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Job Interviews By Video

In the age of telework and a crackdown on federal spending, agencies may well take part in a growing trend of job applicants interviewing via video.

According to a new survey by staffing service company OfficeTeam, 63 percent of human resources managers said their company often conducts employment interviews using video. This is up from just 14 percent one year ago.

In addition, 13 percent of HR managers said their organization will use video more frequently to meet with applicants in the next three years, while 85 percent said they anticipate the number of video interviews to the be the same, the survey found.

Has your agency moved to conducting job interviews virtually? If not, can you see this happening in the near future, particularly as agencies look to further cut spending and more employees shift to working outside oftheir traditional office?

Secrets to Six-Figure IT Salaries

Several studies have attempted to make the case that feds are either over or underpaid, but the jury’s still out on which of those studies is the most reliable, accurate picture of federal vs. private sector pay.

If you work in IT, however, there are a few jobs that are paying six...

'Bring Your Own Device' for Beginners

Telework is rapidly changing the way the federal government works, and now federal agencies have a few new tools to expand mobility options for employees, thanks to the new “Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD, guidance released by the White House on Thursday.

The guidance, which is part of the White House’s now three-month-old Digital Government Strategy, includes recommendations from a working group that studied the benefits of BYOD based on lessons learned from successful BYOD programs launched at agencies.

Some of those benefits include improved productivity and work-life balance among employees as well as significant cost savings. At the same time, BYOD presents agencies with a myriad of security, policy, technical and legal challenges, the working group found.

The guidance makes clear that agencies are not required to implement a BYOD strategy. But for those agencies that think the positives of BYOD outweigh its challenges, the new toolkit is a great place to start, Cindy Auten, general manager at Telework Exchange, said Friday.

“Just as with telework programs, each agency must evaluate its specific mission and business objectives to determine how to best design the program to ensure maximum benefits – the same goes for a BYOD program,” Auten...

Work-Life Balance Goes Mobile

Mobile devices increasingly are changing the way federal employees work. And this is especially good news for information technology workers, as the use of mobile devices has allowed for a lot more flexibility and even greater work-life balance, according to a new survey by Solarwinds.

The survey of 184 public and private sector IT administrators found that all respondents use at least one mobile device for work, with half saying they use two devices for work. The most popular devices among IT professionals were the iPhone, iPad, Android phone,Blackberry and Android tablet.

Nearly half of IT professionals said they spend between six and 15 hours per week working after hours or on their own free time. The majority (55 percent) of these workers solve after-hours problems from home using their mobile devices, while 40 percent said they work after hours using their mobile devices at another location.    

This flexibility has enabled IT workers to be more productive at their jobs, the study found. For example, 77 percent of IT pros said they save time each week by working from their mobile devices, with 62 percent saying they save about 5 hours per week and 4 percent saying they save...

Treating All Types of Workers Equally

Long before the Defense Information Systems Agency began embracing telework, the agency knew a thing or two about managing a remote workforce. Now, the agency is taking those same lessons and applying them to its top-notch telework program.
 
Nathan Maenle, acting director of manpower, personnel and security at DISA, said Wednesday during a webinar by Telework Exchange that about 51 percent of the agency’s 16,000 civilian, military and contractor workforce is located outside of the headquarters at Fort Meade in about 75 operating locations around the world. This means that regardless of whether employees are teleworking or at a DISA field office, managers have grown accustomed to managing remote workers, he said.
 
“I have people at many of the locations around the world, and I can’t sit and watch them every day,” he said. “So we have tools and feedback mechanisms built in to measure their performance.”
 
That means regular office workers and teleworkers are held to the same performance standards, he said. All employees are required to file an activity report each day to detail their work plans and accomplishments, he said, adding that this also helps foster cross-communication throughout the agency.
 
Still, despite DISA’s...

Does Tech Cost More Than It's Worth?

Despite the federal government’s goal to expand telework, mobility and other information technology initiatives for the federal workforce, IT doesn’t seem to be a top priority for most federal executives, according to a new study.

Meritalk’s “The Customer is Always Right” report, which is based on a survey of 279 non-IT federal managers, found that the top priorities for agencies are streamlining and modernizing business processes (52 percent), cutting waste (39 percent) and increasing accountability (32 percent).

In addition, less than half (46 percent) view IT as an opportunity, while 32 percent view it as a cost. Executives said IT mostly goes to support daily operations (56 percent), improve processes and efficiency (49 percent), enhance security (46 percent) and improve communication (42 percent).

And despite new investments in IT, many federal executives are skeptical about whether those investments will drive better performance outcomes, the study found. Just more than half (52 percent) of federal executives said they believe new models to support teleworkers and mobility will drive performance. Respondents were even more skeptical about the ability of other IT investments – cloud computing (42 percent), data center consolidation (40 percent) and big data (34 percent) – to drive performance...

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