Official says Army must expedite civilian hiring process

The Army needs to hire civilian employees faster, offer more defined career paths and improve training, a top official said during a conference on Wednesday in Washington.

Undersecretary Joseph Westphal, who detailed the new Civilian Workforce Transformation Plan, part of the 2011 Army Business Transformation Plan he approved Oct. 1, said it now takes about 130 days for the service to move on an application for civilian employment, at which point the candidate likely has moved on to other job opportunities. Westphal spoke during a press briefing at the Association of the United States Army conference.

The Army wants to slash the hiring process to 80 days, Westphal said, and plans to use the USA Staffing software the Office of Personnel Management developed to help expedite onboarding. He added the Army, which has more than 300,000 civilian employees, needs to refine the software and other tools to better match applicants and their skills with vacancies.

The service also should improve the way it describes and defines jobs so it attracts the right people with the right skills for a position, Westphal said. Then the Army should shift its overall focus on workforce development from generalists to personnel with skills in specific vocations, he said, adding there is a "critical need" to have a defined career path for information technology professionals to compete with the private sector.

Anthony Stamilio, the Army's deputy assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs (civilian personnel/quality of life), said the service should offer recruiting and retention bonuses to attract qualified workers, but he declined to offer specifics. Thomas Hickok, a consultant to the Defense Department chief information officer, called for bonuses to attract IT workers throughout Defense in a report released in August.

Once hired, the Army should provide civilian workers with the professional development uniformed personnel receive, such as on-the-job training and the opportunity for higher education, including taking classes at the service war colleges, Westphal said. Development of the Senior Executive Service should parallel that of senior military personnel, with the goal being a senior civilian cadre that can take on a variety of joint, interagency, intergovernmental, or multinational positions, the workforce plan recommended.

The plan said it envisions "building a bench of senior civilian officials who can lead transformation within the Army, the Department of Defense and the federal government."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.