Homeland Security: The Next Generation Workforce

Homeland Security: The Next Generation Workforce

In the past five years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has seen a growing and changing workforce. Younger employees are finding their place in the federal workforce just as many are reaching retirement age. To develop, train, and retain this changing and growing workforce and meet homeland security mission goals, DHS needs innovative strategies around talent management and technology solutions.

The Washington Post reported that almost one in three of the 142,690 federal employees hired last year was 29 or younger, while more than one in four were between 30 and 39. The Obama administration expects to make thousands of new hires in the security and defense fields in the coming years. Many of these will be younger workers who will usher in a new culture within DHS and the intelligence community.

The new tech-savvy generation will bring enhanced collaboration on homeland security and intelligence programs. As the federal government hires this generation, agencies must adopt newer technologies and practices. This new workforce is highly adept at using the latest technologies and techniques including social media and even expects them in the workplace. The pressure to implement the latest technology solutions requires agencies to promote collaboration and information sharing between the younger and older workers. The Department’s strategic focus on collaboration through information sharing solutions is driving the development of better programs to transform homeland security and intelligence. Information sharing within DHS will empower this new workforce by giving them increasing levels of responsibility and preparing them for leadership roles in the next five to ten years.

With these organizational changes and challenges, DHS will have to continue to invest in the development and retention of leaders at all levels of the Department. The organization must offer competitive compensation and performance rewards and promote continuous learning, on-going coaching, career management, and mentoring to keep the younger workers engaged as they enter the government workforce. The newer DHS employees must learn from the experience and knowledge of the senior employees to ensure that our nation’s security remains in capable hands. The overlap period will be crucial for developing the new workforce and teaching them the processes, methodologies, and mission of the organization, and at the same time teaching the veterans the latest technologies and techniques. As more employees near retirement, the organization must continue to leverage their homeland security expertise to meet the changing demands of DHS and our nation’s security. Information sharing and collaboration between the new and experienced workers is essential as the Department faces new and emerging threats to our nation’s security.

Contributors

Jackie Meredith | Jackie is our Senior Talent and Operations Manager. Jackie works directly with our CEO supporting human resources, recruiting, general business operations, contract management, and special projects including the website redesign. Jackie supports the end-to-end employee experience including recruiting, orientation, and continuous career development. She is passionate about homeland security and human resources.

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