A new report released August 26 from the Partnership for Public Service recommends data-driven hiring and innovative talent management to maintain a strong Federal workforce and overcome mission-critical skills gaps.

“To ensure that it has the talent it needs to respond to a wide range of domestic and national security challenges, government must become more strategic in how it hires and develops employees,” the report asserts. To become more effective, the partnership first recommends assessing the skills of current employees, determining how those skills align with the work, forecasting attrition, and making hiring decisions accordingly.

As the government works to recruit and hire more effectively, the Partnership for Public Service praised data and evidence-based approaches to recruiting new talent. At the Department of Homeland Security, the Strategic Marketing, Outreach, and Recruiting Engagement tool is an in-house platform that enables the agency to track recruitment efforts and return on investments in real time. Per the report, the snapshot of recruitment activities provides DHS with the analytics to yield better-quality hires.

In another case study, the Partnership for Public Service described the Air Force open position dashboard that tracks backlogs and application status of potential new hires. Through the new dashboard and other hiring efforts, the Air Force cut its time to fill open positions by over 40 days.

With these examples and more showcasing the benefits of data-driven hiring, the Partnership for Public Service ultimately recommends a talent pipeline dashboard replicable across agencies to track hiring. The dashboard would provide insights on overall vacancy rates, time to hire, turnover, diversity, and other metrics to streamline talent acquisition and retainment.

“Our hope is that this report and the accompanying talent pipeline data dashboard inspire stakeholders to think differently about management of the Federal workforce and try new approaches, adopt innovative practices and regularly measure their performance,” the organization wrote.

Other efforts recommended by the report include investing in internships to recruit a young talent pool, building and promoting the Federal brand to potential hires, and keeping in touch with former employees for connections to talent.

The Partnership for Public Service is working with MeriTalk and ACT-IAC on a forthcoming project to provide recommendations at the intersection of IT and human capital that focus on innovation, security, technology, and workforce. “Resilient: Government Pandemic Insights for a Safer America” will be published in January 2021 with a virtual colloquium to follow in February.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.