Our federal workforce is in a moment of crisis. Nearly half of all federal workers are on the brink of retirement, and there is insufficient interest from younger generations and other skilled workers in taking their spots. A recent report lays bare the demographic realities:
- There are nearly four times as many employees age 65 and older as under age 25
- While 23.9 percent of the overall U.S. workforce is under age 30, that is true of only 6.2 percent of federal workers
There is a perfect storm of issues here, but it boils down to this: younger generations are more interested in private sector jobs.
The reasons are both ideological (they see federal workplace culture as bureaucratic, with work that is less interesting and rewarding), and practical (the public sector hiring process is long and unpredictable, and pay is lower). Compounding this, there is a global digital skills gap, making it difficult for even top companies to fill open IT and digital roles; this leaves even fewer – and less desirable – candidates to step into the ever-growing headcount on the federal side.
This issue is not new, and work is being done on all fronts to address it. Congress, for example, has passed laws to speed up hiring and most agencies have developed targeted recruitment strategies for recent graduates. But the scale of this challenge means we must tackle it in a new way: to change the minds of young workers, the federal government must change its approach.
Luckily, organizations across the public sector are in the midst of digital transformations, rebuilding and modernizing the way they function and how they deliver services through the adoption of cloud, big data, AI and other technologies. These digital tools must form the cornerstone of reframing how agencies recruit younger talent. To bring on a new digital workforce, a government must first become digital.
Source - Read More at: www.forbes.com