One Sunday in June 2015 I started tweeting links to jobs that I had spotted that week that I thought were interesting, were related to public service in some way and were ‘digital’. I didn’t have much of a plan but people seemed to like it and I was preoccupied with the problem of getting the right eye balls on job ads after some challenging recruitment campaigns of my own so I decided to try and make it a habit.
Over the next few weeks I moved from Twitter to my blog and then eventually a couple of years later to Tinyletter as an email newsletter.
The list went from #jukesiejobs to ‘The Internet of Public Service Jobs’ to ‘Public Service Internet Jobs’ (which was supposed to quickly shift to PSI Jobs to be less of a mouthful but I kind of forgot to do it!). Should have stuck with #jukesiejobs anyway!
I’ve watched the demand for ‘digital’ skills in public service explode – and roles emerge from nowhere. The demand for Product Managers – particularly in Government – is something I’d have never anticipated even as someone who identifies as one. I was surprised at the rise of Content Design as well.
Leeds emerged as the second centre of digital public service ahead of Manchester. Big cities like Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool really made little impact week on week. Until COVID remote roles were rare and pretty much non existent in institutions.
The quality of job descriptions hasn’t – on average – improved. They are often long on generic information, short on role specific details, poorly written, ask for the world without really seeming to understand why. They are regularly filled with less than subtle ‘gender-coded’ language – even at organisations who are proud of their efforts to be more diverse.
The in-house jobs boards and jobs pages have not improved much but some are so bad I have stopped featuring roles from those organisations. Hardly anyone uses the schema.org JobPosting mark-up still which is a pity.
As for the lack of salary details? Others have covered that better than I could.
It does mean whenever some team or organisation does take a bit of care and makes an effort then can still stand out despite the more crowded market (less crowded in these COVID times but I expect that to change). Writing a blogpost about what a day in the role really looks like, a bit of a Twitter AMA with someone in the team, a content designed job ad and some research about where to promote roles goes a long way.
As of this morning I have 1350 subscribers to the newsletter with an open rate of 65%ish and a click rate hovering around 18%. I occasionally consider trying to use it as a launchpad to something bigger – in particular into some kind of new approach to a jobs board that fixes all the problems I see all the time….but that would take time, money and energy – and all I have is the first 🙂
Thanks to everybody who subscribes, who DMs me with interesting roles to consider and who send me emails to thank me for the list (I always appreciate that).