Facing the Human Capital Crisis: A Systematic Review and Research Agenda on Recruitment and Selection in the Public Sector

Mette Jakobsen*, Ann-Kristina Løkke Møller, Florian Keppeler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As a human capital crisis poses urgent challenges across multiple countries, public administration scholars and practitioners are concerned with recruitment and selection questions. Literature evolves with an increasing pace whereby clarity over the state-of-the art and gaps in recruitment and selection research in the public sector is needed to direct future research and practice. We conducted a review of 59 studies to systematize and reorient research on recruitment and selection. Summarizing the state-of-the-art, we identify a strong focus on individual-level research of attraction, revealing several blind spots of research on other levels and process stages of hiring. Based on the synthesis of existing knowledge, we provide a research agenda that extends the predominant focus on attraction. By bridging public administration concepts with generic recruitment and selection research, the agenda aims at advancing the research on hiring in the public sector, offering a framework for levels, concepts/theories, processes, and key variables.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration Review
Pages (from-to)1635-1648
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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