Shutdown Could Worsen Federal Workforce Woes

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The partial government shutdown could weaken the twin strengths of stability and mission that the government has in recruiting talent for the Federal workforce, said Jonathan Alboum, public sector CTO for Veritas and former CIO at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), during an interview with Government Matters TV on Sunday.

“You’re going to have a number of people who may be on the fence about joining a private sector company or joining the government, and for the first time in a long time, they might feel that joining the government carries a little risk, a little more than they want to take on,” said Alboum. “It’s kind of odd to say that, because it’s traditionally been the other way around,” he added.

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Alboum touched on the shutdown’s detrimental impacts to Federal employees’ dedication to the mission of their agencies. “I think we’re going to have to redouble our efforts on selling the mission as part of the recruiting process,” he noted.

Taking an optimistic outlook, Alboum pointed to silver linings in the shutdown.

“If I want to think optimistically about where we are, when you come out of this and you have these challenges that we’re describing, maybe that will get people to refocus on streamlining the hiring process, on competitive pay, on some of these other workforce topics that may be necessary to compete with the private sector when you have the environment we’re going to be coming out of,” he said.

Alboum pointed to bigger-picture benefits down the line of government employees moving into industry due to the shutdown, citing his experience as former CIO at USDA.

“The best leaders I worked with when I served in government were those who flowed between government and industry over long careers,” he noted.

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