Department of Labor

Hiring/Promoting The Right Employee

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

Alphonso B. Clark

The Problem:

In my opinion, everything starts with leadership. I believe a tremendous amount of money will be saved with taking an in depth looks at the government’s most important commodity, its employees. What is the cost of hiring the wrong employee, or more importantly, the wrong manager? Managers are the individuals who make daily operating procedures and decisions. Most decisions have a direct impact to time, money, employee relations, motivation, and attrition. Hiring in the federal government is plagued with hiring mistakes made on a regular basis. Hiring is based on the “who you know rather than what you know” philosophy. If possible, research should be conducted by Human Resources professionals to determine if the most qualified person was hired to fill a particular position, especially at the management level. Some government workers would best serve the government by remaining just that, workers, and never decision makers. What is their (proven) background in leadership, management, decision making, educational level, and work experience? There is a high cost to the government by hiring the wrong person to fill government positions, especially key leadership positions. Hiring decisions based of nepotism and favoritism are dominating factors in many hiring decisions employed by many hiring managers in the federal government.


When job announcements or job requisitions are opened, comprise a list of the best qualified resumes and work history. The Human Resources manager would choose the best candidates, and forward the list to the hiring manger to perform the usual interviewing, validation of credentials, and follow-up procedures in the hiring process . Issues such as EEO issues must be included in this process, but the hiring manager should not be allowed to recommend or decide who fills the position. At this point, the list of selectees should remain anonymous and forwarded to the Human Resources Manager. The Human Resources manager will forward the revised list of selectees to other managers in the industry, in another state, within the same agency to make the hiring decision. In this scenario, the actual hiring manager is a natural party without any knowledge of the selectees but the facts, and the merit outlined in their resumes. All identifying characteristics such as; job location, office location and office managers should be omitted to ensure an impartial selection of the truly best qualified individual to fill the position. The resumes should only include the name of the applicant and their qualifications. The name of the selected individual is forwarded back to the Human Resources manager who will inform the office manager of the final selection.


The savings to the government will be illustrated in decision making, turnover costs, recruitment costs, employee relations, training cost, low productivity costs, new hire costs, added support costs, termination costs, and waste. The list is endless, but these are just some of the intangible cost to the government by hiring the wrong employees to fill positions due to the “who do you know” hiring practice. Can we put a price tag to these cost, and what would that figure represent? I would guess several million dollars, and an additional cost to the American people. I would volunteer my services as a doctoral candidate to conduct a dissertation research study on this subject to prove or disprove my assumption.

I agree to have my idea, not my name or information, posted online. NO



Idea No. 18199