Agencies still need help with pending workforce shortage

The aging of the federal workforce'a situation expected to create a critical shortage of skilled IT workers over the next decade'is a major concern for government officials. But while the private sector is looking overseas for IT expertise, federal agencies are focusing their recruitment efforts in the United States.

They still have room for improvement on how they conduct their recruitment, several federal managers said today at the FOSE trade show in Washington.

For example, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and the Office of Personnel Management have held a series of recruitment fairs across the country, attended by more than 50,000 people. But agencies have so far hired only nine new workers from this group.

Agencies will have to use tools such as the recruitment fairs better if they're going to deal with the pending worker shortage, said Michael Dovilla, executive director of the council.

'We have to use every tool at our disposal to hire these people,' Dovilla said.

Training and mentoring younger workers also will help agencies replace senior employees who retire in the coming years, said Thomas S. Luedtke, NASA's associate administrator for procurement.

'We all recognize that there's going to be a lot of people leaving government in the next five to 10 years,' Luedtke said in a panel discussion of the Federal Acquisition Council. 'That means we're going to have a lot of trouble if we don't do something about it now.'

Since its first meeting last June, the 25-member human capital officers council has established five subcommittees to drive the federal agenda. The areas the subcommittees are addressing are:

  • the hiring process

  • performance management

  • leadership development and succession planning

  • employee conduct and poor performers

  • emergency preparedness.


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