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Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Recruitment and retention strategies both play a role in the competition for top talent.

Many organizational strategies focus primarily on monetary benefits to retain and motivate quality employees. However, employees cite multiple reasons for job and employer satisfaction. By developing the Federal workforce and fully leveraging capabilities, we can maximize the talents of Federal employees, which translates into more fulfilling public service careers.

Things to Consider

  • Agencies should assess (including how successfully they were used and how important they turned out to be) the use of non-monetary strategies and factors, such as the following:
    • Offer opportunities for career growth and improvement in skills, including formal training and on-the-job learning and development. Such opportunities could encompass short-term learning experiences, projects, details, and mentoring opportunities through USAJOBS Open Opportunities;
    • Mentor employees to help advance their careers and build networks;
    • Develop policies and programs that promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace;
    • Communicate to employees how their work fits in and contributes to the agency’s goals and priorities;
    • As appropriate, consider offering workplace flexibilities such as alternative work schedules (e.g., flexible work hours/days), telework and remote work; and
    • Offer leave options that promote work-life balance.
  • Agencies should develop a strong onboarding process that fosters a sense of community within the agency.
  • Many compensation flexibilities can be combined to maximize their effectiveness to recruit and retain employees throughout their careers. Compensation flexibilities include:
    • Recruitment Incentives
    • Retention Incentives
    • Relocation Incentives
    • Fedreal Student Loan Repayment Program
    • Special Rates
    • Superior Qualifications and Special Needs Pay-Setting Authority
    • Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual
    • Critical Pay

Plays for Leave and Compensation

  • Support employees’ ability to effectively manage their work and personal responsibilities with leave policies and programs and workplace flexibilities that promote work-life balance.
  • Use discretionary authorities to provide additional direct compensation in certain circumstances to support recruitment, relocation, and retention efforts.
  • Ensure any compensation flexibilities are used judiciously and in accordance with applicable law, regulations, agency policy, and budgetary limitations.

Plays for Employee Experience

  • Demonstrate the value of learning and development by providing time, support, and resources for employees and managers to participate in these activities.
  • Utilize the full range of development options including low-cost or no-cost options such as rotations, lessons learned sessions, brown bag lunches, and on-the-job learning opportunities.
  • Encourage employees to work with their managers to enhance their learning and growth by approving their participation in training courses within the Learning Management Systems and putting knowledge into practice through USAJOBS Open Opportunities short-term projects, details, and mentoring connections.
  • Actively engage in building a strong, diverse group of future leaders.
  • Encourage and leverage participation in various employee resource groups (ERGs).
  • Create feedback mechanisms for communication between employees and leadership.
  • Revise and create policies and programs to focus on equity and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
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