Would you like a job? Check back in 6 months.

By Rebecca McCauley Rench

 

Washington is broken. We hear this all the time for the pundits, the average American, and even those that run Washington. Part of what is broken is the way in which we hire (and fire) federal employees. In a time where we have a highly educated population and silicon valley is paying high salaries for talented IT professionals, our federal government is almost incapable of hiring the best and the brightest to make our country run efficiently and effectively. USAJobs is the online application where federal jobs are posted and the avenue for which prospective employees submit materials. However, who in their right mind spends 6 months to a year waiting around to hear about an interview? Why do we have programs like the AAAS fellowship, geared towards bring scientists and engineers into government, yet most agencies provide no easy way for agencies to keep these fellows on after their term is over without jumping. Can you imagine any Fortune 500 company unable to hire talent immediately? You can’t because it would never be tolerated. The other side of the equation also means its almost impossible to fire a federal employee. Often, rather than firing employees that aren’t working out, they are promoted to a position in a different office so the manager can make them someone else’s problem.

 

We should create a system by which federal employees can easily be hired and fired so that we can begin to make Washington work for the American people.