Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Now that's what I'm talking about...

I've often made the case that government's inefficiencies often stem back to their inability to recruit the brightest young talent. For example, a young and bright individual generally would go work for a private corporation, law firm, etc. than go work for the government; the pay and career opportunities are so great in the private sector that they're very hard to ignore. Also, it seems that the private sector also offers the best care and programs for personal development. So if the government sector is generally not getting the best young talent, and retaining them, then the government is not getting the brightest and perhaps most motivated people.

So when I saw this article in the Washington Post about how government is trying to win over young talent, it made me think that finally someone's light bulb went off. However, I think it'd be a lot cheaper for government agencies to develop something along the lines of a "Star" program.

Let's say you were trying to recruit 50 new analysts in a certain government department - it would probably be easier to do so if you said to each of the prospective analysts that the top 10% of the incoming class gets admission into the government's "Star" program after a certain period, say 1 or 2 years. In 2 years, after measuring each analyst's performance based on whatever criteria, the top 10% of the analysts would enter the "Star" program, get recognition, get a significant pay increase, other benefits, and more continuous training. The chance to get into the program would likely drive all 50 new analysts to work harder and faster for that 1-2 year period, which would greatly help out this particular department at a relatively low additional cost. This seems economically better for the government departments than paying millions in the repayment of student loans, though it is true that repaying student loans is a step in the right direction of improving government recruiting efforts.

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