With the partial government shutdown still underway and with no end in sight, attention already is shifting to the impact on agencies’ ability to recruit for workers, especially in occupations such as IT where it already struggles to fill available positions.
That concern has been raised by academics and good-government groups as well as by some members of Congress, who point out that those with high-demand skills typically have a choice of employment prospects.
For example, Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., said in a statement that the partials shutdown will “make it more difficult for the government to attract and maintain the high-quality IT workforce needed to delivery 21st century government services.” She was the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IT subcommittee in the prior Congress and is in line to lead that subcommittee once assignments are made.
“Time and time again, our subcommittee discussed how the government simply cannot compete on salary when it comes to recruiting talent. Instead, we hope that IT workers will see government service as service to their nation and fellow Americans. How can we ever hope to recruit or maintain IT talent when hardworking government workers are told: ‘sorry, you aren’t getting paid, but you still need to come to work’ or ‘sorry, but no paycheck this week because of politics?’ Large private sector companies never say this to their employees and these are our competitors when it comes to IT talent recruitment,” she said.