Top Challenges Impacting HR Recruitment – With Morgan Law’s Director – Sam Eales

Top Challenges Impacting HR Recruitment – With Morgan Law’s Director – Sam Eales

As we move through 2023 the war for talent continues to dominate discussion in public and not for profit sector HR departments. Despite a recent reported rise in public sector vacancies of 26%, over half of public sector employers continue to report difficulty in filling vacancies – particularly in education and healthcare related roles. A survey by the CIPD of HR leaders found that 45% predicted that there would be considerable difficulties filling positions over the next six months.

Human Resources has an important role to fill in addressing this battle for talent but that doesn’t mean that public and not for profit sector HR departments aren’t experiencing their own struggles in attracting and retaining experienced professionals for key roles.

Without new approaches to talent acquisition and the ability to develop robust and agile HR talent pipelines, leaders may find that their organisations face growing staffing difficulties in the coming year.

3 Current Hiring Challenges for the Public Sector

Three of the most pressing recruitment challenges for HR leaders in the public and not for profit sector are:

 1. Outside Pressures

Outside events have continued to put pressure on organisation recent Industrial action, inflation and the instability surrounding political and economic changes can all potentially halt or change your talent acquisition priorities and strategy.

The uncertainty this brings can make it difficult to manage strategic workforce planning. Leaders need to anticipate potential disruptions and identify areas of vulnerability to proactively address talent gaps, realign recruitment priorities and make informed decisions around talent acquisition.

 2. Wage Inflation

As I mentioned above there is a high number or public sector vacancies at the moment, and this has been exacerbated by lower public sector pay increases (in comparison with the private sector) alongside the continuing cost of living crisis. The average pay increase in the public sector is 5.3%, much less than the average private sector increases of 7%.

HR leaders need to employ innovative and proactive approaches to address these staffing challenges, actively seeking out talent and engaging with potential candidates even before vacancies arise.


 3. Navigating work from home expectations

There is a growing standoff between employers and employees over working locations and patterns. Employers across all sectors have been in the news recently asking their employees to return to work in the office full time because it can be easier to schedule meetings, increase productivity and collaboration among employees.  However there has been considerable resistance to this and until there is an acceptable “norm” or pattern there will be a disconnect of expectations. In the public and not for profit sector it can be difficult for organisations to strike the right balance between meeting the demands of stakeholders and service users and offering the flexibility employees both want and deserve. This is particularly true in the NHS which has found it difficult to allow non-clinical staff to work from home when clinical staff are required to be on site. Organisations are then competing for talent with others who can allow for greater flexibility.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that employers are continuing to struggle with. While an easy solution has not yet presented itself, there are ways for organisations to emphasise the benefits they offer outside of remote work options and position their organisation as the better choice.

Those leaders that can manage uncertainty, reach out to new talent streams, and present a unified employer brand will be most successful at managing these challenges.

In-demand HR skills

For HR leaders looking to recruit within their own specialism, new skills sets are increasing sought after, particularly in the areas of Organisational Development (OD) and Change Management. HR professionals with expertise in OD can help public sector organisations navigate complex changes and drive strategic initiatives, and the ability to design and implement effective change management processes is crucial for successful transformation in the public sector.

Demand for HR professionals who are flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances is also increasing. Many HR leadership roles are now looking for individuals who can quickly respond to evolving needs and effectively manage complex and organisational dynamics.

How ML can help your HR department with hiring and recruitment

Morgan Law is exceptionally passionate about helping public sector and not for profit organisations navigate these talent acquisition challenges. We offer a variety of solutions designed to help HR leaders in:

  1. Accessing qualified and experienced interim staff
    Factors such as IR35 and NHS candidate rate caps have led to a decrease in the availability of interims in the market. At Morgan Law, we stay updated on new interims entering the market and keep track of those who are nearing the end of their contracts. This enables us to swiftly respond to our clients’ needs and quickly mobilise the right interim professionals when required who can seamlessly integrate into your organisations at short notice.
  2. Increasing diversity at senior levels
    Morgan Law work in partnership with Equality & Diversity Consultants to ensure your internal recruitment processes are as inclusive as possible and to deliver diverse shortlists which accurately reflect the diversity of the candidate pool currently in the market. We have also invested in AI software to help identify candidates from much broader pools to increase diversity and access to critical skills.
  3. Improving employer branding and communicating their EVP
    Permanent candidates can be reluctant to move into new unknown organisations without the reassurance of an established employer brand. At Morgan Law we work closely with your organisation to help you develop and advertise your unique employer value proposition. We also provide a personal and supportive approach which ensures candidates are fully informed and supported throughout the process and feel confident they are being matched to the right role and organisation.


Learn more about how Sam and Morgan Law can assist you with Human Resources hiring in the public and not for profit sectors.

At Morgan Law we take the time to develop a full understanding of your requirements, meeting with you to discuss challenges and offer advice on the availability of talent in the market and how to improve your existing practices. Our established database of over 30,000 senior-level, highly skilled professionals with significant experience in the healthcare, public and not-for-profit sectors available on a permanent and contract basis enable us to deliver the highest quality recruitment solutions.

Sam’s 16 + years’ experience recruiting HR professionals from middle management to director have given her a broad understanding of what it takes to attract talented HR Professionals across the wider public, not for profit and private sectors.

In the last 5 years her focus has been NHS and Local Government recruitment and she works closely with many local authorities and NHS Trusts. Her extensive expertise providing interim solutions in addition to successfully delivering recruitment campaigns for multiple permanent roles mean she is well placed to advise HR leaders on how to build strong, high-performance teams no matter the circumstances.

Email Sam directly to discuss your hiring requirements.