23 departments (64%) reported difficulties attracting suitable applicants for positions. These were a mixture of operational departments and policy ministries. The most common reason given was below-market remuneration, which was cited for numerous occupations ranging from the high-skilled (such as solicitors) to the semi-skilled (such as call-centre staff). Another factor was the difficulty in attracting applicants to jobs situated in particular towns/regions.
There were also some difficulties recruiting staff to IT positions, and recruiting Maori staff and Pacific staff, but the extent of such recruitment difficulties was less than in the previous year. Nine departments reported recruitment difficulties in key capability areas.
23 departments (64%) reported skill shortages (where positions have not been filled due to a lack of suitably qualified candidates in the labour market), with 14 departments reporting both recruitment difficulties and skill shortages. The skill shortages followed a pattern similar to the recruitment difficulties, although departments were more likely to report skill shortages in occupations that were central to their key capabilities.
Two-thirds of departments commented on skill gaps that existed in their department. The most common skill gaps reported were in IT, analytical thinking, te reo/tikanga, legislation, and strategic planning. Some of the skill gaps were common to several departments.
Nine departments mentioned the image of themselves and/or of the Public Service as a key factor that will influence their future capability. Five departments, of which four were large operational departments, mentioned workloads as an issue affecting capability.