Federal recruitment campaign expands with three new ads

The Office of Personnel Management launched three new advertisements in Raleigh, N.C., last week, opening a new front in its campaign to attract top talent to the federal workforce.

The ads are "having a terrific impact in raising awareness about and spurring interest in the wonderful spectrum of vitally important and rewarding careers available in the federal government," said OPM Director Linda Springer.

Since the broader ad campaign began last year, the federal government's jobs Web site, USAJobs.gov, has seen a spike of tens of thousands of additional visits from residents living in the media markets where the ads have aired, Springer said.

The ads feature current federal employees. In one, former Army Capt. Alvin Shell, who underwent 20 operations to recover from the injuries he suffered in Iraq, discusses his decision to serve as a security specialist at the Homeland Security Department.

"I might have changed uniforms, but I believe in protecting America. It's still what I do," Shell says in the ad.

Other ads feature a State Department Foreign Service officer and a lead civilian engineer for the Navy's Advanced Hawkeye Program.

The ads are designed to spark interest in federal jobs, as concerns mount over a retirement wave slated to hit over the next decade. And according to OPM spokesman Mike Orenstein, they have done exactly what they set out to do -- generate awareness of federal job opportunities and boost visits to the USAJobs Web site.

"What I can say is that thousands and thousands of eyes and ears have been witness to these first television ads," Orenstein said. "Had the ads not run, fewer and fewer people would have been made aware of the tremendous opportunities that are available with the federal government in all agencies."

Orenstein said OPM tracked unique visits to USAJobs.gov before, during and after it ran a series of ads in Columbus, Ohio, last fall. He said that in the two weeks before these ads began, the site attracted only 7,058 unique visitors. But during the two-week period in November when OPM ran the ads, USAJobs had 68,246 unique visitors, he said.

"There was an impact even after the ads ran," Orenstein said, adding that the Web site drew 24,796 unique visitors in the week following the airing. "That's the kind of thing that we're trying to capture in the other areas. We believe … the trend will be similar."

Still, members of a House subcommittee questioned the effectiveness of the ad campaign at a hearing on OPM's fiscal 2008 budget earlier this month, noting that they had never actually seen such an ad on television. They cited a need for a more far-reaching campaign, specifically to combat the anticipated retirement problem. Lawmakers and those giving testimony contrasted OPM's campaign to that of the military, which frequently airs nationwide, prime-time ads.

"Our nation's military spends millions of dollars on highly targeted marketing campaigns to recruit new uniformed military personnel, but when it comes to attracting young people to the civilian workforce, agencies are largely flying blind," said Max Stier, president of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, at the hearing.

The latest installment in OPM's campaign will run in the Raleigh-Durham media market through April 8. OPM has not decided where it will run the ads next, Orenstein said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
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)

  • 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.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


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