A new report lists what it calls three keys to improving federal hiring: “using data to find talent; encouraging collaboration between hiring managers and human resources staff; and relying on special hiring authorities.”

The report from the Partnership for Public Service, in conjunction with LinkedIn, is the latest in a long line on the government’s recruiting challenges.

Regarding data, it said that while there may be a general shortage of candidates with certain skills–such as cybersecurity or auditing–there are differences among locations that an agency should investigate. “A recruiter may find that their local talent markets are high demand and decide to focus on searching for or developing internal talent. Or the agency may emphasize relocation benefits in a job announcement to attract talent interested in moving from hidden gem areas,” it said.

Hiring managers and HR offices must collaborate regularly, it said, stressing that managers should identify the critical competencies needed in the job, ensure that vacancy announcements are accurate and current, and provide feedback on the methods used to find candidates. HR officials in turn need to understand the specific skills a position requires, refine the target talent pool, and continuously refine the outreach strategy, it said.

It added that there are more than 100 hiring authorities available–most open to all agencies although some specific to particular agencies–but agencies concentrate on just a few of them and thus “are missing out on opportunities to hire more efficiently.” In many cases that’s because managers and HR officials don’t even know what alternatives are available, it said.