Attracting Top Government Talent

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Attracting top talent to the federal workforce has been an ongoing, crucial topic of discussion that has reached critical status. With retirements beginning to deplete the federal workforce, officials in the government have begun to examine the main recruiting tool, USAJobs; assess missing competencies and skill sets; and explore how to lure Millennials into the public sector.

The feature article in the June issue of The Public Manager  cites the need for government recruiters to be proactive in their search for top talent. "Employers must be aggressive and treat recruiting as a meaningful and sustainable strategy for success," writes author Timothy D. Howell.

Your agency's recruiting process should begin long before there is a job opening, Howell advises. It starts with a true assessment and evaluation of the existing environment and culture. How welcoming is the workplace to your current employees each day? These men and women and their vast networks can become your greatest recruiters.

In the second feature, Jon Wolper examines how agencies can attract and recruit Millennials. He explains that "the government recognizes it needs to bring in young talent—and its current tactics aren't passing muster for a fast, tech-savvy generation."


The key to attracting and retaining Millennials is to show you care about them and their development. "When Millennials feel that they're being treated as a resource that can be dropped when they're no longer needed, it becomes impossible to build loyalty. But if the loyalty is there, so are the Millennials," Wolper writes.

Bottom line: The federal workforce is in crisis mode. It has a hard enough time competing for good talent with the private sector, but it also must change its recruiting tactics and become proactive in its search for top employees.


Enjoy this month’s issue, and let me know if you have topics that should be highlighted in a future issue. 

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About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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