Senior leaders in the federal government are showing pessimism about the governments ability to recruit and retain the best talent available. Barely half say their agency is able to recruit the best, while a similar share say their agency can barely retain its best employees, according to results of a survey conducted by the Partnership for Public Service.
Just under 1,000 political appointees, career federal executives, and senior career professionals responded to the survey. The group who produced the the survey said it “paints a picture of a mission-driven cadre of federal executives” who rated supporting their agency’s mission and influencing policies that are important to them more highly than their job security and their salary and benefits.
However, this belies the deeper data, where the pessimism emerges more sharply:
Fewer than half said their agency has enough employees to do a quality job and 60 percent said that “an inadequately skilled workforce is a significant obstacle to fulfilling their agency’s mission.”
Factors contributing to the latter cited by more than half include the length of the hiring process, inadequate career growth opportunities for staff, salaries that are not competitive with the market, lack of resources, civil service hiring rules and lack of a proactive recruiting strategy.
Fewer than half cited an aging workforce with a high retirement rate, political pressure to limit the size of the workforce, or lack or qualified applicants.
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