Now that President-elect Donald Trump is just a little over a month away from taking over the White House, reporters are starting to dig into his promises for his first 100 days in office. One of those campaign promises? Implement a freeze on federal hiring to reduce the size of the workforce through retirement and attrition.
Trump has said the ilitary and public safety roles will be exempted from the hiring freeze. And any steps taken will require the support of Congress – something he’s likely to get from the Republican-controlled House and Senate. Several Members of Congress have already said they’re pushing for reforms to the federal employment process. And they’re going to look specifically at the government’s poorest performers.
“It’s nearly impossible to fire somebody,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “When the overwhelming majority do a good job and the one bad apple is there viewing pornography, I want people to be held accountable.”
New Opportunities for Contractors
A federal hiring freeze will influence the shape of the graying federal workforce, with 30 percent eligible to retire today and 30 percent over the next five years. If workers decide they don’t want to work in a pay-for-performance system, they may take the retirement route – leaving more work to be done by outsourcing to federal contractors.
A Trump hiring freeze may mirror the hiring freeze of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He hired federal hiring while simultaneously promoting a massive military build-up that increased the size of the military and civilian defense workforce.
And while federal hiring reform gets strong push back from the federal employee unions, federal hiring managers have been advocating for a shift in the way the government hires and promotes talent for months. The current system is built on longevity, but those looking to hire coveted cybersecurity professionals realize that’s a tough sell.
““We’re not looking for 30-year-career employees,” said Angela Bailey, chief human capital officer for DHS, earlier this year. “We’re actually looking for folks that want to come in, they want to get this excellent experience and then they take it to the private sector, and then they come back again.”