Roy Gilbert

Government Finds New Ways to Develop and Retain Talent

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Private-sector salaries and benefits often lure potential public employees away from state and local IT jobs. Here’s how government recruiters are reaching and keeping a new generation of tech talent. Shutterstock.com

With ongoing workforce shortages in the technology sector, much has been said about the need for government to get more creative in its IT recruiting efforts. But there’s a second half of the equation that often gets overlooked. As recruiting gets ever more competitive, there’s a growing need for enhanced IT resiliency.

CIOs need to look at workforce planning for the long term. It’s no longer enough for IT to just “keep the lights on,” maintaining a functional and secure infrastructure. In a successful IT team, skilled professionals need defined pathways, continuous training opportunities and a sense that government offers them a place to build a career within a positive work culture.

In a sense, demographic changes work in favor of state and local efforts to promote IT longevity. For a generation of workers who saw their parents’ work lives disrupted by the recession, a long-term career in government may look tempting. “In government agencies, you don’t get fired easily. They also have defined benefits: You have a timeline to retirement, you have safety over time,” said David K. Johnson, a Forrester principal analyst serving chief information officers. “Two big sources of uncertainty are wiped off the table.”

In order to leverage that advantage, government CIOs need to work hand-in-glove with human resource professionals. They must emphasize ongoing training and build […]

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