Public employers have a hard time competing in the labor market. Digital channels can help, especially when reaching out to younger talents. The FMA Liechtenstein is a prime example of a public HR department going digital.

Finding the right staff was never easy, and it’s getting more difficult. Go back 100 years in history, and employees could choose between a handful of companies in their local surroundings. Today? Qualified employees can easily relocate to the other side of the globe. Sometimes they don’t even have to. You can live in Vaduz and work from your home office for a company in New York. Why not? Also, it costs very little nowadays to start an online business. Don’t want a job? Just create your own job!

Digital technologies have changed the relationship between employer and employee. Long gone are the days where workers were at the hands of industrial capitalists. Today, the relationship is between equals. In many cases, qualified employees even have the upper hand. Which company can afford to lose its best engineer or its best-performing salesperson?

Race for talent

The competition between employers in the labor market is becoming harsher.  And it’s even harder for public institutions to find good people. Often they pay less, they have very little ways to provide additional incentives such as bonus payments to high performers, and they have a somewhat dusty image. The perks of working for the government are a secure workplace and pension, but does that attract talents?

To clarify: This article is not intended to badmouth government employees! Many smart people chose to work at the government because they see it as a form of social service to fulfill a mission. Fair enough, nothing wrong with that. But the issue remains that public institutions have a hard time attracting talents.

Another issue in that regard is that the average age of government employees in Liechtenstein is higher than in the private sector. That means they will soon have to step up their HR game. And some have started to realize that.

FMA as an example

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) Liechtenstein is leading the way. It launched a career website that aims at young folks and explains what working at the FMA looks like. “We show the people because they are what makes working at the FMA exciting,” says Martin Schädler from the HR department. “People are our capital. They are paramount to our team spirit.” The FMA has its own internal photo team supporting the website and showing what working at the FMA is like.

The FMA is also active on Social Media, especially LinkedIn, and Instagram. The FMA even has a career blog, where FMA Staff shows their favorite spots in Liechtenstein, museums, restaurants, nature. Especially international applicants don’t know much about Liechtenstein and Vaduz, so the blog aims at changing that.

“Our labor market is small and we are in competition with big banks and financial services providers that are attractive employers,” explains Schädler. “We all look for similar profiles, so as a public institution, we need to be especially visible.”

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