Pilot program emphasizes college outreach, intern hiring

Friday - 1/6/2012, 6:57pm EST

Tim McManus, vice president for education and outreach, Partnership for Public Service

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By Jolie Lee
@jleewfed
Federal News Radio

The FedRecruit pilot program is aimed at bolstering the recruitment of federal interns through branding techniques and outreach at college campuses.

Now in its third year, the Partnership for Public Service teams up with agencies to offer customized human capital solutions for three to six months.

Tim McManus, vice president of education and outreach, Partnership for Public Service (Photo by Sam Kittner/Kittner.com)

A "coach" from the Partnership helps the agency determine benchmarks and to look at examples of "class act organizations that do this right," said Tim McManus, the Partnership's vice president of education and outreach, in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

The Partnership has worked with the Internal Revenue Service, the Homeland Security Department and emerging human capital leaders. It has also focused on the acquisition community's need to bring on entry-level professionals.

"Acquisition was something we saw as a vital need," McManus said. "Nobody knows on a college campus, in particular, what acquisition or procurement is."

In December 2010, the President issued an executive order that replaced the Federal Career Internship Program with a three-track career path for students and recent graduates who want to work for the government. The new Pathways program will be implemented once final regulations are announced.

"One of the concerns I've had over the past year really is how much federal agencies have actually done to get ready for the actual execution or implementation of the Pathways program," McManus said.

Agencies like DHS have not waited for those final regulations to begin putting in place "a process and a mindset" to attract new talent, he said. For example, DHS has already stood up a student program office, McManus said.

But the broader challenge of changing the recruitment mindset will require that hiring be viewed as an enterprise-wide challenge.

"This isn't simply an HR issue. It's an everybody issue," McManus said.

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