Training Can Be a Heady Recruitment, Retention Tool

Susan Hall

In the midst of a wave of federal retirements, a Federal News Radio piece offers advice on recruiting amid tight budgets, a situation affecting private companies as well as the federal government.

One bit of advice large organizations can take from it is to develop relationships with candidates on a more personal level, rather than letting them get lost in the massive bureaucracy.

It quotes Jennifer Carignan, a career adviser for American University's School of Public Affairs, as saying:

Oftentimes that personal touch of actually being able to talk to a person and ask about what they do on a daily basis and what the culture of their organization is like, it's those interactions that oftentimes make a big difference in whether a student actually applies for a position.

Federal agencies have their work cut out for them in luring young workers into their ranks — and have been smart in setting up mentoring programs, something Gen Y workers especially value.

But government work can offer more than the chance to catch rogue spies and thwart cyber criminals — it can appeal to workers of all ages by offering ongoing training, Julie Anderson, chief operating officer and managing director at Civitas Group. She urged agencies to make it a line item in the budget. She told Federal Computer Week:

The main message here is for government to get this right — meaning IT investment that improves the security of the nation’s information, government assets and personnel. It’s as much about investing in the people as it is about choosing the right technology solutions and making sure it’s implemented effectively. You can’t have one without the other.

Anderson formerly served as acting assistant secretary for policy and planning in the Department of Veterans Affairs. She warned, however, that workers need not just a job but to be able to see a career path for themselves.

That’s something IT pros especially crave, Hay Group’s Vincent Milich told me. Milich, director of the group’s IT Effectiveness Practice, said too often other recruiters can lay out a series of advancements that a new company could offer when the candidate’s current employer offers no insight into his or her next move.

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