RALEIGH – The second annual State of North Carolina Virtual Career Expo will occur on Tuesday, September 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with more than 900 roles available in state government, and positions that are based in all 100 North Carolina counties.

A statement issued by the State of North Carolina describes the event as one that “will feature a variety of state agencies, and participants can chat one-on-one with recruiters and learn more about career opportunities with the State of North Carolina.”

“Recruiters also can assist individuals with creating accounts from which they may apply for state government jobs, as well as set alerts for job notifications in their field(s) of interest,” the statement reads.

Ahead of the event, WRAL TechWire reporter Jason Parker interviewed State Talent Acquisition Manager Kristin Siemek about the event and about the talent market.

A lightly edited version of the interview is below the video.

Jason Parker, WRAL TechWire (TW): Tell us about the event, and why it is happening virtually?

Kristin Siemek (Siemek): This is our second career expo, we had our first one last September.  Originally it was going to be an in-person event, but with everything going on, we transitioned it to a virtual event.  It was a very successful event, last year, we were able to connect with a lot more candidates because it was virtual, and a lot more across North Carolina, and even candidates outside of North Carolina.  We decided we would do the same thing again this year, and we’re really excited about having it.

TW: Tell us a little more about what the talent market looks like from your perspective — what are some of the hardest jobs to fill in state government right now?

Siemek: They’re all hard to fill.  We’re like everyone else, there is a shortage at this point in time.  We have jobs available across job sectors.  IT is, definitely, as with everybody else, one of the hardest sectors to fill, but we have jobs from administrative to communications to finance.  Legal, medical, healthcare techs, which are obviously extremely hard.  Especially with everything going on, jobs in the healthcare field are extremely hard also.

TW: Can you give us a sense of how many open roles are available?

Siemek: We currently, today, have more than 900 jobs posted for roles across the state.  We’ve got roles in all 100 counties in North Carolina.  Probably, about 60% of the roles are in the Triangle, but the jobs are available across the state.  We’re open to anyone who would love to come to North Carolina and be here, it’s a great state to be.

[Editor’s Note: We confirmed with Siemek after the interview concluded that 938 roles are open, and that about 40% of the open jobs would be based in the Triangle region.]

TW: Are any of these jobs based remotely, or in hybrid scenarios?

Siemek: We are all transitioning back to the office, but I would say, a lot of our positions are still hybrid or virtual in capacity, but it changes day by day.


TW: The AP reported today that cybersecurity roles in particular in state governments are particularly hard to fill.  Is that also the case in the State of North Carolina?

Siemek: Oh, yeah, definitely the same.  IT is one of the hardest to fill, it takes a little bit more effort to identify this talent.

TW: How big a problem is accessing cybersecurity talent, and what are the consequences of not being able to find talent, or to fill those roles?

Siemek: I don’t know if I’m necessarily the expert on answering those questions.  The ramifications are like for every company out there, if you don’t have the right staff on board, then you’ll have the challenge of somebody being able to get into your network.  Finding the candidates is our challenge.  Connecting with them, finding them.

TW: Is North Carolina doing anything to remain competitive in the talent market, especially in IT, given the current state of the talent market and the number of positions open?

Siemek: We are constantly looking at what we can offer our candidates, whether we’re doing market analysis for salaries, looking at our benefits to see how we can improve our benefits.  It’s not something that happens overnight, but we are always looking at what we can do to change to be competitive, whether it’s looking at hybrid, remote opportunities, making sure that we’ve got the training that we can be able to offer.  We are always looking at what we can offer candidates.

Tens of thousands of jobs up for grabs across the Triangle despite COVID

TW: Are there any advantages to working in the public sector as compared to working in the private sector? 

Siemek: I have worked in both, so I do have a feel for both private sector and public sector.  They are definitely two different environments, two different cultures.  I would say that some of the benefits for working for state governments, especially for the State of North Carolina, is just the quality of life, I would say.  Some positions don’t have to work a lot of hours, it does have its peaks, it’s not necessarily like private, where it’s 24/7 a lot of times.  I do say we have a good work-life balance, and we have great benefits.  If you’re ready to work, and work hard, then there are jobs here for you.

TW: What would you tell folks about the event tomorrow? 

Siemek: You can join the career expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where all state agencies will participate, and you could come and meet with recruiters from all the agencies.  We also have resources available for those transitioning from the military, and for their spouses, and for those with disabilities.  We will have rooms highlighting agencies in particular, especially IT, because that’s the group we’re looking at right now.  Please join us!  We’re really excited, we love North Carolina.  Come to North Carolina and work with us.


After the interview concluded, Siemek noted that resumes are not required in order for job seekers to participate in the event, nor would they be required to speak to recruiters.  A spokesperson for the State of North Carolina did tell WRAL TechWire “having a resume handy, or other resource from which they can refer to while talking about their experience and interests, may prove helpful.”

“As the event is conducted primarily through chat, participants just need a good internet connection and enthusiasm for public sector work,” the spokesperson added.