Why Can’t Federal CIOs Recruit Top Tech Talent?

Washington Needs More Valley Talent

Many talented developers, security specialists and other tech workers have their choice of employers, and government CIOs and hiring managers are often unable to match the salaries of private-sector employers. Couple that factor with a lengthy hiring process and an ossified culture that can leave little room for risk-taking and innovation, and the best and the brightest are more likely to take their talents to Silicon Valley than to sign up for a hitch in Fed Town.

And with this statement, Kenneth Corbin begins to explain just why federal CIOs are having such difficulty in finding the best talent available in the world of IT today. He goes on to explain that it’s not just a matter of making sure federal IT is keeping up with the private sector, but also one of making sure that some of the most important IT projects that occur in the US are done effectively. One only needs to look at the recent launch of to see the benefit of having the brightest minds working for federal CIOs.

Learning from the Private Sector

The way around this is for Washington to become more like Silicon Valley. As the article quotes from Anne-Marie Slaughter (president and CEO of the New America Foundation), it’s a matter of taking away the presumptive “no” and instead focusing on the presumptive yes. Federal IT doesn’t allow for much experimentation, and that lack of innovative risk-taking pushes away some of the brightest candidates.

The biggest issue isn’t pay or scale, but culture. IT in Silicon Valley is very hip and very open to individual accomplishment, whereas IT in Washington is much more focused on control and regulation. In order to face the 21st century, one certainly needs to learn from the other (and it isn’t the Valley learning from Washington).

Read the full article here:

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