Get a Life

By Judith Welles

Blog archive

Get a Life!: Federal jobs have appeal

A new study from the Merit Systems Protection Board shows that government is hiring considerably more highly skilled and senior professionals from the private sector to replace those who are retiring. The report finds that the values and benefits of government work are a major appeal.

However, the biggest obstacle is the time it takes to actually hire people and get them on the job. That comes as no surprise. The good news, judging from the increasing number of hires, is that upper-level applicants seem willing to wait for the job security and benefits they will gain if they are hired. 

The study also finds that the majority of the new upper-level hires are white males. Given that minorities and females are underrepresented in some of the occupations recruited and the agencies recruiting are well-represented by males, this should be no surprise either.

Still, MSPB will be doing a detailed study on the hiring patterns for females and minorities later in the year. It will make recommendations on changes that might help make the government workplace more representative “of the public it serves.”

In addition to job security, the challenge of public service and the benefits of flexible work schedules are motivators to upper-level applicants seeking government jobs. This is all good, but my question is why aren’t these benefits also attracting increasing numbers of recent college graduates to government work? After all, challenging and flexible workplaces are also the values and desires of Millennials.

Perhaps the results of this study of upper-level hires need to be communicated more broadly for entry level hires, or at least, should be the message used in college recruitment. What do you think can be done to recruit a diverse workforce of the best and the brightest?

Post a comment on this blog (registration required) or send an e-mail to (subject line: blog comment) and we will post it for you.

Posted by Judith Welles on Apr 02, 2008 at 12:13 PM


  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.