FedPitch: Recruiting state and local employees into the federal service

Below is my winning idea for FedPitch 2009. Thanks to all the Govloopers who provided feedback on my idea before the competition. I’ll join the FedPitch organizers and judges this Friday FEDTalk on Federal News Radio at 11:00 AM to discuss FedPitch, then later in the month I’ll join my fellow finalists for dinner with the judges to discuss implementing our ideas. Let me know your thoughts on the feasibility of my proposal and any ideas for implementing it.

“Although several recruitment programs and hiring flexibilities exist to attract entry-level employees, federal agencies still struggle to fill mid-to-senior-level positions with qualified candidates, a problem made worse by pending retirement waves. The nation’s millions of state and local employees remain an underutilized pool of talent for filling mission critical federal positions. These public employees bring with them a unique set of skills and in many cases a familiarity with federal programs, often requiring less retraining then their private sector counterparts. Yet these candidates face the same hiring barriers as any other applicant, and further as federal annual leave and retirement benefits are linked to years of service, many local employees with generous benefits of their own have a disincentive to change positions mid-career. I propose granting agencies, via legislation and/or executive order, new authorities to recruit and hire highly qualified local employees. Federal agencies would be allowed to designate a certain percentage of critical positions eligible for special competition authority. Eligible local employees would be treated as internal candidates, similar to current federal employees, for purposes of hiring if they are able demonstrate they possess the requisite experience and skills. In return, these employees’ time in public service would be counted towards their years of federal service for calculation of federal benefits. ”

Thanks again to Fedpitch’s organizers for hosting this cool contest. Here is last year’s winner, Robyn Dingledine winning idea. Please consider submitting an idea for FedPitch 2010.

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I really like this idea and I think it is very doable. Just needs some Hill support, Union support, and the attention of OPM. But it is very sensible and just makes sense. Strong work – I voted for you…

K. Scott Derrick

Jeremy: Great post! A big thanks to you and the other pitchers for making this year’s FedPitch another great success. See you later this month at the FedPitch Judges’ Dinner.