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PUBLIC WORKERS NOT REALISTIC ABOUT MOVE TO PRIVATE SECTOR  With a predicted 600,000 public sector workers set to enter the job market, more must be done to ensure that the private sector has a clearer understanding of their skills and experience, and public sector workers need support to make the transition, according to research by Hays, the leading recruiting experts.  According to the survey of 1,435 employees and 348 employers, 85 per cent of candidates coming from the public sector are considering seeking work in the private sector, but need professional support if they are able to find work in what remains a very challenging environment. Twenty two per cent of employees fear their public sector background will put them at a distinct disadvantage in the private sector. Their fears may be well-founded with forty six per cent of employers saying that previous private sector experience is very important when hiring, limiting the attractiveness of long-term ex-public sector workers. Over ninety per cent of employers go as far as to say that public sector experience is not very important or not important at all when hiring. This may come as a shock to the third of workers who believe their public sector background puts them at an advantage.The vast majority (87 per cent) of private sector employers believe candidates from the public sector need to better identify and convey their skills to potential employers. They say candidates lack sufficient market insight and are unrealistic about the differences between the two sectors. They also struggle to accurately assess candidates coming from the public sector, with over half reporting difficulties in identifying potential employees because of different job titles. Public sector employers will play a critical role in supporting those people they make redundant so they can make the transition into the private sector. While 60 per cent of staff believe a move to the private sector will enhance their career progression, they are also expecting to have to improve before finding the right job, with over two thirds looking to develop new skills or gain qualifications. Only 20 per cent are not planning to undertake this to help secure a new job. Mark Staniland, Managing Director of Hays Career Transition Services, comments:With the impending Comprehensive Spending Review, many public sector workers face an uncertain future. To make themselves attractive to the private sector, candidates must understand how their skills and experience are relevant and useful to potential employers, be ready to prove they understand the markets and companies they apply for and be capable of demonstrating how they can add value. It is inevitable that workers will need to be supported in this move, with practical advice and support so they are better placed to find a new role. We are working with the London Chamber of Commerce to develop our findings and provide support which bridges the gap between the public and private sectors.   Job candidates attending interviews in the private sector expect them to be similar to those in the public sector, but 29 per cent expect them to be both harder and more structured, and over 20 per cent report they need help with interview skills. In addition, workers feel that salaries, benefits and career opportunities are all better in the private sector, but see work-life balance as worse than the public sector. Employers say that career progression is more informal in the private sector, and that hours are longer. Over two-thirds of employers, however, feel benefits are actually worse in the private sector. There is a lot of stereotyping about working life in both sectors, which both sides will have to overcome. Having a clear idea about your career goals, understanding your skills and how you can add value to a prospective employer are always essential in a job search, but it is even more critical that you can convey them in the current climate and when making the transition from the public to the private sector concludes Staniland.  


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