Transformation and New Business Models To Address A Full Candidate Lifecycle

June 27

Adoption of software solutions, HR-tech, Mar-tech applied to talent management holds such great promise through the Office of Human Capital Management that one would think it will work to empower agencies to get better. It often means a need to mesh the current innovations and new ways of thinking or models for management to break out with digital transformation in government. We are beginning to see the move to more agile and sustainable workforce development tools. This week I was privy to a recent demonstration of the My Career @ VA portal. The contractors came in and set up the shareware; the room was lined with folks around a huge conference table. It was then that I was told our work was done.  Funding had run out on this project. If you could call it that.

The challenge at one time was simple, drive learning and development.  Given a stimulus of funding unprecedented to come out of VA for the investment of human capital. Many of us that had worked on the HCIP know that individually, or collectively several companies meshed to provide parts and pieces of what truly is a fantastic award winning example of bringing a commercial best practice to the public sector and what that ultimately can do to better a workforce. Some work I was privy to may have been limited to building brands, media campaigns and strategies to attract and retain a workforce. Others had to map competencies, build or repackage curriculum, create customer journeys, integrate disparate systems. So next week many of us at Monster are innovating relentlessly and seeking better more innovative and sustainable ways to deliver value through talent management via several recruitment platforms integrated across multiple corporate and government domains, news outlets, and cloud-based platforms all using semantic search and the latest in usability and design. This involved working across organizations, countries, private and non-profits to harness the power of monster within our respective teams and levels. It takes continuous learning to keep pace with the technology as well as skilled talent that is motivated to be at the top of their game in meeting deadlines, timelines, schedules and client expectations.

When all parties get the go live message, it is real time.
From a simple job ad to multi-million dollar learning and talent management platforms that drive government and corporations both big and small. No other system was a tag line for VA but one that resonated with us at Monster because together in working with partners we helped the agency to field a viable solution. Co-workers and friends that bring disciplines across software development, data analytics, customer service, media effectiveness, and usability or website design should take great pride in the accomplishments. Maybe 18F can get a discount for the platform and open it up government-wide.  We all need a moonshot and the means to propel humanity forward.


Continued or not, Condon it or not the Pay for Success report issued by GAO-15-646 speaks to the current digital transformation happening across industry government and non-profit sectors. McKinsey supports this notion, with several articles periodically. The video above is a testament to where we can go if not to reach beyond to make discoveries along the journey.

So why is My Career@VA not being adopted by OPM into is my question? It totally could help and should be available to be enhanced with a virtual AI agent and still come in under 3M. So 3M dollars? Well, many years ago I am proud to say my submission of including a Career Pathing tool on post from an OpenScale ideation effort was in the top ten for a while before it got flagged for listing out commercial examples. If we stop to think about it, this would not only serve the needs of a more accountable and transparent federal government workforce so by extension having a visible career path available to new entrants to the workforce could have real retention value in the future. Presently 30% of the workforce will retire but to what, social security or to alternative modes of work in the digital economy. I suspect the ladder uber maybe not, but also consider the fact that ultimately the digital exhaust of your LMS / TM platform will in a few years help you to foretell skill shortages and gaps in talent. So what are you going to need to invest in then?

Yes being the ever vigilant journalist turned media man meant I happened to be in the right place at the right time some while ago and bid and won several contracts issued by the OPM in collaboration with VA. So to me, it is more than a portal or a program with no funding in place to continue. Sure I admit, it put some new shoes on the kids, but it was by all accounts a labor of love and one of the best accounts I ever won and lost. MyCareer@VA has brought transparency and accountability to a war-torn workforce of dedicated, engaged and salt of the earth public servants working together for our Veterans, seeking better jobs and finding better resources for Veterans, internal customers, albeit a caregiver, professional or intern. All need varied levels of learning and development together. But guess what, more traffic comes to the site from outside than within it, I heard and that I believe.

New recruits or Millennials want to be able to plan, and direct their careers. We will touch on that at our May 31st event in McLean to register or for more info click here. If we want to find better which by all accounts means digital transformation a top three management concern it bodes well to consider new models for supply and demand interactions to achieve the desired outcomes. The notion that transparency drives accountability is true I believe.

Pay for Success a model that the CNCS has boldly explored in recent years shows in principle a valued supply chain worthy of investment and our best efforts if applied to the current state of Federal Human Capital Management. Not unlike the Blockchain Revolution we need to consider the value of human capital at the core of digital transformation so to me makes no sense at all why this funding should be cut or this platform feature-itis and all are not incorporated or at least bolted on to 2.0. Seems a shame to see it go the way of the OneJobsPortal from the Dept of Energy. And with no disrespect meant to Energy from an outsider perspective perhaps ownership of a hugely feature rich careers website platform that integrated with everything may not have been as viable as initiatives like what energy and others are doing at

Coming out of Oakridge Tennessee is a new model and one that I had the chance to learn about recently during a visit with other professionals in our offices this week. This non-profit with a consortium of stakeholders provides the promise of a blended workforce approach, as well as a blended sourcing solution based talent platform powered in part by grants and internships at the micro level. So what are they up to? They are up to placing scientific and specialized research-based talent related to computer science, scientific researchers, medicine, Data Analysts and AI experts or even administrative support. One that is not immune to the notion of the gig economy it does have its’ merits and cost savings on several fronts but not without some challenges I am sure.

