In the coming years, the federal government will need to hire more than 200,000 highly skilled workers for a range of critical jobs. In order to fill this hiring gap, young people, who have the right skills and background must be drawn into public service. The government is attracting many outstanding candidates, but the recruitment process remains so bureaucratic, cumbersome and complex that much of this talent is never hired.
To address this ongoing issue, the Obama administration has called for federal agencies to streamline their recruitment and hiring process. While the administration has put some reforms in place, many believe that the federal hiring process remains far too inefficient, discouraging many talented young people from entering government service. What has the Obama administration already done to improve the federal hiring process? What more is it planning to do? Are there other reforms it should consider? And how can we overcome political obstacles that have stymied past reform efforts?
On September 28, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted an event exploring the efforts of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to implement President Obama’s initiative to improve the federal hiring process. Following opening remarks by OPM Director John Berry, one panel, moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston, focused on forward-looking reform ideas and a second panel discussed overcoming obstacles to implement reform. The event concluded with a lunch keynote by James Mullen, president of Allegheny College, who discussed ways to induce young people to choose a career in government.
After each panel, speakers took audience questions.
This event was followed on Twitter using #FedHire.
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