• It is estimated that on any given day, over two million jobs are posted on the Internet.
  • Nearly three of every four job seekers use the Web as a tool in their employment search.
  • The U.S. Labor Department reports that government sector jobs comprise about 13% of the American workforce.
“It is very rare today to find government agencies without an Internet presence, particularly one that includes an employment opportunities page,” according to Mark Weinberg, Principle and Chief Operating Officer for Careers in Government, a niche employment web site specializing in the public sector.

Careers in Government was launched in October 1996 and has emerged as a leader in the industry. Over the past ten years, CIG has posted jobs for nearly 4,000 public sector agencies in all fifty states, Canada and even overseas. CIG receives 2 million hits monthly, and over 300,000 distinct job seekers – far more than any public sector magazine’s subscriber base, says Weinberg – and has approximately 25,000 resumes in its online resume data base.

Mark Weinberg has plenty of experience “on the other side of the desk” as well, with a career in local government spanning 33 years. Most recently, he served as City Manager of Inglewood, California – a city with a population of 118,000, with over 1,000 full and part-time employees – until retiring from that position in December 2005.

He co-founded the Jobs in Government web site in 1996, and in 2001, changed its name to Careers in Government, reflecting the belief that “a career was better than a job.”

In the interview that follows, MuniNet author Mardee Alvaro recently asked Mr. Weinberg to share his thoughts on how the use of niche employment web sites has affected the public sector employment industry over the past decade.

MuniNet: Has the Internet changed the public sector job market, either by reaching a wider audience and/or in other ways?

Weinberg: The Internet has provided unprecedented exposure and access. Prospective employees can learn about scores of government job opportunities from the comfort of their armchairs, submit resumes and transmit online job applications with a few mouse clicks. Government employers can not only publish their hiring needs online, but can reach target audiences through the use of niche web sites that serve as clearinghouses. Equally important, they can educate job seekers about their organization, and the community it serves, by filling their web sites with a wealth of informative and practical information.

The government “job market” is not so much changed by the web as it is served by the web; recruitment and hiring processes are automated, expedited and refined in a manner which produces better matches.

MuniNet: Would you say that most public sector jobs are now advertised online – whether through a government/agency web site, general employment job board, or niche web site like Careers in Government?

Weinberg: Though, historically, government has been slow to adopt new technologies, it has done a good job of taking advantage of the enormous power of the Internet. Initially, many agencies favored advertising all but top-level, and hard-to-fill vacancies on their own site, but a growing number of organizations are now realizing the efficacy and economics of using job boards. Boards like Monster and HotJobs reach massive audiences, while niche or “boutique” boards like CareersInGovernment.com are more likely to deliver candidates with public sector skills and prior experience.

MuniNet: What are the “hottest” jobs – that is, the most sought-after positions – in the public sector today?

Weinberg: The “hottest” jobs from the job seekers’ perspective are public safety (including Homeland Security), information technology (IT), communications, public information, public policy, law and administration.

MuniNet: What are the toughest public sector positions to fill these days?

Weinberg: From the employer’s perspective, the most difficult positions to fill are often those that require shift work or those jobs that are viewed as demanding but historically underpaid. These include public safety dispatchers, nurses, and social workers. Technology positions are still in demand, as are planners, engineers and public works personnel.

MuniNet: If I were looking for a job in local government, why would you recommend using a site like Careers in Government?

Weinberg: Job seekers who are interested in entering public service, or advancing their government careers will find that CareersInGovernment.com is a niche board that targets their specific interests. CIG is a full-featured job board that provides conveniences such as a resume bank, employer profiles, a powerful search engine, online job applications, email notifications when jobs meeting individual interests are posted, helpful links and other job seeker resources.

MuniNet: Switching to the “other side of the desk”? if I were an employer looking to fill a vacant position, how could Careers in Government help me find the right candidate?

Weinberg: Employers using CIG will be targeting an audience comprised of job seekers who have government skills and experience, or who have made a conscious decision to enter public service. They will find a user-friendly site that provides them with complete control when entering, editing and managing their job listings in “real time”. Employers will appreciate that their organizations have a “home page” presence on CIG, complete with government seal or logo and agency profile, and that they can upload their proprietary employment applications on the site. Finally, very attractive to employers is an expansive applicant resume bank available for their review and the fact that CIG provides all these features, and unparalleled customer service and support, at a fraction of the cost charged by the generic big boards.

MuniNet: Does Careers in Government serve more job-seekers than employers? Vice-versa, or is it about even?

Weinberg: As with virtually any media, job fair, or employment forum, there are far more job seekers than employers or positions available at any given moment in time. This reflects natural socio-economic dynamics, but also serves as a testament to the fact that public sector jobs are highly desirable?providing workers with competitive salaries, coveted benefits, strong job security, and the opportunity to serve others.