Is the private sector poaching government’s IT talent?

Is the private sector poaching government’s IT talent?

To help recruit talented technology workers, organizations such as 18F, the U.S. Digital Service and Code for American have been trying to channel entrepreneurial tech talent into government. Unfortunately, some Washington, D.C.-area tech companies are siphoning that public-sector IT talent right back out, according to DCInno.

Public-sector workers that have both IT and government experience are appealing to established companies and startups looking for business in the government technology space because they believe those workers can help compete for government contracts.

Gordon Barclay, a corporate IT recruiter at Quotient, estimated that the demand for technical talent in Washington, D.C., is so high that less than 1 percent of the talent pool is unemployed, making it difficult for private firms and federal agencies alike to find the people they want.

As the talent pool shrinks, IT jobs command more money than the government can offer, which in turn tempts current government IT workers to abandon public service for a private sector gig. In addition, commercial firms often provide a friendlier and more relaxed environment, DCInno quoted local tech execs as saying, along with the opportunity to work with more advanced technology than the legacy systems installed in many federal agencies.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.


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