Are we heading to the uberization of government jobs and short-stint on demand roles to manage critical infrastructure? 

But for an agency that looked to workforce planning like Energy with the vigor of consolidating competencies and well over a hundred sixteen of its’ feeder programs and internship programs. I can see now why it seeks to provide both a labor pool of contractors for short term assignments or even temporary learning experiences that are paid or grant funded. In either case, the outcome based programs such as those ofAmeriCorps VISTA that provides learning opportunities for our communities via the Corporation for National & Community Service. Many may not see this as an incredible contribution to a larger issue. Thiers is a mission focused on the important goal of the struggle to address anti-poverty efforts. In the UK, the trend has been on heavy investment moving into apprenticeship models. So in so far that the infographic below shows I wonder how we might adopt this approach – consider the application of a similar approach for human resource applications and program. MyCareer@VA speaks to the cross-agency goal of People & Culture, one other way Monster has addressed career paths is via WooFound, which can provide visual personality assessments to young minds as an indicator of potential career paths one might take upon completion of studies as shared in my last post.


If we desire to achieve an outcome collectively, collaboration and innovations that may emerge will require robust investment in more externally and internally serving LMS based employee and employer collaboratives. If these may co-exist as we are starting to see some agencies like Intel come online this next month, then the key aspect to me my takeaway is how can and will we be able to communicate mission critical job ads and curriculum.

It does begin with a clear job ad description or vacancy announcement. The 2010 Plain Language Act makes it so. Communicating benefits, the knowledge, and skills requirements clearly are the first and most critical parts of the equation. Doing so without unconscious bias, or irrespective of preferences based on gender or race or moving to more pay parity all are small ways of learning that can help us as a country to be more inclusive and as collaborative as possible.

When reaching out to the public on an all sources sought basis even this can primarily be used to articulate your mission, your employer brand and ultimately help the individual see the value and their role in your company’s story. This happens on MyCareer@VA and so too at Monster Government Solutions. No surprise we have been responding to calls around our Diversity & Inclusion LMS, why? Because it too can help agencies understand, and employees see why they should value the notion of identity as a unique as well as a valuable commodity. Sure it can predict skills shortages or miss match of talent when building diverse teams but all that can be gained through an affordable cloud-based software approach to the challenge of diversity and inclusion training which of an in itself has become an 8B dollar market. Set aside the value that can be gained, but think of the pain of the 30% that will retire, and the cost to lose your new hires that sought career development or advancement.

In so far that one might wish to leverage the data from across 14 of 15 cabinet level agencies it begins with Management and the will to find better. #Call_me I may be the Maytag technician you’ve been waiting for? Need a recruitment strategy? Not finding the right skilled talent, what have you been waiting for? Forgive my shameless wannabe data-driven Jedi trick there, but do think to re-read your Job Announcement and take a moment to read then

MIT Sloan Management Review’s  published item that calls out the work by Don Tapscott and his co-author and son Alex Tapscott  Tech Savvy: How Blockchains Could Transform Management was just shared with me by my friend @KWooley  it states:  “What we haven’t heard very much about is how blockchain could fundamentally change how companies are managed and operate. That’s a good reason to take a closer look at Blockchain Revolution, in which the Tapscott’s devote a chapter to the topic.

“Blockchain technology is enabling new forms of economic organization and new portfolios of value,” they write. “There are distributed models of the firm emerging — ownership, structure, operations, reward, and governance — that go far beyond enhancing innovation, employee motivation, and collective action.”

This is why I think MyCareer at VA and Pay for Success Models will appeal to Millennials or attract recent grads to public service that are seeking to build value in their fields and careers. Providing meaningful outcome-based and forward moving solutions means managing towards the mission, and the front line of that mission is your people. Together we can #FindBetter

So no surprise when I asked my esteemed colleague of the three platforms we have which audience may be most prone to volunteer time or money in the last six months? Monster Worldwide, or FastWeb where 1 in 3 College kids and parents and teachers go for grants, internships of tuition sources. You guessed it our veterans, dedicated to public service yes and this Memorial Day weekend let us all say “thank you” for those that have given and paid the greatest price. Hopefully, those that survive which the agencies are hiring now will help save this Department of Veterans Affairs program and portal and together when rolling thunder has passed on by K Street they will remember why they chose to go into medicine, cybersecurity, transportation security, media, engineering or management. Either way, it’s not just your career, it is making the choice to choose the right path and to be dedicated to continuous learning, with any luck it will always lead you to home.  Have a great memorial day weekend, we will remember those we have lost and together we learn, love and continue to strive to find better.

Views expressed are my own @JohnBersentes

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