Federal Manager's Daily Report

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley, right, are seen on a monitor showing the crew access arm at Launch Complex 39A during a dress rehearsal in preparation for the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in firing room four of the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA photo by Joel Kowsky)

While NASA has an “advantage of an appealing mission that attracts a steady stream of applicants” in the high-demand STEM fields, other agencies could benefit from following its strategy of going beyond traditional outreach and recruitment programs, an MSPB publication has said.

“NASA has developed a strategy designed to not only attract a highly qualified, diverse population of applicants for vacancies, but also to take a long-term perspective in developing future talent,” it said. That involves:

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* Examining both present and future workforce needs. “NASA’s recruitment managers work with technical and equal employment opportunity experts to develop outreach plans which focus on the knowledge and capabilities required to perform essential work, while keeping in mind challenges to maintaining a representative workforce.”

* Continually analyzing recruitment strategies. Recruitment managers analyze the results of efforts such as attending career fairs and college events “to ensure that their time and efforts invested have been productive. When their recruitment goals are not met at certain venues, they re-evaluate and pursue alternative locations or approaches.”

* Use of social media. “NASA indicates that it has expanded its reach to new talent pools by running recruitment-oriented social media campaigns that highlight NASA’s diverse workforce. This shift to more people-focused content provides candidates with deeper insight regarding what a career at NASA could entail.”

* Use of the Pathways Program. NASA uses that internship program “as a means to enable college students to gain valuable experience which could lead to permanent federal positions. Promising candidates complete rotational assignments at NASA Centers. This gives them relevant experience and exposure to career options at NASA while providing NASA with the opportunity to permanently appoint those who successfully complete the program.”

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Federal Manager’s Handbook, 5th Ed.