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FCW Forum: How do you keep midcareer acquisition employees?

Agencies’ “gray beards,” their most experienced procurement employees, are handling a large portion of the workload while teaching the newcomers about the intricacies of the contracting process, acquisition experts say.


But the majority of contracting officers — those gray beards — will soon reach retirement age. Figures say an estimated 54 percent will be eligible by 2012. That makes midcareer employees who have experience in the field critical as the retirements increase in the coming years.


Although retirements have hovered below anticipated numbers, the workforce’s turnover has continued at a steady pace, averaging a 7.8 percent since 2000.


Considering that, the Federal Acquisition Institute said, among other things, the government needs to retain skilled employees through “care and feeding” — to keep the midcareer employees and their skills in the agency.


How do you care for and feed your midcareer employees? Are there ways to make them enjoy their jobs at your agency so that even a promotion at another agency won’t seem as inviting as staying where they are?

Posted on Jul 03, 2008 at 12:12 PM


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