Battle for brains: how can the public services compete in competitive recruitment markets

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January 26, 2023

Governments around the world are facing what has been describes as a war for talent. A number of factors – high inflation, tight public sector budgets, a post-pandemic adjustment to flexible working and the fallout from the ‘great resignation’ – have combined to leave governments around the world struggling to recruit the people they need, with the squeeze particularly acute in specialist sectors like digital and procurement.

This webinar will look at how governments can make themselves attractive employers in such uncertain economic times. It will look at best practice from around the globe on how governments – and wider public sectors organisations – are working to ensure they are able to recruit the talent they need.

The webinar will look at:

  • The extent of the public sector recruitment challenges being faced by governments around the globe.
  • How governments are able to use flexible and remote working practices to broaden the base of people it can recruit from.
  • What incentives government should be looking to offer to entice skilled candidates to join?

Public servants can register here for free to attend this webinar


USA/Canada Eastern Time (EST): 09:30 – 10:45
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): 14:30 – 15:45
Central European Time (CET): 15:30 – 16:45
Eastern European Time (EET): 16:30 – 17:45
Singapore Time (SGT): 22:30 – 23:45
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): 01:30 – 02:45


Elizabeth Hardy, Senior Director, Research and Experimentation, Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board Secretariat, Canada

Elizabeth is the Senior Director of Research and Experimentation in the Office of Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada, where she is responsible for leading advancements in future of work efforts for the federal government. Before starting this role in March 2020, she was Senior Lead, Behavioural Science at the Impact and Innovation Unit at the Privy Council Office, where she oversaw the application of behavioural science to public policy challenges. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Elizabeth held several senior leadership positions, including leading the Behavioural Insights Unit in the Government of Ontario, where she was instrumental in creating and building Canada’s first behavioural science team in government. To date, Elizabeth has successfully completed trials dealing with public health, financial decision-making, tax collection, regulatory compliance, and service delivery. She provides advice and guidance on the application of behavioural science to public policy, recently supporting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a member of the External Advisory Committee for Capacity Development. In addition, Elizabeth is Co-Chair of the Behavioural Insights Community of Practice in the Government of Canada and Chairs the pan-Canadian Behavioural Insights Network (BIN).

Traci DiMartini, Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. General Services Administration, USA

Traci DiMartini is the Chief Human Capital Officer for the U.S. General Services Administration. In her role leading the Office of Human Resources Management, Traci leads HR support activities for the 12,000 employees of the agency. She is responsible for GSA-wide policy and oversight of all aspects of Human Capital Management including: talent acquisition, development and sustainment, labor and employee relations, performance management, compensation, strategic workforce and succession planning, executive resources, diversity management, and data analytics.

Traci has extensive experience in federal human capital programs. She previously served as the Chief Human Capital Officer for the Peace Corps, where she oversaw all human capital services for Peace Corps employees, including staffing, classification, benefits, payroll, employee and labor relations, data analytics, workforce planning, and employee engagement initiatives. Prior to that, she served as Chief Human Capital Officer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Director for Human Resources Enterprise Management Systems at the Department of Agriculture; and as the first-ever career Deputy Director for the Chief Human Capital Officers Council at the Office of Personnel Management.

Traci is a member of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council representing more than 100 small agencies. Additionally, she chairs the Small Agency Human Resources Committee. Traci graduated from the American University Key Executive Program in 2013 as part of the USDA Senior Executive Candidate Development Program. Traci holds a Master’s degree in Labor Policy and Workforce Development from the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Public Policy, and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Communications from Miami University of Ohio.

Jessica Palatka, Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, USA

Ms. Jessica S. Palatka is the Director of Human Resource Management and Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) and a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), responsible for providing leadership, developing policies, and directing programs in all aspects of human resources and human capital management and administration for all bureaus of the Department of Commerce (DOC), covering nearly 52,000 employees located in all 50 states, every U.S. territory, and more than 86 countries. Concurrently, Ms. Palatka is an Adjunct Associate Professor for the University of Maryland, Global Campus, where she teaches undergraduate courses in Human Resources and Business.

Ms. Palatka earned a Bachelor of Science cum laude in Management Science and Statistics, Decision and Information Technology in 2000 and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management in 2006 from the University of Maryland. Additionally, she earned a post graduate certificate from Cornell University in Human Resources in 2007. Ms. Palatka is a 2019 graduate of the Department of the Navy Bridging the Gap (BTG) Leadership Development Program, a 2018 graduate of the Navy Senior Leader Seminar (NSLS), a 2017 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) and a 2012 graduate of Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM).

Previously, Ms. Palatka served as the Chief of the Human Resources Operations Center (HROC) for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Ms. Palatka also served as a Senior Leader (SL) while working as the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) and Director, Human Resources Directorate (HRD) for the National Defense University (NDU). She also served as the Director of Human Capital Strategy for Sustainment for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). Additional roles Ms. Palatka held at NAVAIR include Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Division Head and Recruitment and Retention Program Analyst for the Total Force Strategy and Management Department (TFSMD). Prior to her time with NAVAIR, Ms. Palatka held the titles of Director of Recruiting, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Manager, Operations Manager, College Recruiting Coordinator, and Systems and Software Engineer.

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.