Recruiting and retaining the next generation of financial management professionals

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As the youngest baby boomers experience their 52nd birthday in 2016, many are thinking about retirement plans and whether they will meet eligibility milestones. Now is the time to strategize about workforce succession and determine how to attract the next generation of professionals seeking career opportunities in public sector financial management. Grooming millennials for the succession pipeline is key to filling the potential void left by the baby boomers. Millennials, Americans born between 1980 and mid-2000s, are now the largest generation — approximately 76 million people — in the United States. Millennials represented one third of the total population in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Leaders in public financial management should ask, “What do I need to know about the millennials to attract them to a career in public sector financial management?

This article explores strategies to recruit, retain and develop public sector financial management professionals in the millennial generation who work for federal, state and local level government agencies. Focusing on millennials, aged 20–35, presents an opportunity to cultivate essential skills, competencies and experiences during the advent career stage. Agencies will need to work quickly, though, because while the youngest millennials have yet to finish their college years, older millennials are well into their professional life. To ascertain millennial attitudes toward future goals, motivators, ideal work environment, mentoring, professional memberships, values, retirement goals and other factors, Grant Thornton LLP and the National Defense University conducted a survey in order to validate public-sector experiences compared to general thinking about millennials.

Learn more about the survey and read the full article.

This article originally appeared in the Summer edition of the Journal of Government Financial Management produced by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).