A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
Government Needs Wide Net to Recruit Talent
April 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm #71135
April 30, 2009 at 8:52 pm #71143
Thanks Jamie, great piece !
April 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm #71141
Peter G. TuttleParticipant
Great Op-Ed that brings light to the subject. Additionally, agencies should start mentoring programs (if they have not already) where seasoned acquisition professionals can guide and assist the next generation. Even though mentoring can be somewhat time-consuming, if done correctly the benefits are worth the efforts. I’ve been a mentor and the experience was rewarding and one more way I could pay back to a profession that’s been my bread and butter since 1986. For those in our community that may wish to be mentors – I’d encourage you to check out any opportunities available in your agencies or with organizations such as NCMA. Cheers.
May 1, 2009 at 11:32 am #71139
Interesting, but I know you come from the private sector, so I’ll shed some light on something you probably are not aware of. We currently have a college student in our office working part-time, who we thought we could hire in May once he graduates, at a 7/9/11/12. What we were told is that to hire anyone at a 5 or a 7 now (whether or not it’s a career ladder), the hiring goes something like this… their application includes a 150 question “test” (have no idea what it consists of), and the office wanting to hire will receive from personnel only the top 10 candidates based in part on the answers to that test, and is told to hire from the top 3. Of course, hiring preferences play a role in who is referred to the hiring office, such as veterans preferances.
The other issue people need to realize is that because contracting is so short-staffed right now, people are moving between agencies very frequently, often getting promotions with the move, but sometimes just looking for a better commute or in general assuming that the grass will be greener elsewhere. This puts a tremendous burden on offices that bring people in, train, and lose the people inside of a year to another agency. I think that until it’s easier to bring non-1102s in and train them, even at much higher grades than originally thought of as a “trainee”, this cycle will persist.
I was with the government in the 90s and left for several years. Even back then, I was always frustrated with the hiring process. The main reason for my frustration was that once you’re in a series (1102 or whatever), you’re stuck. If you hate it, it’s very hard to move to another series, especially the higher your grade is. This is the fault of both personnel policies and narrow-minded managers. I know people who want to get into contracting (and those that want to get out), but it’s nearly impossible to make the switch. I truly hope this mentality is changing…
May 1, 2009 at 11:43 am #71137
Anne – Thanks for sharing. Not aware of this specific situation, but this goes to the fact that hire, train, and retain are the three target areas for acquisition workforce reform, but there needs to be serious consideration of the policies and procedures in place that make no sense, as you state.
Direct Hiring Authority might help the process, but it needs to be based on skills, capabilities, and even fit to be effective. A paradigm shift needs to occur to help alleviate the pressures of the contracting community and how they obtain talent.
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