Federal agencies need to be innovative in their thinking for filling cybersecurity and other IT positions, according to a posting on the CIO Council site that held up as an example of such thinking the recently concluded inter-agency IT career fair held over two days in a Washington, D.C. suburb.

“Unless the federal government identifies solutions to share information, hiring practices, resources–even interview practices and hiring standards–we continue to put ourselves at risk for a less-than-adequate workforce to defend the security of America’s infrastructure and resources,” it said.

The generation that makes up the primary pool of those with such skills is “very ‘now-centric and accustomed to immediacy in technology. Recruiting this generation with mission and vision, while asking them to endure an extensively long hiring and onboarding process, will be difficult,” it said.

It said the CIO community is working on technical matters such as identifying and defining critical competency requirements to use as a basis for IT human capital management ranging from position descriptions on the front end to performance management on the back end.

“As a community, we will also focus efforts on growing and sustaining the federal workforce including working with private industry and academic institutions to ensure that training and education standards are preparing the next generation with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities. The CIO and Chief Human Capital Officer communities must continue to partner to comprehensively address IT workforce business needs and legislative requirements while reducing duplication, increasing information sharing, and ultimately improving our ability to attract, develop, and retain world-class IT talent,” it said.