Friday, May 5, 2023

Update on Citywide Hiring Campaign to Address Staffing Shortages 


 Public Service Recognition Week recognizes and honors all City of Austin employees 

Aiming to recruit Central Texas residents who want to focus on public service and helping their community, the City of Austin’s current hiring campaign promotes hard-to-fill positions and addresses staffing shortages. 
May 7th – 13th is Public Service Recognition Week.  This recognition honors our hardworking local, state, and federal government employees, while acknowledging current City staff’s dedication, the City of Austin encourages more to join its workforce.  
City of Austin employees work in the public sector to promote diverse services that help make Austin a place where people want to live, work, grow and play, while providing essential services and making critical contributions to our community.  
At 15.3%, the City’s current vacancy rate is the lowest it has been since February 2022, which shows progress toward reducing vacancy rates that have been higher than normal since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since the start of the hiring campaign, Citywide job vacancies have dropped from 2,537 in January 2023 to 2,401 by the end of April 2023. The net reduction in Citywide vacancies can be attributed to the graduation of 29 sworn personnel in the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services Department; dedicated time to fill positions; and streamlining the hiring process.  The vacancy rate and hiring goal set forth by the Interim City Manager also played a large part in reducing long-term vacancies, through recent investments in promoting job openings and continued departmental efforts to address hard-to-fill positions.  

In addition, 911 Call Takers and Police Dispatchers were featured prominently at the beginning of the hiring campaign in February and March contributing to a significant uptick in applications, during that time APD received:  
  • 9 Police Dispatcher Lead applications  
  • 112 Police Dispatcher applications 
  • 143 9-1-1 Call taker applications   
Austin Energy  
In FY23 the utility has filled 108 positions – 71 internal promotions and 37 external hires. Austin Energy continues to have vacancies for critical roles for their power system engineering section and leadership roles in their Energy Efficiencies section.   
“While we’ve made progress in filling positions since the beginning of this campaign, there are more jobs to fill,” said Austin Interim City Manager Jesus Garza. “The City will continue to focus on recruiting and retaining talented people to deliver the services our community expects.” 
The City’s overall approach in attracting quality employees is to offer a competitive market salary and provide great health, retirement, and other benefits, while balancing the need to maintain tax/rate payer affordability.  City of Austin employees enjoy a number of great benefits as part of their work, which include:  
  • A retirement pension fund.  
  • No-cost to low-cost insurance. 
  • Job stability. 
  • Work-life balance, including sick days, personal days, holidays and vacation days. 
  • Career and professional development. 
  • Potential for flexible schedules and telework opportunities.  
  • Helping to ensure that the Austin community stays up to date on issues, projects, services and news that is important to them. 
  • Working with service-minded peers. 
  • Conducting meaningful work that contributes to the greater good of our city. 
  • And more… 
 Below is a spotlight of a few of our current hard to fill positions:  
Parks and Recreation Department  
The Parks and Recreation Department is focused on maximizing recruitment of lifeguards to staff the City’s pools over the summer season. They plan to hire about 850 lifeguards to fully operate the aquatic system, while hundreds of other temporary employees are needed for summer camps and maintenance. The City recently raised its minimum wage to $20 per hour to keep up with the cost of living. Lifeguards now get free training and a free uniform.  
For 2023, summer seasonal employees, which include Lifeguards and Camp Counselors, will now be eligible to earn up to an additional $750 throughout the summer.  The bonus structure is tied to hours worked, meaning an employee must work a certain number of hours between May 21st and August 12th to be eligible.  
“I started with Aquatics after I graduated high school and worked as a Lifeguard all through college. I’ve met some of my best friends lifeguarding and have seen so many of my coworkers move into high positions within Aquatics, PARD, and other departments like Fire, and EMS. There is such a variety of work to do with the Aquatics Division that has helped with my professional development, such as leadership roles, training and instructional swimming, as well as collaboration with other PARD divisions. Starting as a Lifeguard and progressing to a full-time employee with the division has provided me with an incredible skill set for my professional goals.” 
-Joshua Durham, Full-time Lifeguard, Barton Springs Pool 
Transportation and Public Works 
The Transportation and Public Works Department has many current vacancies and is highlighting their open Street and Bridge Operations (SBO) roles.  They are hiring operational and technically skilled staff to help maintain Austin’s public roads and streets infrastructure. Employment opportunities include entry-level, mid-level technical, leadership, and management roles. Entry-level positions start at $20/hour. 
With more than 52 departments and offices in the City of Austin, there are a large variety of jobs available.  There are full-time, part-time, temporary/seasonal jobs available, along with internships. To look at the jobs available at the City and to apply for any of the positions, visit   
After applying for the position you’re interested in at the site above, your information will be sent to the hiring manager of the department you applied for the job with.  If selected for an interview, candidates can expect a few rounds of interviews before a final decision is made.