People & Culture: A Toolkit For The Federal Talent Management Community

March 7


For my friends in talent acquisition that may feel that they are pushing a boulder up a mountain or are feeling like Prometheus Bound as it relates to finding qualified candidates for mission critical occupations tomorrow the Office of Personnel Management will address talent management best practices for the public sector with the release of the REDI Roadmap.

If I had the opportunity to visit with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and my friends at OPM you know who you are, and a few of you as well at the CHCO Council. Here is what I thought to share in a public comment forum to help build on a recent report by the Partnership for Public Service on the CHCO Federal Roadmap (below) on How The Federal HR workforce can better attract the best and brightest talent into a 21st Century Workforce, in that we need to do a better job to tackle the challenges facing not just the US but society as a whole.

Federal Human Capital Management

Source: Partnership for Public Service FMP Sponsored CHCO Federal Roadmap

Source: Partnership for Public Service FMP Sponsored CHCO Federal Roadmap

Together public service and the citizen can work collaboratively in the spirit of Gov 2.0 to help achieve great things and ensure success in those undertakings that aspire to propel humanity forward and to help achieve great things. Your missions and for those that our public servants supporting the aspirational goals of #AmericasWorkforce – this deck below is dedicated to you.

People & Culture: A Toolkit for The Federal Talent Management Community from John Bersentes

Note this slideshare is being released on the eve of the release of the #REDI Roadmap, views expressed are my own and please be kind to your special emphasis program managers tasked to attract a diverse workforce under very tight budget constrained environments. Know that they are using legacy IT systems and facing skills gaps across several fronts. Some of these ideas are free, some tools are COTS, Some are GOTS but all in all I applaud the efforts of the Administration to bring real and lasting meaningful change to the issues of People & Culture for our Federal Agencies and those Global Employers that support them and strive to build diverse and inclusive cultures in their respective organizations.

For those in the commercial space this may be very timely for you too given the recent 2015 Human Capital report issued by Deloitte which shows gaps are increasing, as well as supports the general notion that the current trend to move to a more agile, mobile first, and forward leaning HR Technology is happening globally.

For those in public sector HR you should consider this a slideshare as a look book of sorts in that it was designed to assist you use digital engagement and employer branding with collaboration tools to improve recruitment strategies, but your job will be to first streamline the Federal hiring process. There are several prime contractors out there that can help as well, but for those that would see value in new platforms I imagine, or a least are curious to provide “discovery and requirements gathering” maybe a few ideas in here to help you keep pace with the changing HR technology landscape and the barriers we may face to embrace disruptive or sustaining innovations. In fact there is a live online event tomorrow at 1:00pm EST and think it would probably be a good idea to invite OPM’s equivalent to the U.K.’s Department for Work & Pensions Office . Not unlike the Universal Jobmatch service they have in the UK, OPM here in the US needs to readdress the careers website model built by Monster Government Solutions way back in the day when I came back into the space which was a contract held by my former employers’ parent company In this case as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management will be rolling out a new initiative tomorrow, which I know very little about, called REDI. (Recruitment, Engagement Diversity & Inclusion) my hope is that this may very well culminate in a revamped approach to social media talent acquisition for the public sector, in and above an upgrade to, as well as the newly minted governments’ ATS solution USAStaffing.

Do check out #AmericasWorkforce on 3/5/15 @1:00pm EST.

Having worked over the past decade to drive meaningful change in how we attract talent and address public workforce recruitment, retention, human capital and outreach both from the talent management and from the marketing communications perspectives – at least for both public and private sector organizations, a few ATS platforms like that from OPM. as well as out of New Zeland, AVUE, Quick Hire, EconSys all have contacts across the Federal sector. At the State level there are only a few players like NEOGOV as well that could be connectors or conduits to achieve your ends for diffusion and adoption of newer HR technology innovations such as an applicant tracking system. For these players It might be interesting for you to consider wading into a deeper pool than just the $8B USD market in Talent Management to the Professional Services sector which represents $65B USD with another $3.8B being projected to be spent in 2015 in Human Capital. Several contracting vehicles or subcontracting opportunities may be coming just look at 18F at GSA whom will be very busy and gods speed to the team there, as the examine the best ways to engage both agencies and contractors who may be tasked to address R/D aspects around innovating talent acquisition.

As always I like to ask What If?

Given my access to these projects in the past and others inside the public and contractor community I hope this should prove of value from a heuristic standpoint. One other aspect to think about is the fact that given Federal agencies will be asked to uninstall and reinstall a newer version ATS albeit a “responsive ATS solution” called USAStaffing as of 27 March, the need to promote that, the need to help HR folks understand how they can use new blended sourcing solutions, albeit assessments via USAHIRE which is managed by OPM in consort with a division of CEB is but one unique opportunity for agencies to find the best talent. I will be pleased to hear that there will be several more opportunities like this to address “build, buy or partner analysis” type efforts as it relates to these types of focused initiatives via the legacy OPM Center for Talent Services and the new OPM Training and Management Assistance BPA coming out called OPM HCaTS.

