Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Veterans Employment Initiative, one of the Obama administration’s major hiring initiatives for the federal workforce, produced mixed results that could show the way to improvements should the Trump administration keep the initiative in effect, a study has said.

The study by representatives from Syracuse University and elsewhere said the initiative did produce the “positive outcome” of increasing veterans employment in the federal workforce overall. Thirty-one percent of federal workers are veterans, up from 24 percent in 2009 when the initiative began, according to data OPM released last year. Agencies’ veteran new hire percentage rate in fiscal 2015 was about 32 percent overall, and for permanent, non-seasonal full-time positions, the rate was 44 percent.

“Employment data and interviews, however, reveal mixed performance in hiring, retention, and program implementation across agencies,” the report said. “Adoption and implementation of the VEI proved strongest among large departments and agencies with more resources and a strong cultural affinity for hiring veterans. Departments and agencies of smaller size and more specialized missions experienced greater implementation difficulties.”

“The VEI facilitated or bolstered pre-existing cross-agency collaboration, particularly on veteran hiring and recruiting, and presents valuable opportunities to tap and institutionalize informal collaborative efforts identified during the initiative’s implementation,” it added.

It said that the keys to future success would be strong leadership from the White House and from the Council on Veterans Employment–consisting of senior officials of two dozen large departments and agencies–use of veteran hiring authorities, and increased sharing among agencies of information and best practices.