How Technology is Redefining the Government Hiring Experience

This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, The Future of Human Resources in Government. Download the full guide here.

The biggest challenges facing federal hiring managers today are finding candidates with the right skills, getting them on board as quickly as possible, and retaining the best talent.

“Reducing time to hire is essential, but government workforce strategies require tools and insights for every stage of the employment lifecycle,” said Susan Fallon Brown, Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development at Monster Government Solutions. “Agencies need solutions for identifying skills gaps, creating accurate position descriptions, reaching and engaging the best candidates, managing the hiring process and developing their workforce.”

It Starts Before You Post 

Before agencies can engage the right candidates, they have to understand which skills they need.

The reality is that more than 70 percent of federal HR leaders still rely on informal methods for workforce planning, including handwritten notes, white boards and spreadsheets, according to a recent workforce management survey sponsored by Monster Government Solutions. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they weren’t gathering data on competencies at all.

“Identifying competencies is the foundation of agency recruiting strategies,” said Fallon Brown. “The power of technology can help answer the tough questions: what job skills are high-priority to acquire? What skills do agencies currently have? What skills will they need in the future? Job analysis and position classification tools are absolutely essential to creating job descriptions and recruiting efforts that clearly and consistently define the competencies agencies need.”

Once agencies articulate exactly what they are looking for, it’s time to get proactive about engaging the best candidates where they spend their time. Increasingly this engagement is happening online, especially when attracting hard-to-find STEM talent and millennials. The power of social media’s instant reach is critical to any agency’s recruiting strategy. Social job ads reach candidates online where they’re active, based on the skills and experience that agencies need, and advanced search technologies empower HR leaders to take a more targeted and proactive approach to uncovering the right talent.

“Monster’s social recruiting solutions reach hundreds of millions of individuals across the country,” said Fallon Brown. “Recruiters can use these precision tools to pinpoint and engage the talent they need at every stage of the hiring process.”

Making Better Hires, Faster

Monster’s hiring management suite illustrates how technology is redefining the government hiring experience. Integrating with existing HRIS systems and USAJobs, it was built from the ground up for government hiring, and screens large applicant pools against critical job competencies and efficiently identifies the best-qualified candidates.

The goal of these tools is to provide compliance without complexity. “At Monster, our developers work to simplify the job of an HR specialist and the people with which they work. We achieve that by providing easy-to-use, intuitive tools such as a step-by-step vacancy builder and automated workflow management. These solutions are essential to keeping the right candidates informed at every stage of the hiring process, so they don’t move on to other opportunities,” Fallon Brown said. “Our ATS makes that easy.”

“Our expertise, passion about what we do, and more than twenty years of experience enables us to help government agencies and job seekers ‘find better.’ Our focus on scalability, availability, reliability, quality, and security is the reason that 14 of the 15 cabinet-level agencies rely on Monster.”

The Work Doesn’t Stop at Hiring

Just as HR professionals are embracing new technologies to drive recruiting and hiring strategies, they need to be thinking about the critical role technology can play in workforce development as well.

Development starts with helping personnel navigate their own professional growth, outlining a clear career path within their agency. This is particularly critical for attracting and retaining the next generation of government leaders. A recent PWC study found that 65 percent of millennials said that the opportunity for personal development was the most influential factor in accepting their current job.

For example, Monster worked closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs to roll out My Career at VA, a program designed to improve employee retention and engagement. It allows individuals to create an inventory of their skills, competencies and interests, and visually explore potential career paths within VA.

In addition, fostering a diverse and inclusive (D&I) culture is critical to employee retention. The government workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, but attitudes and opinions still vary on the effectiveness of D&I programs. Recent Government Business Council research found that less than a third of federal HR leaders felt their organization is effective at leveraging diversity.

“It surprises some people to think that technology can make a major contribution to agency D&I programs, but it truly can,” said Fallon Brown. “Our WIN Insights by Monster tool facilitates engagement and open communication among colleagues, helps managers understand employee differences and uses that insight to build inclusive workplaces and high-performing teams.”

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