Are You Experienced? How Boomers Can Help Our Government Meet Its Talent Needs
Our federal government-the nation’s largest employer-will be especially hard hit by the boomer retirement wave. The average age of the federal workforce is over 46 and climbing. And over the next five years, nearly half of federal workers will be eligible to retire, including nearly 70 percent of senior managers.
Getting experienced workers from outside of the federal space to enter government service won’t be easy. Over time, government has grown isolated from external talent pools. Today, the flow of talent from the private and nonprofit sectors into the highest levels of our civil service is barely a trickle.
An effort to get more retirees to enter government service should be explored. And a number of signs-in particular, a match of numbers, interests, jobs and skills-suggest that such an effort could work. If it does, it would be a win-win-for older Americans, who would find meaningful opportunities to use their talents and experience, and for the federal government, which would gain highly skilled talent to help solve our nation’s most pressing problems.