Hiring, Retaining Staff Poses Challenges to US Interior Dept.

Improving Recruiting

The Interior has taken a few actions to improve their recruiting efforts, Rusco noted, which include:

  • Developing a marketing strategy
  • Broadening recruiting efforts
  • Offering internships

The Interior has navigated major challenges in its oversight of oil and gas activities on federal lands and waters – including a major reorganization of its oil and gas oversight activities amid a dramatic increase in domestic oil and gas development. These changes require experienced staff with highly specialized training and skills, GAO noted in its report.

“Interior has faced long-standing challenges hiring and retaining these staff and, with the current energy boom and increased industry competition for skilled workers, these problems have been exacerbated,” Rusco said.

While the Interior has addressed these two crippling issues and have made progress, the report noted, difficulties persist.

“In reorganizing from MMS to the three bureaus, they still have the same responsibilities, and so any shortages in staff in key positions would still be felt, now their MMS is now three entities instead of one. I think that, particularly in BLM where they’re planning development and looking at environmental assessments, and planning resale’s, they’ll have shortages in those positions and those shortages would still be acute,” remarked Rusco.


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Micah  |  April 30, 2014
If you want to grow professionally in the field of petroleum engineering, and to get compensated in line with your peers, then avoid government jobs. Petroleum engineers in the government sector arent looked upon as equivalents by their industry peers, technically speaking. If government work is in your career path, then I recommend getting experience in the private industry first, and for a minimum of 10 years. 10 years of industry experience is far more valuable to the government than 10 years of government experience.
Matt  |  April 10, 2014
Plus, these jobs pay horribly. I got a job offer from BSEE out of school and it was less than half of what an entry level engineer makes at an oil company.
Keith Patton  |  April 03, 2014
Having been in the petroleum industry for over 34 years as a geologist, I can say that only one time did I consider working for the Federal Government. The red tape associated with merely applying for a federal job was such that I abandoned my one an only attempt as not worth the effort. Federal employment is the refuge of last resort, and I feel that a lot of people took sanctuary in goverment employment to insulate themselves from cyclic the ups and downs of employment in the petrolum industry and not by any desire to do public service.