Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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HR, heal thyself


The Partnership for Public Service, which advocates for policies that help bring good people into government service, today released a report called “Closing the Gap: Seven Obstacles to a First-Class Federal Workforce.”

Since 2007, PPS and business consulting firm Grant Thornton have been interviewing dozens of chief human capital officers (CHCOs) and human resource pros about the federal government’s ability to hire and keep high-quality federal workers.This report is the third one to come out of that effort.

One thing that jumped out of the very first page of this latest report was a quote from one of the CHCOs interviewed for the study:

“They want us to hire all these people, but HR itself does not have the skill set.”

Yikes. We’d wager recent federal hires (and those still seeking federal jobs), as well as HR folks, have some input to offer on that statement ...

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Aug 18, 2010 at 12:13 PM


Reader comments

Thu, Sep 23, 2010 C. Ann Patuxent River, MD

I am a current 20+ year Federal employee and I have held at least 10-12 jobs with the Federal Gov't. I've quit the Gov't 4 times and been re-hired each time. I rarely interview for a position. A manger once hired me over the phone and he had not even seen my resume. Word of mouth carries a lot of weight in the Federal hiring process, if you are a hard worker willing to accept responsibility. If a manger wants to hire you specifically he lists you as a POI (Person of Interest) that is HRO secret code for pick this person. Many mangers give their POI the key words required in their resume to qualify or make the selection list or CERT. Years ago you could walk into HRO and say I'm not happy in my current job, move me and they would, not so true today.

Fri, Aug 27, 2010

I was hired 18 years ago coming out of an Ivy League with a fresh B.A. with honors and a couple years work at an insurance company - as a GS-4, because that's what they had open. I have fought my way to get anywhere up the ladder - picked up a Master's Degree along the way on my own time and at my expense - and just got my GS-11 3 weeks ago: around me they are hiring new Fed Career Interns by the half-dozen while they had forgotten I existed: and Senior Management's one complaint is there's no work for the new interns to do (I was being asked to cover 3 other positions by collateral duty as well as a TDY). OPM is not the only problem: the greed of Manager's whose eyes light up like a kid in a candy store at the thought of a new employee - when they don't know how to utilize, train or promote an existing one - is a real managerial HR problem!

Wed, Aug 25, 2010

HR is lacking across the spectrum. I'm a 40 year Fed, still working. take a look at OPM's main engine for applying for fed jobs: USAJOBS.com. It is extremely un-user friendly and routinely leads folks not currently employed in the fed workforce to code for positions an locations that they were not trying to apply for. When called to task for the extremely confusing process they had a GS-14 and two GS-13s (fed employees) use USAJOBS to apply for a job. They all pronounced it easy as pie. The problem is the disconnect between HR folks and the rest of the population.

Mon, Aug 23, 2010

I am a 22 year Federal employee with considerable experience in my field. Every time I apply for a position in my career field I am found, without exception, unqualified so cannot compete unless I get to personnel before the selection is made. I have made it in time one time - the first time and no other time since. This is isolated to the local personnel office. Using the same resume, if I apply for my career field at any other personnel office, I am placed highly on the list and interviewed.
Why can't the Government hire qualified people? Clearly, some local personnel offices don't understand the criteria as outlined in OPM Handbooks or the required/desired skills a Selecting Official asks for.

Mon, Aug 23, 2010

The experience of my fellow employees as well as myself with HR is that the attitude of the HR people is to provide minimal support to management and little to none for the rest of the people. If anything they were hostile to the general employees. One year we saw them getting an award for being a great orginization for our base, but all the people I spoke with about this wondered what how they could have got it since they provided such poor service - it was usually very slow and of low quality. I have seen much better attitudes with another HR group - and that organization appeared to be much better served. I doubt that training will imporve much without an attitude change.

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