- Much like talent demands in the private tech workforce, the public sector is still facing upwards of about 15,000 open positions in IT, said Rep. Will Hurd, R-TX, speaking Tuesday at a MeriTalk event in Washington D.C. The government cannot afford to compete with salaries in the private sector, but the links that government employment creates are "invaluable" for emerging candidates, said Hurd.
- As an alternative for hiring emerging IT workforce candidates, private sector companies should partner with federal agencies and lend candidates for only "10 days a quarter" to ensure the continuation of government IT development without impeding on time in corporate IT, according to Hurd.
- CIOs are facing a workforce that is retiring and therefore must adapt to the desires of the primarily millennial base — or "digital natives" — they can hire from, said Max Everett, CIO of the Department of Energy, during the event.
There is a growing demand to unify IT in the public and private sectors, and a part of that is sharing talent.
The federal IT space is making concerted efforts to find new tools which will attract corporate-based employees to the public sector, including "technical tools," such as intrinsically safe mobile devices to enable working remotely and safely at any time, Everett said.
The "cultural change" in IT has a direct correlation to the ever-present exposure to technology in younger generations, according to Everett. However, about half of the tech workforce is already comprised of millennial ages 20 to 35.
The government is unique in its need for hiring talent of all ages as it still runs systems on code newer generations simply did not learn. The "dead code" is dependent on an older generation which is retiring out of the system.
To Hurd's point, the vacancy rate of federal IT positions may be a combination of the slow road to migration and the attractiveness of Silicon Valley-type compensation. But with the passage of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, Hurd is hoping to accelerate the changes he's like to see in federal IT.