With large numbers of federal employees eligible to retire soon, and churn a persistent problem, a new approach to hiring and onboarding is needed, says Wayne Bobby, Infor vice president for federal government solutions.
He lays out the issues and some solutions in a Nov. 18 article in FCW headlined "Using IT to address the federal talent shortage." Here are excerpts:
"According to the Office of Personnel Management, nearly two-thirds of government's career senior executives will be eligible to retire by 2016, and similar trends can be seen throughout the federal workforce. As the impending retirement of the "baby boomer" generation looms, a shortage of skilled government employees is expected to occur over the next few years. Without a capable workforce, agencies will be limited in their ability to execute day-to-day tasks, serve citizens and keep critical mission functions running as they should.
"The issue of mass retirement is not the only concern for government entities when it comes to recruitment. A 2010 study by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton suggests that nearly 25 percent of new federal hires leave their jobs within the first two years, and a more-recent OPM study found that the median employee tenure is 3.8 years. While the reasons behind this churn are still being explored, the immediate impact is costly and significantly reduces an agency's capacity to provide essential services.
"Another factor to consider is the difficulty associated with filling critical-skill positions. Employees with unique skills and specific expertise are not easily replaceable, meaning that more time and resources must be dedicated to the recruiting and selection process.
"In the face of these challenges, a new approach to hiring and onboarding is necessary to help reduce turnover and fill open positions quickly and efficiently. By applying talent science principles and technology to human capital management processes, agencies can create a completely new model to choose the right employee for the right job."