Changing landscape in federal agency hiring processes

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Jeffrey Neal, senior vice president of ICF, discusses “fragmentation” in the civil service, and why individualized hiring processes might not solve all staffing problems at agencies.


One concept quickly gaining traction in government HR is agency individualized hiring processes. As part of the recently introduced Taxpayer Protection Act, the Internal Revenue Service would streamline its critical pay authority, allowing it to recruit tech talent faster, and differentiate its hiring process from the rest of the federal government. Jeffrey Neal, senior vice president of ICF, told Government Matters that ideas like this are “fragmenting” the civil service, and it’s important to strike a balance between fracturing the federal government and treating it as a single enterprise.

 

“You don’t have to hire Transportation Security Officers the same way you hire doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are good reasons to hire different types of people in different ways,” Neal said. “The government hires physicians, undertakers, budget analysts, policy and housing analysts, people who do international trade, it hires laborers, aircraft mechanics. You can’t have a single system that fits every one of those folks. Having something that is based on the occupation you are trying to fill and the talent pool you are competing in is the approach that works best.”