SHRM: National Security Agency prepares for talent challenge

June 30, 2011
FedCyber Wire, Spending
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via People Management

Spending cuts may have unintended consequences, says HR director

US government spending cuts could make talent acquisition at America’s National Security Agency (NSA) more challenging, the agency’s director of HR Kathy Hutson has warned.

Speaking to delegates at the SHRM 2011 conference in Las Vegas, Hutson said that competition for talent from companies like Microsoft and Google could become an issue if levels of pay and benefits are eroded.

“It’s not a problem at the moment because Google and Microsoft don’t own the critical national security mission to protect the country. Nobody else does this mission but the NSA, we own the mission. But it does worry me,” she said.

“We have some huge issues to address in this country and Congress has to look at the size of the Federal government and they need to look at how they pay employees and I worry that they may do things that have unintended consequences.

“When the scales [between NSA and the private sector] are unequal with regards to pay and benefits, our unique security mission is enough to balance this out. But if the scales get too uneven, we must remain attentive because it’s going to be a challenge.

“We have to make sure we have flexible HR and great programmes and look to the future,” she said.
She predicted that Congress will reduce the level of government recruitment and that the two year salary freeze for government employees will be extended for a third year.

“We have a lot of people sitting on the fence right now [about whether to leave the NSA] and if this happens we will see a lot of talent migrate out,” Hutson added.

Continued here.