We propose changing the public outreach for the AGE and for public sector job announcements by applying user experience (UX) design criteria during key moments for people considering the possibility of joining the public sector: Approach phase (we reinforce a pride of belonging and a dedication to service), Entrance phase (support the candidate) and Welcome phase (warm welcome).
One Page Summary
Spanish society envisages the public sector as still being a domain which offers secure work, decent working hours and a respectable salary. This, which is noteworthy in an era characterised by uncertainty and labour market flexibility, should not be the main reason as to why people decide to sit public sector entrance exams. The public sector is above all dedication to serving the public and a tall professional challenge, which only begins with entrance exams, and which is upheld throughout a whole career within the General State Administration (AGE).
However, we know that currently this is not the case and that, quite possibly, this is one of the reasons as to why the AGE isn’t as diverse as Spanish society and why certain profiles (the children of public servants, residents in large cities, arts degree holders, etc.) are overrepresented. We are convinced that one of the main factors as to why the results are not the desired ones is that it’s an environment in which certain essential values are neglected in order for the user experience to be memorable.
Is it easy to access the information regarding public sector entrance exams? Is the process straightforward? Do candidates know what the actual content of their job will be in the event of passing the exam? Is there support and guidance for tackling these entrance exams? On the whole, the answer to these questions is ‘no’. This ‘no’ is a huge obstacle for public sector job announcements being more open, diverse and attractive. But what would happen if we introduced user experience (UX) design criteria within the AGE entrance process?
- Introduce user experience (UX) design criteria within the AGE entrance process, putting ourselves in the mind of a person who is considering becoming a public servant.
- Increase the sense of pride of belonging to the state administration, especially for people sitting entrance exams.
- Increase the number of candidates from groups who are underrepresented: people with science and engineering degrees, those with disabilities and people from a larger geographical reach.
Our target people are those who may be considering setting their professional future within the AGE in motion, especially from those groups which we’ve already mentioned (people with science and engineering degrees, those with disabilities and those from non-urban backgrounds). In order to do this, we are going to remove the main entrance obstacles which are linked to approaching the AGE and its admissions tests.
The process which interests us for our target person can be broken down into three points of contact with the AGE:
1. Approach. This is a key stage in which our target person ends up deciding whether to sit the entrance exams or not.
2. Admissions tests. Once the decision has been taken, a long preparation process is initiated in which our target person needs help and guidance.
3. Welcome. The selected people must be welcomed as new AGE members, regardless of their particular destination or their post.
We are going to remove the obstacles in each one of these three stages and make the journey more attractive.
How does the prospect of becoming a public servant come about within a job seeker? And what about in a professional who wants to change sector or profession?
To start, we must transmit a positive image of the public sector.
How are we going to convince our target user if we struggle to convince ourselves?
We propose creating a story-based, multi-platform PR campaign centred around the message: ‘I’m a public servant’. Society needs to know the importance of public servants and how they impact our day-to-day lives. It would be ideal to show testimonies of actual public servants (what they do, how they feel, why they’re public servants) who encourage other people to become one.
What happens anywhere with people who want to join and become a part of an organisation? You give them the necessary attention.
Apart from providing them with all the information they need, we’re going to ‘mentor’ the process. Who wouldn’t want to have the guidance of an AGE professional who gives us challenges and who periodically asks us questions about key topics? This aspect can be as sporadic or intense as we want: via videos or animations in which key information is given, coming across speeches by public servants who encourage and help our candidate, even adding a small gamified element (such as trivia questions) in which candidates collect points which feed into a public ranking system on the website. This type of approach works very well as a form of motivation and public recognition if the processes aren’t overly long.
Now begins the process of welcoming the new employee.
For the AGE, it’s very important that receives a welcome kit, which is carefully and suitably designed to greet our new member.