By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

Perspective: Ways to improve fed recruiting

Fewer than one-third of new hires in the federal workforce are under 30—and that proportion has eroded, not improved, in recent years.

For years, many experts and good government groups have been pressing for improvement in recruiting young, idealistic and tech-savvy career federal employee prospects. Those sounding warnings are inside and outside government, with perspectives on fixing the problem coming in recent years ranging from the Government Accountability Office to the Partnership for Public Service (PPS). All to little avail—or at least inadequate results on the ground, thus far.

A new analysis piece in the Washington Post notes that certain administrations—most pertinently, the Trump administration—took an overt anti-civil service tack, delaying and even refusing to fill many agency leadership positions while railing against federal workers and questioning the purpose of many departments. None of this was good for morale for current employees, nor for recruiting of new ones.

The proof is in the pudding: The piece notes that the early stretch of the last administration saw not only lower recruitment, but early departures and retirements accelerate by over 40% compared to previous years. The piece recommends a number of improvements that can be made—including the usual calls for speeding slow hiring times but also more innovative proposals to ramp up transformation and improvements in diversity (something prioritized by younger workers especially) and expanding temporary hiring of outside experts (for example, as outlined by the Day One Project.)

2021 Digital Almanac

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