Lessons Learned: Making Strategic Hiring Decisions

Director‘s Perspective

Lessons Learned: Making Strategic Hiring Decisions

In a downsizing environment, there are steps you can take to ensure your organization is positioned well to carry out its responsibilities.

In the 1990s, the Federal Government downsized a considerable portion of its workforce using such strategies as attrition, buy-outs, early-out retirements, and some reductions-in-force. It then went through a period of limited hiring during which agencies were not able to develop much bench strength in their key mission-critical and support occupations. As the Government likely faces another period of downsizing, we need to take a look at the lessons we can learn from the 1990s experience.

First, organizations have to make more strategic decisions about what positions they will fill and at what levels. In the 1990s, a popular reduction strategy was “last in, first out” in which agencies focused on retaining their most experienced employees and de-emphasized the need to fill lower-graded training positions. This strategy contributed to an aging workforce with a limited pipeline of talent and predictions of a “retirement tsunami” in which critical Government functions would not have More

John Crum
Director, Policy and Evaluation

U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board

Excerpt from the September 2011 Issues of Merit newsletter

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Liamarie ASA

Awesome article. Exactly what we are going through in our region right now. Managers should read this article. It would help identify what their most critical occupations are and plan their hiring decisions. Liamarie

Mark Hammer

I recommend getting on the mailout list for Issues of Merit. Terrific little publication from a thoughtful bunch of people. been getting it for years, and always find food for thought in each issue.