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Government Hiring and Recruiting: What will 2010 bring?

Originally posted by Monster Government Solutions on Unleash the Monster

The start of the New Year has our team contemplating what 2010 will bring to HR departments across the government. Here are a couple of areas where we are sure to see a focus on in the coming year:

o The hiring process. For a number of agencies the hiring process continues to be a challenge and one that many are working to address. Recent OPM mandates require a certain level of communication to candidates who are somewhere in the pipeline. This is the number one complaint with candidates in the federal hiring process.

o Automation of the recruitment process. Most agencies have already incorporated a level of automation into the process. Now they are struggling with how to make this process even more effective. The quality of candidates getting into the hiring pool continues to be a problem and agencies are looking for solutions to improve the talent pool and ask the right questions to identify just the right talent. We addressed this topic last month on our blog in, “Asking the Right Questions.”

o BRAC is also going to continue to make a huge impact on the recruiting and retention of civilian government employees. By 2011 it is mandated for the transition of all bases and units. Each geographical area that is faced with a closure or realignment will continue to struggle with branding, recruiting and retaining.

o In 2010, with the end of the recession, there is hope that the country is rebuilding its economic structure and with that there is a need for continued training to meet the demands of the job market. Education, training and work with economic development authorities will continue to be a top priority.

• Baby Boomer Retirement. The delayed departure of the initial retirement bubble has allowed for the creation of a second bubble of potential retirees. Now there is a huge concern on how to capture the knowledge of these potential retirees and transfer that knowledge throughout the agency.

Each of these areas is going to have a significant impact on the processes and procedures that impact our government and education customers. We’ll continue to provide our insight on these topics throughout 2010 and hope that you’ll also provide us with your comments and thoughts.

Happy New Year!

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Carl Kutsmode

Great post Shany! I have been consulting to non-government employers for the past 15 years to help them address all of the things you have noted are governement agency recruiting issues to be addressed in the future. Although there are things I am still learning about what can and cannot be done in recruiting people to work for the government, I am finding that there are MANY best practices non-government employers are using that can be applied successfully to government recruiting processes. Below are a few additional thoughts that I hope your readers will find helpful:

1) When considering recruiting technology investment or optimization, many employers go shopping for a new tool or system before conducting a current state analysis of their existing recruiting practices to identify key gaps to address and strengths to be leveraged by a new system. The most costly mistakes I have seen are when this step is not done and a new system is implemented on a bad process rather than optimizing the process and strategy first, then reviewing and buying a system that works best in the future state NEW process. In many cases the system they would have bought for much more $$ is no longer the best fit solution for their needs and anothr solution is identified after the analysis is completed which is able to address the key gaps at a fraction of the cost.

2) Recruiting process can easily get slowed to a crawl causing a poor job candidate experience when the employer makes changes to the process ad hoc and from the top down without first testing it as if they were a job seeker going through it themselves. For government agencies, there needs to be a balance of focus on process compliance and candidate experience which can be difficult to achieve if the candidate, HR and Hiring Manager experience is not firt considered in the process re-engineering effort. It is critical to be sure you have multiple stakeholders represented in your customer advisory team to review process change recommendations and help brainstorm for new processes that best meet ALL of their needs. Additionally, the input from recent hires who have gone through your process is incredibly valuable, but rarely interviewed for their opinion on what they feel should be changed to make the process better.

3) Talent sourcing strategies need to change as economic conditions change. In a down or recovering economy, many best in class employers post fewer jobs on paid job boards and instead hire expert SOURCING recruiters or contractors to find the best talent proactively and in advance of actual hiring need. For difficult to fill, ongoing hiring needs, centralized sourcing centers with dedicated recruiters can pay for themselves in shortening hiring cycle times and/or reducing third party search recruiting fees. For organizations with unpredictible hiring needs, scalabilty of recruiting staff and adequate staffing levels of recruiters is critical to ensuring consistent performance and talent quality. Partnering with external RPO vendors, research firms and contract recruiters is a great way to have on-demand resource scalabiity to support these kinds of unexpected hiring spikes.

I am sure there are many more tips I could share on this topic, so hope this is a good start towards helping people on GovLoop to begin to think differently about their recruitment re-engineering initiatives.

Carl Kutsmode
talentRISE http://www.talentrise.com
[email protected]


At the state level here in Arizona, 2010 brings few if any positions. I suspect due to budget problems in Arizona (as well a list of other states), this will continue at least through 2011. The start of the new decade is not too rosy!