How the government has redefined the meaning of being a public servant
One of the reasons governments often struggle to recruit and retain talent is that the public sector is seen as providing fewer opportunities for professional development and lateral career moves. The Government of Canada’s Free Agents program was designed to fix this problem. “Free Agents” are selected for their attributes and behaviours rather than their traditional skills. They are able to choose their work and undertake projects across the Canadian public service. Once in the programme, job satisfaction and enjoyment are considerably higher for Free Agents compared to the rest of the public service. Furthermore, the vast majority of Free Agents report new opportunities to apply existing skills and develop new skills and a higher likelihood of remaining in the public service.