Elliot, I don’t know if that reflects a lack of desire to work within the federal PS regardless, or simply the desire to work anywhere, and private or non-governmental sector offers just happen to come in first.
I do think that staffing which needs to take a long time, creates problems for itself by not providing frequent enough updates of the status of the process, or even explaining why it takes as long as it does. For recent grads or other young adults whose prior experience with staffing can often consist of hiring procedures that are superficial and fast because the employer doesn’t expect to hang onto the hire for more than 3-4 months, that “radio silence” can have a substantial impact. I don’t know if you’ve ever canvassed for a charity, but if you’ve rung the bell and knocked, and you can’t hear anything or detect any signs of movement through the little pane of frosted glass, how long do you wait before leaving? There may be a very generous granny with a bad hip trudging…slowly…but by the time she comes to the door, unless you’ve had some indications a person is on their way, you’re gone when she opens it.