Civil Service 2.0: You Won’t Need a Resume?

From – In the social media world, one of the big new pitches is that in the wonderful new reputation economy, you won’t need a resume. Potential business partners will find you on Google or a networking site, read your great bio, do a little independent noodling around into your background and decide to give you that killer contract.

Now, that vision is still quite a stretch in mainstream economy, where another storyline is that software programs are now giving stacks of resumes a first read before traditional analysts get to the digitally harvested cream of the crop. But it does happen.

In government, it happens, too, in certain at-will hiring situations (not talking about Van Jones, where it may have been a lack of pre-hire googling that did him in). But the truth of civil service is that it is highly bureaucratic and process oriented. Civil service reforms themselves drag on for years and often resolve only marginal concerns through concessions hammered out across the bargaining table.

Contracting is even worse, as large or favored entities get huge markups to provide quick short-term and project-oriented staff for public initiatives.

The questions looms large if we really are headed into a trust economy where Gen Y workers flit between projects and business entities become much more flexible: can government keep up? Will public agencies simply pay much more for that type of agility, or lose top talent in stodgy hiring and promotional practices?

Before social media, reputation-based hiring happened, too. So are we seeing a transformation, or do traditional civil service rules still apply?

What kinds of initiatives are you seeing out there? Where do you see this heading?

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Craig Thomler

Hi Adriel,

We see a similar concern in Australia. Many people I’ve spoken to – both in the public sector and private sector – have told me stories where potential recruits have balked at the complexity of public service recruitment practices, particularly compared to the salaries on offer.


I think Civil Service 2.0 will build around what already happens to a certain extent. Government managers are always looking for people that have a good reputation – whether that is because they’ve worked with them before or just heard good things in their agency.

With online media, reputations can grow and are not limited to in-person, physical person relationships but instead hiring managers may want to hire a person based on their knowledge sharing in places like GovLoop/Twitter or internal E 2.0 platforms.

I had a conversation with a federal manager working on a really cool project 3 weeks ago after I transitioned to GovLoop full-time. She said she was bummed as she was en route to offering me a full-time job. And you know why she wanted me – online reputation. She said “I want the GovLoop guy.” The next step is when the hiring manager says “I want that Adriel guy who writes that fantastic blog on GovLoop” πŸ™‚