How effective is the federal government at recruiting state and local employees?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Tricia 9 years, 6 months ago.

  • Author
  • #71353

    Jeremy Ames

    I’m interested in hearing from any current or former local and state employees who have considered applying for federal positions, or any current federal employees who started out in state/local government. Do you feel the federal government does an effective job of recruiting state and local employees? Are their disincentives to making the switch (e.g. loss of accumulated time in service)? What policies could the federal government implement to make it easier to hire more qualified state/local candidates?

  • #71365


    I’d have to say no. What do they do to recruite state/local government? (I’m a recruiter and I would be curious to know!)

    Actually, I’m quite confused at the job announcements and how does one determine if they meet qualifications? The wording is oftentimes tricky, such as:

    One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the SV-F band or GS-9 level in the Federal service orGS-13: One (1) year specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level.

    How is one to know what that means coming from outside federal service, and the position mentions it’s open to all citizens, not just internals ones?


  • #71363

    AJ Malik

    Re-engineering the byzantine federal recruiting process is the most effective way to recruit state and local gov or any human capital for that matter. In this era of transparency, demystifying, clarifying, and simplifying federal hiring practices should be a priority anyways. Technology can improve the status quo as well. For example, a federal employment portal – exclusively for those already in federal, state, or local gov – can provide the means for more effective recruitment of public sector resources. Lastly, transitioning from state or local to the federal gov should be relatively seamless to the employee, similar to transferring from a junior or community to a four-year college. Rich HR and other benefits are effective recruitment incentives for state and local gov employees accustomed to pretty decent amenities. It’s not rocket science.

  • #71361

    Jeremy Ames

    Thanks for the feedback! I was one of the finalist for FedPitch 2009. The idea I pitched was to allow federal agencies to open up some of their internal positions to state/local employees, and let those new hires count their years in state/local government as time in service for federal benefits. My pitch won, so we’ll see where the idea goes from here.

  • #71359

    AJ Malik

    Congrats. Hope your idea makes a difference.

  • #71357

    D. Rizzo

    Hi Jeremy,

    I’m a recently retired cop from NJ State Gov’t. & I would love to get a second career going in the IC, but, I don’t want to do patrol/shift work, if I can avoid it, since I did a lot of that in my 1st career. I don’t have my BA/BS degree either so it’s more difficult for me to get a Fed job let alone one in the IC as a polygraph specialist or an investigator Etc. The Feds see me as just another applicant & may want to make the easy fit of putting me into one of their law enforcement patrol jobs. They don’t seem to want to get involved w/ my change of careers idea yet, so, instead of seeing me as a responsible, mature minded, experienced policeman who they could cross train, they see me as something less than the highly educated, well rounded, adaptable, honest, dedicated, educable, hard working, well behaved, darling, college graduates who are flooding the market like guppies now. My younger daughter is one of them & just graduated from UConn. I fully understand that the Feds, like any employer, want to get the best employees they can for their money & it’s sometimes difficult to tell exactly who that might be. Let’s see, I think Aldrich Ames & Robert Hansen both had their BA/BS degrees, but, apparently they didn’t have their loyalty sorted out!! Hmmm….., anyway, lest I digress further, a lot of the people w/ degrees have realized that private industry pays better than Gov’t. They get into Gov’t. for training & then switch to the private sector to get the bigger bucks. My buddy Pete has A LOT of training from the US Army, other Gov’t. schools & his BS degree & he is pulling down much better pay as a consultant than he would as a GS-13/14 so he is not very interested in getting back into Gov’t. service. He has a better work environment, no shifts, & none of the political crap. The difference with Pete & a lot of the military/IC/LE people is that they have already made sacrifices for years, risked their lives for us & EARNED their share. I know some cops in my previous PD who are looking for jobs elsewhere, but, they would have to give up their time toward a pension, their seniority pay, their benefits Etc. and start at the beginning if they go elsewhere & if it’s not an approved lateral transfer. The idea to make lateral transfers possible between different levels of Gov’t. is a great one, but, in NJ even if you want to transfer from one PD to another, your current employer PD Chief has to approve it & if he/she doesn’t want to let you go then you have to do it like everyone else. Apply, take the tests, get put on the lists, jump through the interview hoops & then, if you are hired by the other PD, you can quit the first one. Some PD’s even want the transfers to go through the academy again. Hey, here’s another crazy idea, let’s try to standardize police academy training nationally so police certifications are valid nationwide & at all levels (local, county, state, federal). O.K., I better get out of here before my cynical cop attitude get’s me in trouble, if it hasn’t already. Thanks for letting me vent folks. Please stay alert, be safe & have fun.

    Best regards, Don
    John 8:32, De Oppresso Liber

  • #71355

    Adriana Bratu

    I am a former state government employee who is actively seeking a federal employment. As such, my responses are going to be inspired by my day to day experience and observations:

    I believe there are a few things the federal government can do better in order to recruit the best and the brightest, regardless of where those candidates are. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter:

    1. Allow current/former state employees to identify themselves as such, during the federal job application process. Often, the same duties, etc, are highly transferable, save for the pesky little boxes a state employee cannot check/ or an outstanding ranking form letter that a state employee cannot submit 🙂

    2. Allow for an equitable ‘time in service’ once employed. Perhaps a ‘one to one’ transfer may not be equitable, much like one cannot transfer all credits from a two year college to a four year university — but a baseline should be able to be arrived to. Much like credits are given to someone who is applying higher education to a position’s band, perhaps a similar system can be worked out for a local government employee.

    3. Inject a clearer job requirements description into the actual listing — often, the federal jobs are cut for a one size fits all in all aspects, and most folks do have a specialty in one of the many areas the federal listing is mentioning. In the civilian world, this would be known as ‘xyz skills/experience’ a plus, etc.

    I am certain there are many others, but those three are the single most important aspects of ensuring one can take advantage of the quality and experience that is often reflected at the local government level.

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