Closing the Gap: Seven Obstacles to a First-Class Federal Workforce
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Closing the Gap: Seven Obstacles to a First-Class Federal Workforce

August 18, 2010

On May 11, 2010, President Obama sent a memo to his Cabinet and other agency heads directing them to “overhaul the way they recruit and hire our civilian workforce,” declaring that the “complexity and inefficiency of today’s federal hiring process deters many highly qualified individuals from seeking and obtaining jobs in the federal government.”

The directive was unique in the 127-year history of the federal civil service, and represents a clear recognition by a president with a very full and challenging agenda that the ability of our government to serve the needs of the American people depends on having a strong and highly capable workforce.

This hiring reform effort is part of a broader initiative to deal with a series of troubling federal workforce management policies and practices—issues of great concern to the government’s Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs).

In the third series of in-depth interviews since 2007, the Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thornton LLP sought the views of 68 CHCOs and HR leaders on the state of the federal workforce and the president’s government reform agenda. They also were asked for recommendations on what it will really take to bring about change, further strengthen the civil service and improve government operations.

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