Federal Daily News

DHS filling key posts, but cost-monitoring issues remain

The Department of Homeland Security has improved its recruiting and hiring of employees, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Two years ago, DHS’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) developed a new coordinated recruiting and outreach strategy. The CROS detailed how to better link and coordinate recruiting and outreach efforts—with special attention to mission-critical occupations.

GAO studied these and related efforts at DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Secret Service. The results were promising, with vacancy rates generally below 3 percent through the three fiscal years beginning in 2010. Impediments to recruiting and retention, the report said, include financial constraints on agencies and higher competition in some regions in the country for desirable employees.

The GAO report also noted that tracking recruitment costs remains an area of documentation and study that needs some improvement. DHS collects some information on two out of three key measures that indicate how well recruiting is going—and the agency has a tool and database that tracks these.

But, the report noted, D&I “does not require that all components use this tool or provide data to DHS in a consistent manner.” As a result of this and other unanalyzed data, “D&I does not know the total amount of money being spent on recruiting and outreach throughout DHS, nor is it able to fully track component recruiting costs—and therefore cannot measure the results of the second goal in the CROS of optimizing outreach and recruiting resources.”


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