Report Addresses Rising Challenges in Talent Acquisition Post-Pandemic

LEXINGTON, KY, March 17, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Human capital management remains a top strategic focus for state Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs)—and for good reason. Since the pandemic, the number of job vacancies in state and local governments has more than doubled. CAOs are experiencing the challenges arising from the talent shortage in multiple ways.

To help CAOs navigate this new challenge, the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) collaborated with McKinsey & Company to conduct a series of surveys and interviews of NASCA state members, focusing on their priorities and challenges in human capital management and customer experience. In addition, McKinsey & Company provided additional employee insights from the McKinsey Great Attrition 2.0 Survey, in which 1,500 individuals employed by US federal, state, and local government entities were surveyed. The resulting research report, Bridging Talent Gaps in State Government: A Post-Pandemic Priority for CAOs, provides government leaders with data and insights they can use to compare state practices and inform forward-looking strategic decisions concerning talent acquisition and retention, with additional considerations from customer experience.

“State CAOs are dealing with statewide talent shortages that affect multiple areas under their purview,” said DeLaine Bender, CAE, interim executive director for NASCA. “This report leverages the collective wisdom of state governments by sharing experiences and innovative practices to help them attract and retain high-performing talent.”

Tim Ward, a senior partner with McKinsey and Co. adds, “The report shows that the work experiences of public sector employees significantly impact the experience of government programs and services. CAOs can point to these findings to show the benefits of prioritizing modern talent management and attraction strategies.”

Key findings include:

• CAOs are responding to employee demand for flexible work: 72% of respondents indicate that flexible work environment is a top 3 priority initiative over the next 2-3 years

• While a lack of career development opportunities and unhappiness with leadership were top reasons for government employees planning to leave their roles, less than 30% of state CAOs considered leadership and career development as a priority

• The nexus between human-capital management and customer is critical; over 50% of CAOs identify “recruiting and retaining talent” as the top lever to improve customer experience

The report is designed to provide CAOs with useful data for talent attraction, management, and recruiting in state government agencies. Click here for the full report.


Founded in 1976, the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA), is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) association representing chief administrative officers (CAOs)—public officials in charge of departments that provide support services such as human resources, information technology, procurement, risk management and general administrative services to other state agencies. NASCA provides a forum for CAOs to exchange information and learn new ideas from each other and private sector partners. NASCA engages states in transforming government operations through the power of shared knowledge, operational excellence and thought leadership. For more information, visit us at

About McKinsey & Company

McKinsey is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organizations accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth. We work with clients across the private, public, and social sectors to solve complex problems and create positive change for all their stakeholders. We combine bold strategies and transformative technologies to help organizations innovate more sustainably, achieve lasting gains in performance, and build workforces that will thrive for this generation and the next.

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