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Does insourcing lead to 'theft' of contractor employees?

All the talk about government insourcing—that is, redirecting contractor work to federal employees—is missing a key issue, according to one reader: Where, exactly, are agencies finding staff to handle all that work?

The anonymous reader, responding to an FCW article about the Army’s plans to insource core functions now being handled by contractors, points out agencies are likely to expand their staffs at the expense of the contractors.

“Whether inherently a governmental-only function or not, what does that say for the contractor that invested time [and] money on that individual, sourced him to fulfill the customers mission, and the customer is now hiring that individual off from the contractor?” the reader commented “And, of course, no finder’s fee [will be paid].”

The theft of talent weakens companies that are already struggling to deal with financial instability, the reader believes, putting the administration’s insourcing policy at odds with its economic policies.

(As an aside: The question of finder’s fees was raised last summer when the administration officials first began talking up insourcing. But numerous government readers noted that agencies never see a dime when contractors hire away government employees.)

What do you say?

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:18 PM

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Reader comments

Thu, Apr 1, 2010

Stealing - Yes. At least in the old days it was bsased on a competiiton. This insourcing movement is all about federal employees building their offices and government jobs. If it were really avout capabilities we would hear more about full cost and qualifications.

Fri, Mar 26, 2010

I think for years, under the last administration, contract companies were making large profits from government contracts and now they want to complain about this. What about losing employees to other contractors?

Thu, Mar 25, 2010

I am a manager for a federal government contractor providing services. I have hired more than 60 employees. I can only present my personal and simple scorecard for the past 8 years: Federal Employees Hired - 2 (their stated reason for accepting offer: they were not being advanced fast enough) Company Employees Hired by Federal Government - 18; of which 15 did not change work desk nor work phone number (their stated reasons for accepting offer: less risk of being laid-off, better benefits, and/or higher pay)

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 tuomoks

As all(?) have already said - what's the fuss? "Investment of Time and Money" - last seen maybe in 90's - since then there has been zero investments on individuals, it's all up to a person today. Please, I'm from time when 2-3 months a year was company paid for further education - not training, totally different thing! - since then it has gone to zero and any further education has to taken on own time, don't waste company time and / or money?

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 William Carter Austin, Texas

The same argument has been made for decades where contractor employees have poached government employees who, obviously, were trained at taxpayer expense. Get over it!

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