Heading Off a Resume Tsunami: A View From the Federal Financial Services Sector
Joni Swedlund, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
In the wake of the financial crisis, many federal agencies have seen a significant uptick in job applications from people in the private sector looking for more stable employment – the opposite of a resume tsunami. Federal agencies continue to strategically expand their workforces through a combination of permanent hires, term hires and outside sourcing. Yet even with this additional inflow, some agencies recognize the potential for a future talent crisis and are putting retention strategies in place. One is implementing a “workforce of tomorrow” strategy to enhance employee hiring, on-boarding, training and the overall work experience. Others have innovative executive development programs where high potential employees are groomed through job rotations or leadership shadowing.
For many federal organizations, the downturn has actually helped ease the talent crisis – especially in the leadership ranks. Sharp declines in home values and retirement accounts have prompted many experienced employees to defer retirement. However, when the economy improves and people start to feel more secure, federal organizations may once again face a talent crunch. Agencies should use this temporary lull to rethink their work environment and improve their talent management capabilities. Key actions to consider:
- Estimate your future workload and determine the required size and composition of your workforce. Develop a prioritized roadmap for building your workforce of the future.
- Help your employees plan their careers and set development goals. Provide opportunities for growth and development through training, performance management, coaching and mentoring.
- Establish succession management plans for your key leadership positions. Identify talented people early in their career and provide fast-track opportunities that prepare them to lead.
- Take time to make your employees feel valued and be mindful of job overload. Many agencies are short on staff, which can create unsustainable levels of work and stress. Promote work-life balance and allow as much flexibility as possible. Focus on outcomes, not face time.
- Pay attention to culture, which has a significant impact on retention and performance. Concentrate on areas where employee behaviors currently don’t align with your strategic goals.
- Invest in technology and innovation to attract computer-savvy Gen Y employees. Also, create knowledge management programs to capture valuable knowledge from retiring employees and critical workforce segments.
Actions like these can help federal agencies improve their performance and avoid a disastrous resume tsunami.
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