When most people think about government ministries, many well earned stereotypes come to mind. People think about long lines, fees, being passed from person to person to person, and normally a certain degree of frustration. Yes, we do get good experiences too, but those are the stereotypes. There are also stereotypical views that some in society have of those who decide to go and work in the civil service. Some view civil service work as a step down, somehow lesser than working in the private sector or worse.

As someone who spend some time in the civil service, I’ve heard my fair share of the comments over time. It all came with the territory and it rolled of our backs, but you knew it was a part of the discussion. As a result, sometimes the civil service has a hard time recruiting people to go work for it. That’s especially been true in the last few years, as we’ve seen the billion-dollar Phoenix Pay System boondoggle play out, seemingly with no end in sight. So, on top of taking on a job that might not be overly appreciated, now you add to it that you might not get properly paid for years on end and deal with all the havoc that causes? I can easily see how that would make recruitment difficult.

In tough times, that calls on some creativity and outside the box thinking, something that civil servants are great at and used to having to do. So, it was with that in mind, I saw the following bit of news and I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle a bit at this creative recruitment attempt by the Treasury Board Secretariat:

Yes folks, this is for real; you can check it out for yourself right here. And what’s not to like about the creativity in this? It catches the eye, is clever and likely to connect with lots of millennials out there. Plus look, you can become a wizard without all those years at Hogwarts, the dangerous adventures that come from attending that place, and all without risking any facial scars that will last for a lifetime. I call that a win-win situation.

In all seriousness, I tip my hat to the cleaver HR staffer who came up with this idea; it made an impact, cut through the noise and put a nice shine on a job that might not seem as so exciting. Plus, it drew some good attention to the civil service. It’s an A+ for effort and execution, and I appreciate the fun in it. Now we’ll see which department picks up the wand and comes up with the next creative recruitment message in the same vein. Let’s hope this becomes a good trend in public-service Ottawa.

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