In his first television interview in his capacity as Clerk, Michael Wernick told CBC television that his biggest challenge will be presiding over the generational change that is taking place in the public service.
This is in line with recruitment being one of his priorities for the public service this year in his latest annual report.
In the interview, the Clerk said that’s why it will be important to ‘professionalize HR’ in the public service and to be able to recruit people from the outside right into the senior ranks of the public service.
This is one of the reasons why the Privy Council Office (PCO) has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for, “services to develop and help maintain an inventory of potential candidates for consideration by the Privy Council Office for possible appointments to senior leadership positions in the deputy minister cadre.”
After the creation of the inventory, it is expected that PCO would draw on it as it supports the Prime Minister by identifying deputy minister candidates for consideration.
It is anticipated that after initial creation of the inventory, it would need to be updated every two months.
When asked about diversity, the Clerk admitted the challenge in having a public service that looks like Canada, most notably in the senior ranks.
“We have work to do in all aspects of diversity, frankly,” the Clerk said.
“However, I’m quite confident that in a few years, you’ll see a very different looking senior public service.”
To continue the discussion on diversity, participate in today’s LeadersGC online chat happening at 8 p.m. (EDT) with the President of the Public Service Commission.
Watch the Clerk in his own words here: (starts at the 21:45 mark)