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Optimizing Talent in the Federal Workforce by John G. Park, Aileen G. Zaballero, William J. Rothwell

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CHAPTER 2

Recruiting and Selecting the Best People

Maria Spencer and Thomas Argondizza

Civil service careers have long been perceived as the gold standard of job security and employment benefits. Regardless of the nature of the work, the federal government has been able to attract a workforce valued for its stability, tenure, and loyalty. Like a well-oiled machine, the government has hired staff at entry-level positions, trained them en masse, and consistently promoted them within a pre-established grade system that emphasizes time served over merit.

These nearly-automatic, tenure-based promotions have produced a glut of middle management that has come to be known as “The Bulge.” Public scrutiny of the federal workforce system has prompted ...

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