Feds move to ramp up cyber hiring

Feds move to ramp up cyber hiring
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The federal government will host the first-ever government-wide event to recruit new IT and cybersecurity talent, at a time when agencies and department are struggling to fill these positions. 

The General Services Administration (GSA) on Thursday announced the event, which will be held November 6-7 in Maryland. The administration is looking to recruit computer scientists, cyber analysts, engineers and others in order to “fill critical skills gaps” in top IT and cybersecurity roles across the federal government.

Multiple agencies and departments will be sending recruiters to the event in Silver Spring, Md., including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Office of Personnel Management, senior administration officials told reporters Thursday. 

Four intelligence agencies, including the FBI and NSA, will also participate, though applicants would need to apply directly with the intelligence agencies prior to the event in order to secure interviews.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have long spotlighted the challenge faced by the federal government in recruiting and retaining tech and cyber personnel, with a House panel holding a hearing on the issue as recently as last week.

The Trump administration has faced its own challenges in filling these roles and has lost a flurry of high-ranking IT officials in recent weeks. The chief information officer at Homeland Security, for instance, announced his resignation in early August after just three months on the job.

The Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, made up of top IT officials from 28 agencies in the federal executive branch, is hosting the government-wide hiring event. Their goal is to provide a one-stop shop for agencies in need of technology talent and to allow for them to bring on new personnel more quickly, administration officials said.

Agencies participating in the event will be able to recruit, interview, and hire applicants to some positions on the spot as part of a broader effort to swiftly recruit new personnel. The event will also offer free training seminars for participants at the event.

The federal government will advertise position openings on USAJOBS beginning Friday, and applicants can apply to positions to be interviewed during the event. Those interested in the event are required to register in order to attend.