What if Gov Hired Like Google?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Sperry 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #181637

    David B. Grinberg

    There’s been periodic talk over the years of reforming the civil service system in general and federal hiring practices in particular. To that end, Federal Times tweeted the following earlier today based on a New York Times op-ed by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Thomas Friedman:

    Federal Times
    Thought experiment: What if the federal government used hiring criteria like Google’s?:


    • Should Gov Hire Like Google/Silicon Valley?
    • Why or why not?
    • If so, could the Executive Branch make these or similar changes to federal hiring without legislation by Congress?


    ICYMI: Gov Innovation Labs? Silicon Valley Comes to DC

    * All views and opinions are those of the author only.

  • #181645

    Peter Sperry

    The idea has some real potential —


    We would just have to budget for hiring as a slightly different type of acquisition.

  • #181643

    Adrian Pavia

    This is a great question, David. I’m not sure how to answer it, though. I can however point out that certain areas of government are already doing things like this.

    For example, the core competencies for a successful Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) — problem-solving, interpersonal skills, accountability, oral communication, and adaptability — are very similar to the Google hiring criteria referenced in Friedman’s column (leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability). There is also no GPA minimum for PMF applicants. I would say this process most closely resembles the hiring process of the big tech companies, who often employ different kinds of cognitive tests and simulations. As someone who has gone through the PMF process, I’d say that it is a time-intensive, expensive and exhausting process, and I am ambivalent about recommending it for positions across the board. But I wonder if it can be pared down and streamlined for other positions. My one caveat is that if we are going to begin to filter the hiring process to capture only those with the highest learning and leadership potential, we may have to offer salaries to match, and I don’t know if government is currently in a position to get into a bidding war with big business!

  • #181641

    David B. Grinberg

    Thanks for sharing that interesting article, Peter.

    Maybe they will invent super fed robots to replace us all. What do you think?

  • #181639

    David B. Grinberg

    Thanks for sharing that valuable feedback, Adrian. Streamlining bureaucracy and cutting “red tape” is almost always a positive development for gov, stakeholders and citizens alike — whether in the public sector employment process or elsewhere in federal, state and local gov.

    I think the bottom line here is that gov needs to do what it takes to attract, recruit, attain and retain the best talent possible in today’s increasingly diverse labor force and competitive global marketplace. Hopefully, this will not involve replacing us with robots or related artificial intelligence per the article Peter shares in his comments above.

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