Strengthening the Federal Workforce

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Memo Overview:

(Click here to watch Dr. Rex Facer speak at the Memos Event held at the Academy on 9/24)

As many in the field of public administration have observed over the past decade, the federal workforce faces a number of critical challenges that must be addressed in order to fulfill the increasingly complex demands placed upon federal agencies. For example, there is a looming retirement bubble, which will require the replacement of a significant portion of the federal workforce. In addition, the technical skills required in today’s workplace continue to necessitate advanced employee training efforts. Accordingly, during the next four years, improving federal human resource systems will be critical. In order to provide the level of service expected from the Federal Government, we must address significant HR issues. These issues include: compensation reform, strengthening and streamlining federal recruitment and selection, enhancing training and development, and strengthening employee/labor relations.

In an effort to provide assistance to the next Presidential administration and Congress, we have prepared a set of policy memos that each summarize a key challenge for federal human resources managers and provide practical recommendations on how the President and Congress can better position the federal workforce to meet the dynamic and growing demands placed upon it.

  • Federal pay comparability policy should more efficiently resolve disparities between the federal government and the private sector through tailored pay adjustments within the General Schedule pay system and expanded within-grade pay ranges.
  • To replace 60 percent of the federal workforce expected to retire during the next Administration, the federal recruitment process should continue reform efforts to strengthen transparency and accessibility by talented job applicants.
  • Federal training and development efforts should be reinvigorated in order serve as a natural complement to compensation policies aimed at rewarding individual effort and achievement.
  • Federal labor/management partnerships should be reinforced to ensure fair treatment for employees whose pay and benefits are under increasing pressure from outside economic forces.
  • The role of the US Office of Personnel Management should be enhanced to better position the agency to lead federal human resource management efforts in the future.

These memos were jointly authored by: Stephen E. Condrey, Rex L. Facer II, and Jared J. Llorens.


1. Moving Towards a More Strategic Federal Pay Comparability Policy

2. Strengthening and Streamlining Federal Recruitment and Selection

3. Enhancing Federal Training and Development

4. Improving Employee/Labor Relations

5. Enhancing the Role of the US Office of Personnel Management

Click here to view the full Memo

a. Supplement to clarify the Federal Compensation Strategy


Radio Interview: Dr. Rex Facer speaking on Strengthening the Federal Workforce (GovLoop, 10/2/2012)