future forward talent acquisition challenges federal agencies

Challenges of talent acquisition for federal agencies

Future forward: Paving the way for long-term remote work success in federal agencies

In today’s rapidly changing technology-driven world, attracting and retaining top talent is a challenge that extends across many industries. Federal government agencies are no exception, facing the task of recruiting and retaining skilled professionals in a competitive job market. Challenges are abundant but there are some effective actions that federal government agencies can take in order to recruit top talent today.


1. Competing with private sector for talent

One primary challenge these agencies face is competition with private sector companies that offer high salaries, competitive benefits and flexible work arrangements, employee retention can be a difficult task for federal agencies. Private sector companies include tech giants and startups, who are known for dynamic work cultures and groundbreaking projects that push the boundaries of technology and innovation. This is very attractive to top talent in the market.

2. Employee retention and employee development

Employee retention in federal agencies poses significant challenges due to many factors. . Attracting and retaining specialized talent in fields like cybersecurity and data analytics remains a persistent challenge, as these professionals are in high demand and often enticed by private sector offers. Legacy work environments and limited flexibility can contribute to low retention for federal agencies as employees may feel as though they are not developing fast enough professionally and want to explore what private sector has to offer.

3. Employee performance management

As more federal agencies have moved their workforce to a hybrid or fully remote setting, employees can be miles or even states away from their other co-workers. This can make tracking employee performance difficult for managers as they are not consistently present to observe the employee. This can cause challenges in the development of the employee professionally within the agency.

4. Security

Federal agencies are tasked with safeguarding extremely sensitive data. Employees are required to go through extensive background checks, security clearances and other processes prior to being hired which extend the recruiting process and deter potential candidates. Resource constraints are another security challenge for federal agencies, as they often operate with limited budgets, which makes it challenging to invest in cutting-edge cybersecurity measures.

* Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study

Key factors for success

Federal agencies employ several key factors to instill long-term success for remote work. These agencies are actively addressing their competition by modernizing their approaches to talent acquisition with strategies that attract top talent, ensuring that they will continue to play a vital role in the nation’s future.

1. Expanded talent pool due to work flexibility

Work flexibility has expanded the talent pool for federal agencies by allowing employees to have more control over the hours they work in the day and offering hybrid and remote work options. This flexibility has broadened the talent pool by enabling agencies to attract professionals who may not have been able to relocate for a traditional office job. Work flexibility within an agency can consist of offering employees the opportunity to come to work early and leave early, come in late and stay late, take blocks of time throughout the day to take care of personal matters or work from home temporarily or permanently. This diversification of the workforce brings in fresh perspectives and expertise, fostering a dynamic and inclusive work environment by allowing employees to be in control of the hours they are working in the week.

2. Improved job satisfaction due to remote work

The adoption of remote work policies within federal agencies has led to notable improvement in job satisfaction among employees. Remote work provides federal workers with flexibility to balance work and personal life more effectively. The reduction in commutes to the office has minimized stress for employees and contributed to a better work-life balance which enhances well-being. The reduction or elimination of a work commute gives employees more time to focus on projects and allows for them to manage their time in a more productive manner. Flexible work schedules and hybrid and remote work increase productivity within federal agencies by allowing employees to work in comfortable environments that foster focus and efficiency.

3. Diversity and inclusion hiring

Diversity and inclusion hiring are critical for organizations, and federal agencies are actively implementing strategies to promote inclusivity in the recruitment process. Agencies enforce policies to remove bias and discrimination from the hiring process, ensuring equal opportunities for all applicants. Diversity and inclusion hiring is a talent recruiting strategy that expands the pool of applicants. Federal agencies who use this strategy can better compete with candidates who are being overlooked by other employers in the market. The pursuit of diversity and inclusion enhances the representation of federal agencies serving the diverse needs of the nation’s population.

Federal agencies engage Baker Tilly to solve their most urgent challenges and leverage emerging technology to fulfill their mission. We bring our Oracle Cloud solution knowledge and industry-spanning experience to assist our federal customers in achieving the modernization and enhancement of their back-office strategies, operations and technological infrastructure.

The Future forward: Paving the way for long-term remote work success in federal agencies article series focuses on specific human capital management strategies that can enable your federal agency to achieve that seemingly daunting goal. We will discuss three key strategies to simultaneously improve your remote workforce’s productivity, efficiency and job satisfaction. Stay tuned for our next topic, developing an agile workforce.

*Statistics sources

Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022, Cisco

Meghan Loomis
U.S. Capitol Building with a dramatic sky
Next up

So, you want to be a government contractor?