“The Federal Government’s Brain Power Is Shrinking”
In the July 22, 2011 issue of CNNMoney.com, Booz & Company Partner Richard Rawlinson (Europe) said the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies need to make several mental shifts to maintain its talent pools in light of funding cutbacks and a significant percentage of their workforce nearing retirement age. Typically, government agencies wait for executives to retire, then adjust accordingly, Rawlinson said, “rather than manage the mix of skills that they have.” Planning for future hiring needs may be a new skill, but it’s a necessary one. The Partnership for Public Service suggested distributing employee questionnaires to identify potential talent gaps, with agencies also needing to conduct thorough exit interviews when members of senior leadership leave their jobs, and then make changes based on suggestions. Government agencies could also sidestep problems on the front-end by improving civilian hiring efforts, others suggested, and one way agencies can get that message out is to develop a relationship with the prospective employees early on, said Booz & Company Partner Ashley Harshak (Europe). That could range from sending researchers to teach at universities, offering scholarships, and developing robust internship programs, he added.