Insight by Workday

In a fierce competition for talent, workforce data is king

Federal agencies are among those competing for talent in today’s labor market, and the competition is fierce.

With less than 7% of the federal workforce under the age of 30, agencies are engaged in a bit of a juggling act. Many are trying to staff up, fill vacancies and attract young talent interested in the mission. For the Biden administration, the federal internship program is one that’s ripe for improvements and more attention.

But retaining current employees is a priority as well, and this time agencies have a relatively-new batch of workplace flexibilities, such as telework, remote work options and flexible work hours, to draw on for help.

Agencies have always used the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey as a key tool to measure feedback and satisfaction from their current workers. But Wayne Bobby, vice president for Workday Federal, said he sees more organizations using short, regular surveys to take the “pulse” of their employees. It’s a practice Workday uses on a weekly basis with its workforce of 14,000.

“They’re asking different questions each week, but they go back to, ‘do you feel you’re a part of something significant? Do you feel like you belong? Do you feel like you have a way forward as part of a career?’” Bobby said.

Agencies have an opportunity to collect information about what makes their current employees engaged and successful on the job – and use that data to help them find candidates that will thrive as new additions to their organizations as well, Bobby said.

How Organizations Use Data Effectively

If you have an organization or an agency where you have a large number of folks who have left in the last six months, the question is why is that? I don’t know that we always have, in the federal government, the ‘why.’ We have the ‘what.’ Getting that ‘why’ is sometimes challenging, especially in the federal environment where there’s a lot of rules and regulations around how we hire, how we terminate folks within the organization and how we transfer and move folks around the government. But that’s a place where some change could bring up a lot of information to an agency to help them make a significant number of strategic decisions moving forward.”

Recruitment Tactics

There’s a lot of attractive things about the federal government, and people are interested in supporting and being a part of something they can believe in. So what kind of experience do we give those potential candidates as they apply for a job? The first impression they’re going to get is applying for a job, whether it’s through USAJobs.gov or an interaction they have with an agency. Did we create an impression there that really makes them want to lean in and pursue that job that much harder?

Featured speakers

  • Wayne Bobby

    Vice President, Workday Federal

  • Michelle Oltmans

    Federal Solutions Strategist, Workday

  • Nicole Ogrysko

    Reporter, Federal News Network