Would you work in HR for the government?

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A biennial survey of chief human capital officers at federal government agencies has found that despite the many challenges that come with government work, the high-level professionals are trusted at their agencies.

The Partnership for Public Service interviewed 62 HR leaders across federal agencies to analyze the state of HR at the government. They found only one in 10 CHCOs did not feel they had a seat at the table, and the proportion of leaders who feel trusted as a business advisor has also grown. In 2010, 46% of government HR leaders felt trusted to a great or very great extent as a business advisor – now, that figure is 56%.

However, turnover at the government remains an issue. Less than seven years after the Partnership conducted its first survey of government HR leaders, more than half of the 55 key HR officials interviewed have left the government altogether.

The report points to issues like a lack of specialists as causing much of the dissatisfaction within the HR workforce. “Generalists aren’t working for us,” said one CHCO, who remains anonymous. “When I came in we had jacks of all trades, master of none and it wasn’t working.” The problem with generalists is causing many of the government CHCOs to seek out HR employees who have spent significant portions of their careers outside HR. According to the report, the lack of skills and experience outside HR is stopping HR professionals from being trusted in other areas of their agencies.

The report recommended that HR leaders strategize to improve collaboration between the HR department and the rest of the federal workforce.

According to public information from the Office of Personnel Management, federal government employees in senior-level professional positions may earn between $120,749 and $181,500 a year.

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