Agency Snapshot: Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a workforce of approximately 314,802 employees and hired 25,826 employees in the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2011. Led by Mr. John Sepúlveda, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration (HR&A), VA has launched a portfolio of programs in support of ADVANCE, an HR&A initiative to invest in people development, workforce engagement, and talent management for the delivery of high-quality health care, benefits and other services to Veterans and their families. ADVANCE goals are to improve the recruitment, hiring, and retention of VA employees; invest in people development (e.g., leadership training); support and develop the capabilities of VA Senior Executive Service Corps; and build a broad set of human resources capabilities to attract and sustain an inspired, world class workforce dedicated to serving our Nation’s Veterans and their families. The VA has been at the forefront of implementing Federal Hiring Reform in an effort to reduce the time and expense of hiring and streamlining the process for candidates while ensuring involvement by Federal hiring managers. To learn more about the Department of Veterans Affairs, please visit www.va.gov.
To achieve its mission the government must ensure that it is able to find and hire the best talent possible. We have terrific people in the Federal government. However we often miss out on talented individuals because the application and hiring process is so cumbersome and slow that people do not choose to apply for positions or they find other jobs before the hiring process is complete. The Administration has put speeding up and improving the hiring process to attract top talent high on its performance agenda in order to address this issue.
Attracting people to government service is only the beginning – agencies also must treat employees well in order to engage and retain talented individuals. To that end, agencies are continuing to work on promoting a healthy work-life balance and creating development opportunities to engage the workforce, improve employee well-being, and increase government performance.