Boot camp for HR officers

Tuesday - 9/7/2010, 10:41am EDT

John Palguta, Vice President, Policy, Partnership for Public Service

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By Olivia Branco
Internet Editor
Federal News Radio

President Obama issued a memo forcing agencies to improve the hiring process. But how would agencies know how to change?

John Palguta, the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to talk about the hiring reform boot camps to make sure the reform goes off without a hitch.

Palguta noted that even though a Presidential memo is important, that's not all that agencies need to change, be more timely and get managers more involved.

"A presidential memo, as important as that is, doesn't make the change. It's really the starting gun for this marathon of hiring reform."

The memo asked each agency to appoint a high level official as the point-person to be in charge of their specific hiring reform.

"What we thought since our intent is to be helpful," Palguta said, "with support from OPM, we thought it would be useful to get these senior officials together in a series of what we call boot camps, but really just an opportunity for them to talk to one another about what they're doing and get ideas."

The first boot camp will take place this Thursday and will focus on overall culture change within each agency.

Palguta knows, however, that culture change is not clear cut.

"It's something that is ephemeral, there is not a cook book for how you change culture. Sometimes it's kind of tough to create that spark for change."

And that is exactly what Palguta says is the goal of the boot camps.

"You bring people in from outside, you bring some new perspectives; it creates that spark when you bring people from outside or people from different agencies getting together."