Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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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?

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


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