programmes to the new Leadership Success Profile.
Emerging Leaders Fast Stream programme
From 2015 we will pilot an Emerging Leaders Fast Stream Programme to increase bench-strength and diversity of the leadership pipeline. This is targeted to high potential emerging leaders who have demonstrated they are ready to step up to their first people management or thought leadership role. Participants will develop their breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experience over a multi-year accelerated development programme. The Justice sector is hosting the first pilot and further opportunities are being explored among functional groups.
The aim of the Fast Stream Programme is to give participants a system-wide view of government. Exposing those early in their State sector career to system thinking is critical to produce system leaders. We want to encourage and make it easier for new leaders to build broad and deep diverse and rewarding careers – to have exposure to different sectors, different functions, different communities and stakeholders. This could include moving into and out of the private sector.
SSC is working with agencies to create an online introduction to working in the public sector. This will be available for all our agencies to use in their induction programmes. The module will support new starters in their understanding of what it means to be a public servant, the machinery of government, and how their agency priorities fit in to the wider context and system priorities.
Knowledge of what is unique about the State Services is crucial to ensuring the integrity of the sector and how effective it is in serving New Zealanders. It also supports public sector people to be successful at every stage in their careers.
Update: The State Services induction module has been completed, a page containing information and a link to the module itself can be viewed here: www.ssc.govt.nz/induction-state-services.