Staff working in the public sector view it as bureaucratic, outdated and poorly-paid but gain some consolation from its enlightened flexible working policies.
A survey of 206 people working in the public sector by the totaljobs.com found that more than eight out of ten (82 per cent) see it as overly bureaucratic and two-thirds think it is an ungenerous employer.
Two-thirds also complained that public sector employers did not have a modern outlook, while half were concerned about limited job prospects.
But almost seven out of ten (68 per cent) admitted that the public sector looked after its staff, while almost half (48 per cent) gave the thumbs up to its flexible working policies – policies that are fast becoming a major selling point for employers. Significantly, only one in three of those surveyed said that they preferred the traditional nine-to-five routine.
But aside from flexible working and pension benefits, pay and benefits clearly remain an issue for potential recruits to the sector, with only one in seven (15 per cent) of those surveyed saying that they thought public bodies paid high salaries.
Public sector employers also seem to have real problems promoting themselves to potential recruits. More than four out of ten of those surveyed (44 per cent) felt that private sector employers did a better job of promoting the benefits of working for them.
According to Keith Robinson of totaljobs.com: "The public sector needs to address its long-standing image problems if it wants to attract talented and ambitious employees.
"The perception that public bodies provide employees with a better work-life balance could help them make up lost ground, but much more needs to be done."