In the past, government pensions and health benefits were effective tools to attract and retain quality personnel. Those tools are dwindling; what worked in the past will not work in the future. Given the decline of pension benefits, increased competition for specialized skills, and the greater mobility of younger workers, DOTs need to employ new strategies to attract and retain talent.

State DOTs need to find new ways to “brand” themselves as desirable places to work, and to promote the benefits of working for a public organization. To find employees with the skills needed for the future, agencies need to reach out in new and different ways, to new and different groups of people. New job descriptions or job categories are needed to find candidates with the appropriate skills, which may require DOTs to work closely with their Civil Service agency to amend existing rules or practices.

Many state DOTs have already learned how to function effectively with fewer staff. Because those staff are less likely to spend their entire career at the DOT, it is vitally important that agencies have processes in place to quickly and effectively recruit and hire new people to fill vacancies.

Mission critical capabilities:

  • The capability to recruit and retain staff with skills needed for the future
  • The capability to create and communicate a new brand for the agency