Government Needs to hire 270,000 workers in three years

Chris Parente originally posted this story in the telework group. But, I am one who is pushing for more teleworkers, so I thought I would also post it here.

As I read that story, I kept thinking of this part,


“The nation’s unsettled economy and high unemployment rate may ease the government’s task, as workers turn to the federal sector for job security and good benefits. But Stier said many federal agencies will have to fight to attract top talent, particularly in fields in which government cannot compete with private-sector salaries.

“Most are going to see extreme competition with the private sector,” Stier said. This could be especially true in fields such as medical, legal and information technology, he said.

Yet federal hiring remains a cumbersome process for many agencies. “Fixing the hiring process is a key component in making it work,” Stier said. ”


Yes, I would love a kick butt salary. But, I am a simple girl. A ton of Money is not everything to me. A nice living, and a nice retirement is good for me. BUT, what I do like is having a productive day, and spending time with my family. I love having the work/family lifestyle, and am willing to work for the Government salery, instead of chasing the buck at different civilian jobs. For one thing, a Government job is mostly secure, and that makes me happy. I think the people who are hitting their heads on the wall trying to attract “talented employees” are closed minded to what the Government can offer – telework! I talked about this in another thread. If the government finds a very talented person to do the job in another state, are you telling me they can’t hire that person, because of the closed minded thoughts to telework? I do understand that telework is not the answer in every case. There are many people who must work from an office for various reasons; security, personal reasons, or type of job. But, there are other options to expand the net for talented employees. A talented person should not have to move to work for the Government.

Other options which may be available are; co-op offices. Let’s say each state has a few federal co-op offices, where employees who live in that area actually telework – but from a central office. If I worked for an agency in Washington, and I live in TN, I could work in a local Federal office so I did not have to move. I am not sure why some of these options are not being used. And for the few agencies who do use this option, why are these ideas not being expanded?

We have some of the most creative people working in the Government and the resources to get the technology we need to make this work. Yet HR folks are wondering how they will attract talented, educated employees. This is just a crazy situation. It is like the answer is right in front of their face. With all the wonderful, educated, talented, people who work for the Government (and I work with some really great people), we can’t get together and attract talented employees? There is something wrong in this situation. Is it policy? Is it thought processes? Is the hiring processes? I don’t know. But, it looks like something needs to be changed, and minds need to be a little more creative to meet the mark of getting all those new people hired.

What I have an issue with is this story states the economy is a good reason why the Government will not have a huge problem finding employees. WHAT? So, as soon as these employees work for the Government and get trained, then the economy gets better, and we lose good talent. Is that a good way to do business? In contracting alone, it takes a few years to train someone to the standard of being able to really understand how all the polices work together to form big contracts. Why do we want to train people knowing as soon as the economy is better, we will lose them to a bigger paycheck? Sometimes I have to shake my head at the way the system works.

On the bright side, I am in my 40’s. I have about 3-6 years more of higher education to be where I want to be in life, and by then many more baby boomers will be retired. It doesn’t matter if we telework or not, this is a perfect opportunity for us 40 something’s who have education and experience to start moving up!

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I agree….I think this is a perfect opportunity for government to hire…and I don’t think our only selling point is the bad economy. To me, it is simple – government deals with the biggest problems facing this country and we need people to serve. See how the military advertises and recruits. They put a face on it…the army of one. Government has the ability to get great talent…they just need to get out of their own way sometimes. Have us tell the story of serving and calling to serve.

Amanda Blount

LOL – Yep. The powers that be need to move out of the way, so we can help them do their job. I love it! I agree with us telling the others why we work for the Government. I love working for the Government. It makes you feel good at the end of the day that you may have made a difference for someone who is counting on you. Everyday, I have many people (up and down the line) who count on me to do my job correctly and professionally. Small and large Businesses depend on the fact that I know how to search them out and ask them for quotes. Mom and Pop businesses depend on me to help them through the process of working with the government. The reward of knowing the happinesses of a small business, when they win their first government contract, is a wonderful feeling. Soldiers count on me to vet their projects well enough that they don’t end up with junk on their front door when the contract is signed. Of course, everyone in the office must work together to follow the many rules, regulations, laws, policies, etc and etc (none of us look good in orange). What a huge amount of responsibility for just one person in such a small office. How many civilians can say they feel that good about their jobs?

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Amanda Blount

That is terrific! I hope you get everyone you are looking for. Unfortunately, if I was looking for a job in the prison system, I am too old. But, I will make sure to pass this around on facebook, and at work.

Jerry Gidner

In my experience (I am a career Bureau Director), the telework issue is more one of management preference than policy. I think the policies allow it. It seems to be more a matter of managers believing the only way they know an employee is working is if the employee is there so they can see them working. When the real measure is, did they do the work they were assigned to do? If the finished project is in the managers inbox (literal or electronic) then why does it matter where they did it (or when for that matter? don’t get me going on core hours). In reality, my organization of 5,000 employees is so widely disbursed geographically that most of the peple are teleworking for all practical purposes in relationship to me, anyway. So I think we can do much more. I now have a laptop with an air card so can get to my email and share drive anywhere there is a cellphone signal, we have cell phones and conference phones and fed ex. Even as a Bureau Director, I could do this job from elsewhere (and do when I travel). I suspect the H1N1 flu is going to push us to the telework limits very soon (saw a report today that some 80 colleges already have outbreaks 2 weeks after classes started, so it is coming and coming fast). I think a lot of people will be working from home this fall either because of sick kids, being sick themselves, or just because places close down. And I think there are ways to really stretch it. I remember an article about a foreign firm with offices in DC. Visitors were greeted by a big screen tv showing a woman who was the receptionist. She could greet people, answer the phones, direct them where to go etc. But she was physically in Pakistan. Any reason we couldn’t do that? I don’t think so. I think I could have a secretary in Ames Iowa and have he or she provide most (maybe not all ) of the services I get from my secretary in DC.

Amanda Blount

HI Jerry,

Great Post. As for the secretary. You could! There are tons of companies right now on the internet, and even personal people, who have your “virtual” 1-800 number forwarded to anyone you want. For instance, my sister, who lives in NC, was my secretary was my secretary for a short time. If I had more technology back then, and money, she had easily been in her living room, on webcam answwering my phones and taking care of my customers. She is as real as anyone else, and you can interact with her as well as anyone else, but she is just in NC. Anyone stay at home mom can do this. If a company really wants to help out stay at home moms (or Dads) , they can help them set this system up, and while the kids are in school, the Moms / Dads are Secretaries. The number one company I know that does this (and they are very ligit) is I know two stay at home Moms who work for this company, and they make the extra money needed for the family to get by. PLUS, the winning part for society, the kids are being raised by a parent and not the system.

So, yes, it is possible. It is happening on a small scale all around us. As technology gets better, cheaper, and easier, I see more families doing what I wish I could now – One parent homeschool in one room, and one parent working from another. Then they can switch and the other parent could teach in the afternoon, and the other parent can work on their projects. On a few days a week, even the kids can pitch in working for the parents. They could help write a project, learn accounting, or drafting. The family and work time becomes blurred because both help each other. There are no lines drawn for the time. If the parents need to take a work trip, everyone goes. The kids learn from experience, not just from a book. The family works together to accomplish it all. Everyone learns as everything gets accomplished. Yes, this can be done. There are families who live just like this everyday. Lawyers, Drs, small business owners, farmers, and Military families live like this. I know them personally, so I know it can be done.