The sluggish federal hiring process has long been considered one of the greatest challenges to recruiting, hiring and retaining a top-notch federal IT workforce. The Partnership for Public Service on Friday released new guidelines for federal managers on how to streamline that process and ensure top-flight candidates are chosen for IT and other job openings.
Federal offices have been hampered by chronic understaffing or staff capacity that is not properly aligned to achieve mission outcomes, and this jeopardizes the ability of agencies to fulfill missions and requires that managers devote more attention to recruiting, hiring and retaining talented professionals, according to the report. Federal managers are the most familiar with the work that needs to be done by new employees, so it's crucial that they have a stake in making sure the best person is matched with the vacant job, the Partnership notes.
So what's your role as a federal manager? The Partnership outlines five steps:
- Understand your workforce needs. This step should take place before you have a staff opening.
- Partner with human resources. This should be an ongoing a collaborative relationship throughout the entire hiring process.
- Recruit a pool of qualified job applicants. This requires keeping job announcements simple and effectively publicizing openings via all appropriate venues.
- Hire the best person for the job. Work with HR through every step in the process and ensure all members of the hiring committee share the same key messages and goals.
- Onboard the new employee. Effectively welcome the new employee to the agency and ensure they have meaningful work either through training or tasks related to the new job.
The Partnership's guide also provides managers with a handy list of questions to guide them through each of the five stages of the hiring process.
Does your agency need to make such changes to ensure a top-notch IT workforce? Or, if such reforms have already been made, how effective have they been in recruiting and retaining new workers?