We have a bit of tribalism in all of us. We like to get our people around us at work. You know. The ones who will fold in easily and stay for the long haul. But maybe that is not only what holds government back, but also industry? Perhaps, we’re expecting employees to stay at one company for too long? Some government offices have begun to shift their focus. Dr. Craig Martell, DoD’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer advocated for this strategy at the Intelligence & National Security Summit wrapping up today in National Harbor, MD. Martell says job tourism is a key way to attract talent.

The Key to Attracting Talent

Martell pointed out that industry tends to want DoD talent more after candidates have had a stint in his office. He said that if industry wants people more after a tour, then more people will be interested getting hired at the CIO. While Martell is looking at it from the government side, he makes a great point for industry, as well. If you’re known as a resume building location, then candidates will always want to build their resume with you.

When you’re in national security, you have a lot to offer candidates besides job security. Start promoting your work less as somewhere a candidate needs to stay long term. And start to sell your jobs as key positions to build your candidates’ resumes. It’s a subtle shift in messaging, but it’s a giant perception shift. It means you don’t expect employees to hang out long term – especially if that’s not what’s best for their career. It means that you want to be a stop on the resume building journey. The good news about stops on the journey is that sometimes you want to go back.

Retention or Boomerang?

Changing your messaging can be the key to either retaining a candidate in the long term or getting them to come back to the fold. It may seem counterintuitive, but Martell offers a great example. While candidates might not want to stay long term at the DoD, they may love to have the experience on their resume. Why not capitalize on that – especially with the next generation rolling into town? Generation Z has gotten attention for being less concerned with meeting the requirements for a pension and more concerned with making a difference and moving around as needed. Capitalize on that. Don’t complain about how hard it is to retain employees. Instead work with the current norm in a way that creates new pipelines.

Hire for Two Years

Recently, experts have noted the benefits of the two-year model. In fact, one military success is their ability to continually rotate employees. While that may impact continuity of efforts within different offices, duty rotations provide service members with a more well-rounded experiences. But others in government have also touted the importance of only expecting employees to stick around for two years. Lowering expectations not only tells candidates you support their career, but it also makes them more willing to either stick around or come back. And to Martell’s point, creating a place where employees are free to leave or come back, makes your organization more lucrative to candidates. Departing employees who love your organization will continue to pay it forward. Who knew that your former employees could be your best recruiting tool?

Related News

Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.