I'm working on a session for an upcoming planning conference that aims to discuss techniques that help a department keep its morale up when things aren't going their way. We've all seen layoffs during the recession and know how those can hurt morale. Also, we've probably all seen an uptick in some people, including elected officials & interest groups, blaming the planners & their codes for preventing recovery.
With each vacancy, departments are getting hundreds of applications for even the most basic entry-level position. How do you work to find the best talent within that stack of applications? Perhaps more importantly, how do you maintain that talented staff and keep them engaged & happy? For a new person without experience competing against experienced planners applying for entry position, how can they make themselves standout?
I'd love to hear the Throbbing Brain's thoughts on this. While I've got a lot of experience with these topics, I'm geographically-limited and work in a state that has not suffered quite as much as others. Thanks!