In that many agencies may not be convinced that OPM can “pull it off” I scoff at that and say where there is a will there is a way. Consider it from a technology and business development perspective, the trend is to provide a “blended sourcing solution” for Government to sell to other Government entities to generate revenue that supports operations and revolving funds, as well as powers shared service models. IBM is doing this very well. The approach here may not prove to be applicable to you now, but for the most part a desire to drive cost effectiveness that can address recruiting for mission critical occupations may justify or outweigh the need for transparency depending where you sit. But make no mistake the need to be transparent is there, and too often when we seek to establish a stand alone or decentralized recruitment function, when combined with the ease of use and convenience or speed to market benefits via B2B, B2G or G2G procurement efforts- my hope is that one or two of these ideas may prove to be key competitive differentiator for you in the spirit of good government.

Good government needs good people as they like to say at the Partnership for Public Service when asked why Human Capital matters. To that end, there appears to have been a shared perception by some that the agency OPM needs help, and allot of it, and has allot of work to do internally before several efforts can get underway that are detailed here – granted these are pressing issues no doubt, but we collectively could provide for an opportunity to lower TCO for the American Taxpayer while building value and serving to help a Federal workforce that is struggling to attract STEM, Diversity, and Technical talent with a innovative and improved tools and technology that improve both candidate and hiring manager experience, so be it. This is what interests me and why I feel being able to reach a global audience of 18M on LinkedIn is worth the risk or putting it “out there”.

I think the governments in UK, Canada and Australia, ASIA PAC should come forward and also consider common cause efforts to increase the perception of “public service”. If we want to change the perception of the public administration executive – joe public needs to know that what you do is very different than that of the “elected politicians” that blow in to town and obviously at the distress of my friends at DHS can’t seem to pass a bill. So to move forward with REDI we need to start with a clear definition that America’s Workforce is not in the legislative branch though it should be, but instead rests on the shoulders of those dedicated souls we call the Federal Workforce. We should all be appreciative of their efforts, have you seen what they are paid, my god its paltry probably 35% less, and for that alone I would say god bless America and America’s Workforce. So you go Veronica Villalobos and Director Archuleta ! I for one applaud your efforts of those of the team at OPM. As we examine how we live diversity and inclusion every day it strikes me as funny sometimes that so many people think I am Hispanic given my work in the past within the community, and with the Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, it is understandable and recall fondly answering to the name Juanito in working with NAHFE, but I do not claim the pride of hispanic heritage which 1 in 4 Americans will by 2025.

But as the son of a greek immigrant 2nd Generation American, the notion of what we do and what are stems from one word, called Philotimo, not unlike Animo in Latin America

Philotimo or love of honor, a desire to make a difference regardless of financial gain, or benefit to one’s self. Those in public service or the military you have it, and we need more of it today and we need it in more of our leaders who are to be agents of change.

So are you REDI to make a change for a more diverse and inclusive Federal workforce ? Afterall if history teaches us nothing, we can look to Greece for which we attribute our system of government and consider the impact of culture. It can be so defining that to think it was but a small little spec on the map, a tiny little geographic region, but the actions of the small group of peoples from a few scattered islands of Greece made such a great contribution in terms of culture, religion, philosophy, science, architecture and the one thing that all greeks know, it was that culture, a sense pride, love of one’s family, sense of community and belonging that are but the very cornerstone and foundations of our democratic society today. Even after Rome conquered Greece, they never conquered their culture as we went into the Byzantine era and what 2000 years later has emerged more than ever is more than a way of life – it is the spirit of doing what is right – that is philanthropy- that is philotimo, to be honorable not unlike our Veterans that need jobs and care just as they too were guided by a sense of duty, patriotism, courage and personal sacrifice. We too must embrace that compassion and generosity to rise above it all and put forth a culture, develop leaders, train our HR brothers and sisters that seek to make a change. The ones that will inspire new entrants to the Federal workforce or your company are the ones you keep because like so many out there who doesn’t want to work with a team of highly dedicated tech savvy professionals that want to bring a love of country and pride to our daily tasks.

So go forth, be REDI and live the diversity and employer brand you aspire for your organizations my friends. Who knows one day we may be the stuff of legends and only history will tell if the time for change is now, we might even leave a legacy of culture that will help shape the world in which our childrens children will live tomorrow. So if your are feeling like Prometheus Bound, the titan who defied the gods and gave fire to humanity, acts for which he was subjected to perpetual punishment well lets just hope our leaders in talent acquisition will give us the freedom to fail, fail fast, and the tools and time to continue to innovate till we can get it right. For more facts, figures or graphs follow me on twitter @JohnBersentes

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