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Help Wanted: Federal Agencies Look to Hire Nearly a Quarter of a Million Workers From Now Through Fall of 2012

Aon Consulting Offers Keys to Securing a Federal Position
CHICAGO, Jan 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The federal government is hiring tens of thousands of new employees, according to a report titled "Where the Jobs Are 2009: Mission-Critical Opportunities for America," released by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and cosponsored by Aon Consulting, the global human capital consulting organization of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON).


The report represents job data from 35 federal agencies (employing more than 1,000 people), and found that from October 2009 through September 2012, these employers plan to hire approximately 273,000 workers in mission-critical roles (positions considered crucial by agencies to fulfill their essential obligations to the American people)*. This represents a 41 percent increase, compared to the three previous fiscal years.

"For job seekers motivated by a desire to make a difference and improve the lives of Americans, there are no better possibilities than those provided by our federal government," said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. "This report confirms that the job opportunities are there. People need to seize them."

The majority of new federal hires are expected to come from five professional fields, led by jobs in the medical and public health category, as well as in security and protection. The number of medical and public health openings projected from now through fall of 2012 is 53 percent higher than from 2007 through 2009, while the demand for security and protection positions show an estimated increase of 46 percent during that timeframe. Other top categories include compliance and enforcement, legal occupations, and administration and program management.

"It's important to note that while there has been considerable growth in mission-critical jobs, the government is not growing significantly larger in historical terms. By the end of 2012, with all new hires, our nation's workforce will still be smaller than it was in 1967," said Stier.

The largest increase in new hires from 2010 through 2012 will come at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). From 2007 through 2009, the VA needed about 30,000 new workers, but the department plans to recruit 48,159 new hires in the next three years. The Department of Homeland Security projects a jump from almost 48,000 hires in the previous three-year period to an estimated 65,730 new job openings between 2010 and 2012. The Department of Defense (including the Army, Navy and Air Force) estimates it will hire 43,514 new employees, an increase from the 35,000 it needed in the 2007 through 2009 timeframe.

Getting Hired by a Federal Agency

Many federal agencies will receive an unprecedented number of resumes for each of their job openings, including several from candidates who are applying for a public sector position for the first time. While standing out from the crowd is important in pursuing all jobs, there are a number of keys in doing so for the federal sector. Aon Consulting offers the following tips:

  • Start by visiting, which is the official jobs site for the U.S. Federal Government. Much like private sector job sites, you can review openings by keywords and set up job alerts. Review job postings carefully, including qualifications, assessment processes, job location and application closing dates. This information is important in customizing a cover letter and communications, as well as in completing applications and online questionnaires.
  • If you haven't held a public sector job in the past, demonstrate your interest in the position by highlighting appropriate experience in serving your community, town, school board, etc. In many cases, the skills and commitment to public service will translate, based on this experience.
  • Follow up on your application within the first two weeks after the closing date. With the number of candidates vying for these positions, research and follow up are critical to landing the new role.
  • Stay current on federal news that may impact your search by subscribing to the Federal News Daily e-newsletter at, which is a news and resource site for federal employees.
  • Remember, you don't need to live in the Washington, D.C., area to work for a federal agency. Nearly 85 percent of federal jobs are outside Washington, D.C. In addition, there are several international postings, if those are of interest. According to the Where the Jobs Are 2009 report, more than 44,000 federal employees are currently working abroad.

    "This hiring surge comes at a time of high national unemployment and a renewed enthusiasm for public service," said Cecelia Evans, leader of the Federal Sector Practice for Aon Consulting. "This means there will be fierce competition for federal jobs, offering the government a chance to select high-caliber talent, reinvigorate civil service and build a workforce for tomorrow."

    For a copy of this report, please visit

    *The projected 273,000 openings in the next three fiscal years do not include every single job that will be available in our government, just those designated as permanent, full-time, mission-critical positions. Separately, the Partnership for Public Service estimates that during the full four years of President Obama's term, new hiring for all types of federal government positions will reach nearly 600,000 people or almost one-third of the current workforce.

    About the Aon Consulting Federal Practice

    Aon Consulting's Federal Government Practice specializes in solutions for federal agencies as they face challenges affecting talent acquisition and management, employee health care, retirement and workforce effectiveness. By leveraging industry experience, deep subject matter expertise and the ability to provide end-to-end solutions across the areas of employee benefits and talent management, the Aon Consulting Federal Practice delivers customized solutions for each public sector entity. Aon Consulting's team of actuaries, consultants, and organizational and industrial psychologists help federal agencies achieve cost savings, optimize workforce performance, comply with federal regulations and maintain proper stewardship of their human capital programs. For more information on the Aon Consulting Federal Practice, please visit

    About Aon Consulting

    Aon Consulting is among the top global human capital consulting firms, with 2008 revenues of $1.358 billion and more than 6,300 professionals in 229 offices worldwide. Aon Consulting works with organizations to improve business performance and shape the workplace of the future through employee benefits, talent management and rewards strategies and solutions. Aon Consulting was named the best employee benefit consulting firm by the readers of Business Insurance magazine in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For more information on Aon, please visit

    About Aon

    Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its more than 37,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon readily delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008 and 2009 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. For more information on Aon, log onto

    About the Partnership for Public Service

    The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. To learn more, visit

     Contact: Joe Micucci 312-381-4786 

    SOURCE Aon Corporation

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