If you could change one thing about Federal government human resources management, what would it be?

Home Forums Human Resources If you could change one thing about Federal government human resources management, what would it be?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 10 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #106356

    Jeri Buchholz

    If you could change one thing about HR at your Federal agency, what would it be?

    I’m asking because (1) I am in charge and can change things, and (2) because we are getting a lot of supervision at the Federal government level on making HR better and sometimes I wonder if these are the right things.

  • #106388

    Steve Ressler

    Ask for 1 and I’ll give you 4 🙂

    1 – Streamline application process – I know many great candidates never apply because USAJOBS is too crazy
    2 – Referral bonuses – We had that at one agency I worked for. They made it impossibly to actually get them. But they are a good idea that almost every private company has.
    3 – Promote in various channels – I’d make sure my job postings werent just on USAJOBS but also on lots of other places. Syndicate to places like Facebook and Twitter. But also on niche job sites and related blogs/magazines – for example, post the social media manager job on mashable.com, the economist position at the economist.
    4 – Make it easier to rotate/detail – I’ve had a number of friends who want to stay in govt but dont like their current job. And eventually went to private sector because it was quicker to get new job. But really they just wanted a new experience in govt. I think details, rotations, job transfers, etc are great

  • #106386

    Peter Sperry

    Initiate SERIOUS career planning programs that outline the training and experience needed for career progression and integrate them into the performance review process.

    Give supervisors and managers some way to assure subordinates at the top of their career ladder (ex. someone who has reached 13 on an 11-13 ladder) they will be given priority consideration for movement to a position with a higher ladder.

    Encourage inter-agency transfers to advance careers and help employees at the top of their ladders identify and apply for open positions. If they leave with good feelings, they may come back when they have climbed the new ladder and/or encourage colleagues at the new agency to consider the one they have been promoted from.

  • #106384

    Noha Gaber

    Hi Jeri,
    I just posted a discussion under “Job Seekers and Career Advice”. I probably should’ve posted it here, but anyways, here is the link: https://www.govloop.com/forum/topics/is-the-federal-hiring-process?xg_source=activity
    Essentially, I agree with Steve about “streamlining the application process”, but we need to also consider changing the way positions are classified, advertized and candidates evaluated. As Savi pointed out, the positions and questions are worded in a way that disqualifies someone who doesn’t have detailed experience in the position. We should instead be asking what value (in terms of experience and transferrable skills) that candidate brings to the position.

  • #106382

    Steve Ressler

    Totally agree.

    Out of grad school I had no idea what a program/management analyst was…still don’t. And that’s what a lot of positions are hired as (really a jack of all trades – general position)

  • #106380

    Terrence Hill

    As a Federal HR Specialist, I would recommend that we make sure that HR Specialists are more professional. I believe that more need to be certified by professional organizations like SHRM or WorldatWork and be allowed to be more creative and innovative.

    I also agree with referral bonuses. I also think that we need to use social networks for recruiting, training, and networking. The Ofice of Personnel Management needs to take the lead in this effort.

  • #106378

    Jenyfer Johnson

    1. Make it easier for someone in the system to be promoted, even without education. Such as giving them education credit for all the years of work experience they have. Example: I am a GS-0028, Environmental Protection Specialist and I am a top-step 11, but I only have a 2-year Associates Degree. I am unable to apply for Environmental Engineer jobs when they open up because I don’t have the 4-year degree but I have been working as a GS-0028 for over 16+ years and I think that should count for something!!

    2. More career development for non-professional positions, such as GS-0028’s.

    3. Make tuition assistance applicable to degree programs, so people really could develop in their careers. We get turned down for tuition assistance if a class is not applicable to our job and that is not fair if we are being encouraged to “develop our careers”.

    4. Have someone in addition to the HR Specialists review individuals PD’s, core documents and applications. HR Specialists do not even understand the job that these people are going to be doing…they are trained to look for “key words” and “key phrases”. They can and will disqualify perfectly qualified individuals and that if UNFAIR. They should have someone who is familar with the job qualifications involved in the process.


  • #106376

    AJ Malik

    Those antiquated KSA’s to begin with. The private sector recruits quite efficiently and effectively without essay questions on job applications. Next, develop a promotional career track/path for talented technical resources. Technical talent should not necessarily have to jump on the management band wagon just to have access to promotions and higher compensation. Doing so, depletes their organization of their technical talent, which, ironically, was their claim to fame. Doesn’t make sense.

