Agencies struggling to share talent across government

Federal hiring managers are happier with the quality of candidates coming through their doors, but agencies are finding it difficult to share that workforce talent with each other.

In the latest progress report for the cross-agency priority goal of developing the federal workforce to its full potential, three-quarters of the milestones related to multi-agency workforce pilot programs are at risk.

Out of the fiscal 2016 first quarter markers for driving greater employee engagement, only the development of a legislative framework and policy proposal for this kind of cross-agency sharing had been completed, the report stated.

The Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget are the project team, with OPM leading the effort.

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“Understanding the importance of meeting and exceeding its goals, OPM is currently analyzing questions related to non-reimbursable employee exchanges between agencies,” an OPM spokesperson said in an email to Federal News Radio. “Once this important work is done, we will post our findings in the next quarterly update.”

Launching agency specific initiatives agencywide and meeting with OPM’s Office of General Counsel to discuss those pilots were both missed. Those milestones were pushed to the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

The fiscal 2017 goals for the launch and roll out of GovConnect governmentwide also remained at risk. GovConnect is a 18F-led program that helps agencies test and adopt new workforce approaches.

Playing catch up

Enabling agencies to recruit and hire the best talent is another section of the CAP goal, and the project team has some work to do to meet those respective milestones.

Developing and launching a suite of Pathways Tools as well as a training course for human resources professionals fell behind a February 2016 schedule.

The project team also missed two February deliveries related to the key milestone of improving user experience:

  • USAJOBS Next Gen: Applicant Release 5.3: Application Guide
  • USAJOBS Next Gen: Agency Talent Portal Release 5.3: Resume Mining Enhancements

Some milestones are on track to be reached in this first quarter report; however, that is because they were pushed back from previous deadlines.

A milestone of expanding assessment tools and guidance was pushed back from October 2015 to March 2016 according to the report, and that is now on track.

The report noted for this overarching goal of helping agencies to recruit and hire the best talent, that “all milestones have been updated to reflect revised strategy/priorities for FY 16/17.”

The goal of working with pilot agencies “to implement work plans related to [Senior Executive Service] recruitment, assessment, and selection processes,” was moved from July 2015 to July 2016 and is on track.

Supporting agency pilots to identify ways to streamline the SES hiring and Qualifications Review Board process was moved to August 2016 from April-May.

OPM’s timing on providing a New IQ [Inclusion Quotient] to help agencies “increase inclusive work environments and highly engaged employees,” was on track, but the milestone due date had shifted from December 2015 to March 2016.

At the end of 2015, the integration of Phase 3 updates to the UnlockTalent.gov dashboard were 90 percent complete for the year, and by this most recent progress update that integration was complete.

Phase 4 milestones of adding a link to the Employee Viewpoint Survey online tool and incorporating “additional data elements and core metrics, and content updates,” were both on track.

But similar to the last progress report, incorporating a way for agencies to add their own data to UnlockTalent.gov was not started nor on track.

Quality of candidates

Among the progress made since the previous report was released in January, monthly updates were provided to the Community of Practice page of UnlockTalent.gov, guidance on executive rotations was released and a cyber hiring summit was hosted to highlight the government’s plan for recruitment and hiring of a cyber workforce.

Key indicators also saw an increase in this report. Hiring manager satisfaction with the quality of candidates increased by 2 percent — from 59 percent to 61 percent — from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

Hiring manager satisfaction with SES applicant quality improved from 51 percent to 54 percent. The increase in the percent of managers who said they are involved in the workforce planning process also increased from 64 percent to 65 percent.

The percentage of employees who said they thought the skill level in their organizations was improving rose from 51 percent to 53 percent.

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