Exclusive CHCO survey: Six years after Obama memo, CHCOs say hiring process still problematic

In Federal News Radio’s exclusive fifth annual survey of federal CHCOs and deputy CHCOs, respondents rated improving the hiring process as their top priority for 2016, just a bit ahead of  enhancing employee engagement and the training and development of the workforce.

The federal hiring process remains the albatross around agencies’ neck to bringing in qualified candidates. Despite the fact it’s been almost six years since President Barack Obama’s memo to improve the federal recruitment and hiring process, federal chief human capital officers say this issue remains their top priority.

In Federal News Radio’s exclusive fifth annual survey of federal CHCOs and deputy CHCOs, respondents rated improving the hiring process as their top priority for 2016, just a bit ahead of  enhancing employee engagement and the training and development of the workforce.

On the opposite side of the rankings, CHCOs say they are not prioritizing buyouts or early retirements—a good sign for employees--nor are they focused on implementing phased retirement.

The fact that phased retirement isn’t a high priority for CHCOs came out in other parts of the survey as well.

Federal News Radio surveyed 64 CHCOs, deputy CHCOs and other senior human resources managers and received a response rate of 33 percent. Over a three week period, we asked CHCOs, deputies and others for their opinion across a host of priorities and challenges.

In last year’s survey, we included chief learning officers and focused on training and education opportunities.

This year, we focused back only on CHCOs and deputies, and compared to the answers from 2014, priorities seem to have shifted. Two years ago, CHCOs and deputies said improving morale and succession planning were their top focus areas.