  • #106374

    Sandra Lou Ceballos

    To put veterans in Human Resources Offices through out the government to work only with veterans that are already in the government or those applying for federal positions, at least veterans would know how to deal with other veterans and know how to understand their military paperwork and their military counterparts.

  • #106372

    Joan E

    Change the classifciation system so that pay is not solely based on the position, but also on the skills and experience brought to the position by the incumbent or new hire.

  • #106370

    Margaret Brindzak

    Look more into succession planning in regards to Human Resources and training our employees to be successful and to look to the future. We need to learn to grow our workforce to help motivate them to retain them in a Government position in these turbulent times. Save the best with encouragement instead of losing them to another agency or private industries.

  • #106368

    Doris Tirone

    Despite the legislated requirements by which HR has to abide, the areas of employee training/development, organizational planning, and more flexibility with ways to reward employee performance are also great recommendations. An added “One Thing” that would make HR better would be to require field experience for HR positions that are filled at National Offices for each Agency. Writing HR policies from an ivory tower is the least likely way to improve organizational growth & development AND it brings field-level institutional knowledge to the forefront of each Agency!

  • #106366

    Carol Davison

    1. Ensure that only integrous, collaborative, results achieving individuals become supervisors. This in itself would revolutionize the entire system.
    2. Assign work in accordance with employee competencies so work has intrinsic reward.
    3. Have employees and supervisors collaborate to develop meaningful performance plans.
    4. Develop competency models for first mission critical and then all other positions broken down by beginning, mid career, and senior level defining competencies, how they are demonstrated, and how they could be developed so employees can assume responsibility for their own career development.

  • #106364

    Henry Brown

    When I first came to work in the federal public sector, there was a big push on to “centralize” all the HR function. Perhaps maybe it might be time to revisit that issue. Where some of the HR functions, especially hiring, evaluation, PD writing, are ones that come to mind, are back directly in “the trenches” where the impact of those functions are perhaps the most significant.

    Yes would require guidance from a “central” authority but that, at least to some extent, is currently being done by OPM.

    Obviously this wouldn’t work where every 3 man project had their own HR specialist, and there would need to be some research done to determine the optimum configuration for HR Staff, and there would need to be not only a progression path for the HR professionals but a path for those who initially weren’t HR folks to get into the “stream”

    What this would do is insure that the HR specialist understood the requirements for the position beyond what some PD written by another HR Specialist who was probably as lacking in understanding as most

  • #106362

    Jenyfer Johnson

    I totally agree with you on this suggestion. I work for the Air Force and everything has been “centralized” down to Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) in TX. Basically what this has done is take most personnel matters out of the hands of base HR personnel (who know the job, the supervisor, etc) and put in down in TX (who know nothing beyond what is on paper)…plus add more time to it.

    The most recent development has been a moritorium on processing any PDs by AFPC, unless they are PDs that are tied to the NSPS-back-to-GS conversion. So, for example someone could be working under a Core Document from 1993, which should have been converted to a PD many years ago…but AFPC doesn’t want to see it because they don’t the personnel to keep up with the workload they now receive due to being centralized.


  • #106360

    Michael Marshall

    Totally agree. Most of the KSA are generically written especially under the IT positions & we all know that you can’t perform every discipline in the field as a IT Specialist. Take the time to write exactly what the position is really looking for and you will acquire a person that will better fit the position.

    2. Mr. GovLoop said it best under suggestion 4 to allow for rotation and Mr. Sperry, allowing for true career progression obtaining the knowledge & skills to improve the government instead of just juggling tasks.

    I’m personnaly at the crossroads of deciding whether to stay with the government, 19 total years (15 yrs Enlisted & 4 yrs GS), or leaving to join the civilian IT market in order to make a difference not just puch the clock.

  • #106358

    Curt Canada

    Great question to ask of of persons on this site that actually work for the government. I’m not so sure I would have told them that I am in charge (its ok to be incognito). You may have gotten more of a response. What a great diverse and resourceful and intelligent and hard-working community here at GovLooop in which to share authentically what tangible and intangibles have been instituted to better the workplace . Allow them to know what exactly you’re wondering about and I bet hey will reply. How can we get them all involved in the process of “change.”

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