Attracting the Next Generation: A Look at Federal Entry-Level New Hires

Attracting the Next Generation: A Look at Federal Entry-Level New Hires
Attracting the Next Generation: A Look at Federal Entry-Level New Hires
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Who are Federal Agencies hiring to fill entry-level positions? Why do they come to work for the Federal Government? What were they looking for in a job? These questions form the basis for this MSPB report.  Ultimately, the results of this study demonstrate that the Federal Government can more ably compete for entry-level new hires than some of the contemporary research suggests, but there is much room for growth.  The Chairman notes, "there are some troublesome trends that could thwart merit-based hiring over time." MSPB makes a number of recommendations that agencies and Federal policy makers should consider when reflecting on how to improve the Federal hiring process.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Introduction 1

Purpose 1

Scope and Methodology 3

Setting the Context: Past, Present and Future New Hire Trends 5

The Aging Federal Workforce 5

Hiring Trends 6

Demographic Profile 8

Hiring Authorities 10

Who They Are: Age and Experience of Entry-Level New Hires 17

Age 17

Experience 19

Potential Factors to Explain Age and Experience 20

What They Want: Interests, Influences and Intentions 31

Employment Goals 32

Job Offer Attractors 33

Federal Employment Strengths 35

The “It” Factor 36

Intent to Stay 37

What They Did to Get the Job: The Job Hunt 43

Learning About Jobs 43

Applications Sent 47

Obstacles Faced 49

Conclusions and Recommendations 53

Conclusions 53

Recommendations 55

Appendix: Entry-Level Survey 59


Federal employees, their supervisors, agency management, union personnel, especially Human Capital officers and employees across the U.S. Federal Government may be interested in this report.  Additionally, members of Congress, and Federal managers within the Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Personnel Management that is responsible for policy making authority may find this guide helpful as a reference with human resources and civil service matters.  Additionally, students pursuing research for courses within these fields, especially public administration, human resources, employment law, organizational development, and industrial-organizational psychology may find this primary source document that deals with civil service issues helpful for assignments.

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