CALL TO SERVE

Agencies

“Excellent variety of resources for reaching a diversity of potential candidates.”

– Former participant
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In the Media

Margot Conrad on Federal News Radio: Hiring freeze affects ability to ensure quality service

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Contact

For additional information, contact Emily McConnell emcconnell@ourpublicservice.org or (202) 617‑3142.

For agencies to effectively deliver results—both in the immediate and long term—they need to recruit and hire top talent at all experience levels. We help agencies develop targeted strategies to build a dynamic workforce.

Call to Serve is the only national network that brings federal agencies together with more than a thousand institutions of higher education to promote federal service and recruit the next generation of public servants. Using the resources of this network, we help agencies connect to diverse, hard-to-reach talent pools. Members of our network receive:

  • Interactive workshops that build skills, stet best practices for addressing common recruiting and hiring challenges, and stet opportunities to collaborate with other federal agencies
  • Access to college and university professionals across more than 1,000 colleges and universities who can help establish talent pipelines
  • A monthly newsletter featuring recruiting and hiring resources and federal workforce news

We also advocate for reforms to streamline the federal hiring process. For instance, our advocacy contributed to the passage of the Competitive Service Act that will allow agencies to more easily fill mission-critical positions.


99% of participants in one of our custom workshops learned to refine practices to better attract, hire and engage with the next generation


96% of participants used the actionable guidance and resources to develop action plans within their agencies

Hiring Freeze

While federal recruiting and hiring is always a complex issue, the current hiring freeze makes the task even more challenging. Nevertheless, agencies should still be taking action, even now, to secure the health and vitality of their workforces.

Before agencies respond to the hiring freeze, it’s important to understand what it says. The freeze impacts hiring for civilian federal employees, but exempts the military as well as national security and public safety positions deemed essential. The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management recently issued guidance for federal agencies to help clarify how the freeze should be implemented. A number of agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, have already carved out exemptions. The presidential memo directs OMB and OPM to recommend a long-term plan by late April to reduce the size of government through attrition.

Impacted agencies should still communicate with students and job seekers throughout the application process. It’s important to be transparent and let prospects know if application materials are still being accepted or reviewed. This will keep candidates engaged, even as you await additional guidance. Agencies should communicate their hiring status and exemptions to the public via websites and social media. For instance, the Partnership’s @GoGovernment Twitter handle continues to be a valuable hub for agencies to promote their openings and connect with talent.

If your agency is hiring and you would like assistance promoting open positions, please email Kari Rea at krea@ourpublicservice.org.


Custom Services

Agencies are able to accomplish their missions because of the dedicated public servants who work to tackle some of the nation’s toughest challenges. This important work cannot be accomplished without a talented federal workforce, but the competition for top talent is fiercer than ever. We can help you in this fight to reach diverse talent sources, attract the right candidates for mission-critical positions, compete for top talent and build pipelines with colleges and universities.

We can work with you to develop everything from one-hour sessions to customized half-day workshops to months-long engagements. Our hands-on approach is built on our expertise from working closely with agencies and leaders across federal government.

The Partnership has several offerings to help agencies address their most challenging recruiting and hiring needs throughout the hiring lifecycle including recruitment, hiring, onboarding and talent development.

  • Have unique hiring needs? Check out our Custom Agency Sessions, virtual or in-person workshops focused on your toughest recruiting and hiring challenges. Workshop topics may include: special hiring authorities and flexibilities, building the hiring manager/HR relationship, recruitment best practices, workforce planning, data-driven decisions and outreach to local talent sources.
  • Want to develop your current talent? With our Professional Development Curriculum, we’ll design and conduct a professional development series or individual sessions for employees or interns, ranging from brown-bag lunches to full-day events and addressing skills like communication, time management, maximizing an internship and how to lead from your level.
  • Looking to build relationships with top talent? Connect with local talent sources as we convene various groups to support your agency’s specific recruiting and hiring needs and goals, do targeted school outreach with our Call to Serve Network of more than 1,000 colleges and universities, organize and conduct panels with talent sources, and more.
  • Seeking to strengthen your entry-level talent pipeline? Work with us to develop a Custom Internship Program for your agency. This may include (but is not limited to) conducting outreach to diverse organizations and mission-critical fields, onboarding and monitoring interns’ experiences, evaluating the program and providing professional development to position interns for success.

We offer these opportunities and many more. Each offering is always customized to your unique hiring needs. For more information about how we can help your agency, contact Emily McConnell at emcconnell@ourpublicservice.org.

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"The insight that the student panel offered was invaluable information. They definitely let us know what is lacking and what we can do to improve.”

—Participant

Resources

Despite the complex rules governing federal agencies recruitment and hiring practices, there are plenty of ways agencies can use the systems at their disposal to connect with mission-critical talent.

To help our agency partners become more strategic about connecting with prospective job candidates, we’ve developed a bank of resources for hiring managers to use.

PATHWAYS PROGRAM

The federal government faces challenges to recruit and hire well-qualified candidates who are in school or who have recently received a degree. Complex and lengthy procedures, disparate programs and low intern conversion rates cause many potential candidates to choose opportunities in other sectors.

Established by Executive Order 13562, “Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates,” the Pathways Programs are designed to help agencies address these issues by streamlining processes and providing students and recent graduates with clear paths to internships and full-time employment, as well as meaningful training, mentoring and career-development opportunities.