The New Mission for Civilian Agencies: Proper Staffing

 
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Civilian agencies have a bit of a staffing problem.

The Department of Homeland Security’s staffing systems have more positions listed than people working there. According to Sid Evans, the Assistant Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation for Manpower and Organization, this is because it's easier to add a new position in the system rather than find and update an old one.

The DHS’s dated systems aren't designed for workforce modeling and succession planning. “They were really designed for people in payroll,” said Evans. The outdated, unnecessary roles don’t just create a nuisance that HR has to scroll through, however—it’s roughly creating a 15% vacancy rate. A “not real” job opening that has been ignored in the system for years could easily be confused with a very real need.

The problem doesn’t end at not knowing what the true vacancy demand is. Civilian agencies struggle to accurately determine how many people are working on a particular mission.

When Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie asked his leadership staff for specific workforce numbers, he received two different numbers from two senior VA officials. And when top DHS leadership asked their senior executives to pinpoint how many employees and vacancies each department had, Evans, who was tasked with the question for Customs and Border Protection, did not know. “We managed the people. We managed the payroll. We didn’t manage the positions, and we didn’t manage the mission.”

That was in 2015. Since then, the DHS has been developing a workforce staffing model to help each department align its employees with their mission requirements.

But some civilian agencies are still sticking with their legacy systems and processes, making vacant positions harder to fill. HR wouldn’t have a centralized place that hosts the list of requirements along with the people who are qualified to meet them. HR and Operations departments may be siloed, furthering the uncertainty over which positions HR should actively be hiring for based on immediate operational demand—and which ones to hire or reallocate at a later date.

How can your agency fill vacancies swiftly… without a complete overhaul of existing systems? With job bidding capabilities integrated into your workforce management process.

Better Job Bidding Strategies is Mission-Critical

Vacancies don’t occur just because of sick days—and they don’t have to be unexpected either. Sometimes they occur because of the steadily retiring workforce and lack of ability to cultivate new talent at the same rate. In the public sector world, employees tend to be staffed based on their base schedule; the assignment or project creates a relatively static weekly schedule. Thus, vacancies require a lot more long-term planning. Do you hire someone new or relocate a current qualified employee?

How are you currently assessing which employees are right for the position? Employees’ skills and certifications must be utilized at the point of scheduling, not forgotten about once the hiring process is over. This adds to the importance of breaking down silos between HR and Operations.

There is a solution that takes all of this—qualifications, cross-departmental visibility, and availability— into account.

With Workloud’s digitized job bidding functionality, you’ll get a centralized breakdown of what each employee is interested in. This helps HR make better job replacement decisions when the time comes—and helps keep the operation running smoothly because only qualified people will have the opportunity to bid for the vacancy.

Here’s how it works. Employees pick different options for what their future jobs would look like—even up to an entire year. The employees select and prioritize their job function preferences, satisfying their taste for options and flexibility while the organization has an audit log of their work interests and talents.

You’ll leverage the entirety of your employees’ skillset rather than pigeonholing them. And when a vacancy is open, it’ll be that much easier to fill.

The Indeavor Solution

Workloud is our workforce management SaaS solution which offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling, time & attendance, and absence management system. Workloud integrates with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems to create a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data.

Click here to request a demo.