10 ways to bait top talent into government

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It may take particle accelerators, laser weapons and fusion chambers for government agencies to win over the nation’s brightest science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical professionals.

STEMM jobs are mission critical in federal government, yet wooing the right individuals into public service is becoming increasingly difficult. Government faces stiff competition from the private sector and academia, both of which can often offer better salaries and workplace benefits.

Because the demand for STEMM professionals far exceeds the supply, the federal government should entice this talent pool by showcasing uniquely federal benefits: the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s security and work with cutting-edge technologies only available in government labs – particle accelerators, laser weapons, fusion chambers and more.

This suggestion comes from a newly released report titled The Biggest Bang Theory from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton. The May 15 report, based on interviews with hiring managers in government and private sector, provides federal human resource departments with best practices for luring top STEMM talent. Also included are recommendations for Congress, the administration and the Office of Personnel Management.

Here are suggestions for government HR outlined in the report:

  • Use the mission as the magnet: Market the unique STEMM features offered only by your agency;

  • Mine the diamonds as they are forming: Recruit “upstream” for a more powerful effect;

  • Send out the Sheldons: Enlist peers to help recruit STEMM talent;

  • Keep eyes on an XPRIZE: Use competitions to open the door to talented people;

  • Go virtual: Head online to promote and publicize exciting jobs and missions;

  • Offer quantum-leap career paths: Give STEMM talent the opportunity for varied assignments throughout their careers;

  • Start a chain reaction: Share lists of pre-screened candidates throughout your agency;

  • Beta-test your talent: Give potential candidates substantial assignments to test their skills;

  • Create a parallel universe: Offer a dual-track career trajectory;

  • Find the prime numbers: Use data and dashboards to evaluate hiring, performance and job satisfaction.

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Booz Allen, Partnership for Public Service
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