Workforce Analysis

Starting a Pipeline requires understanding your local government's need for a new generation of public servants.

Conducting a high-level workforce analysis will enable you to design the Pipeline around departments and job types that are facing the highest risk of mass retirement and thus the largest opportunity for a Pipeline.

Starting Your Analysis

The first step in the workforce analysis is to build a profile of your local government workforce.

If your government has a centralized human resources department, this team might already have all the necessary data. However, you may need to ask each department to provide data on their workforce individually.

The key pieces of data to collect for each employee are:

  • Department
  • Business Title
  • Civil Service Title
  • Age
  • Years of Service
  • Salary
  • Race
  • Gender

You should combine all of the data into a single spreadsheet in order to conduct the basic data analysis necessary to compute the key insights identified in the next section.

The Business Title and Civil Service Title will help us determine the employee's job type (finance, technology, etc.) and workforce type (Senior Official, Frontline Staff, etc.).

The Age and Years of Service will help us determine whether the employee is retirement-eligible.

The Salary will help us identify promising career pathways.

Finally, the Race and Gender will help us identify job types lacking in diversity.

Case Study: New York City

New York City's Department of Citywide Administrative Services collects data on the City's workforce and presents the data in annual Workforce Reports. We used the Department's data to group the City's employees into three tiers of workforces based on their civil service titles: Senior Officials, Middle Managers, and Frontline Staff.

As you can see below, Senior Officials had the highest rate of retirement-eligibility. However, these positions usually require a decade of experience and are far fewer in number, thus the jobs were less of an opportunity for a workforce pipeline targeting college students.

Middle Managers also had a high rate of retirement-eligibility. Unlike Senior Officials, many Middle Manager jobs actually only required as few as two-to-four years of experience. This made Middle Manager jobs the ideal focus for our program.

Retirement-Eligibility of City Workforces

Workforce Headcount Retirement-Eligible
Senior Officials 1,403 45%
Middle Managers 83,931 36%
Frontline Staff 277,547 26%
All Staff 351,371 29%

Identifying Needs

The next step in the workforce analysis is to identify the following key insights:

  • Categories of jobs most at risk for retirement-eligibility
  • Departments most at risk for retirement-eligibility
  • Departments severely lacking in middle and upper management diversity
The easiest way to compute the data necessary for these insights is to classify every worker based on their business title and civil service title. For instance, all computer programmers and database architects might be classified as Technology jobs, while all policy analysts and data analysts might be classified as Policy jobs.

Once you have classified all of the employees, you can compute retirement-eligibility by both job category at the citywide level and at the department level.

For instance, you might discover that Technology jobs have a high retirement-eligiblity rate at the citywide level and an especially high retirement-eligiblity rate at the Department of Transportation.

In addition to looking at retirement-eligibility, you should be sure to note any trends in gender and racial diversity. For instance, what categories of jobs and which departments have the widest gap in gender and racial diversity? These gaps are common in uniformed services, but you might be surprised to discover them in other departments as well.

Case Study: New York City

Although there are many different civil service titles and business titles, New York City's data grouped their titles into broad categories of jobs. For instance, the job category Science Professionals actually included jobs as diverse as computer programmers, actuaries, and architects.

We used the City's data on retirement-eligibility to point us in the right direction and ultimately decided to focus on Management Specialists and Science Professionals. We also looked at these categories of jobs across all of the City's departments and identified departments that had high or above-average retirement-eligiblity.

Finally, as you can see below, the Managers job category has extremely low racial diversity. This indicated that the City was facing a challenge in their management-track pipeline, an insight that helped us narrow in on job categories with ample opportunities for promotion.

Note: In the tables below, R-E stands for Retirement-Eligibility.

Retirement-Eligibility of All Middle Managers

Job Type Headcount R-E
Managers 21,724 20%
Health Professionals 17,151 23%
Management Specialists 13,003 30%
Science Professionals 6,976 28%
Citywide 351,371 16%

Retirement-Eligibility of Management Specialists by Department

Department Headcount Management Specialists R-E
Children's Services 6,121 400 45%
Housing 2,170 682 43%
Finance 1,879 656 41%
Health 5,596 1,109 34%

Diversity of Middle Managers

Job Type Male Female White Non-White
Managers 55% 45% 49% 51%
Health Professionals 78% 22% 28% 72%
Management Specialists 55% 45% 30% 70%
Science Professionals 37% 45% 41% 59%
Citywide 59% 41% 40% 60%

Defining Jobs

The final step in the workforce analysis is to identify which specific types of jobs your Pipeline should recruit for.

This is an opportunity to combine your workforce analysis with anecdotal evidence gathered from conversations with government departments about their biggest staffing needs.

You might use your data about business titles to achieve a greater degree of specificity in your analysis. Additionally, you might use your data on salaries to identify types of jobs with greater opportunities for high pay.

However, your best data will come from talking directly to department leaders and human resource professionals to understand the workforce challenges on the ground.

Once you have conducted these conversations, you can reflect on the opportunities for the Pipeline that you have identified.

Case Study: New York City

The two job categories we identified—Management Specialists and Science Professionals—included a diverse range of jobs.

Management Specialists included:

  • Accountants
  • Financial Analysts
  • Personnel Analysts
  • Program Analysts
  • Procurement Analysts
  • Research Analysts
  • Program Managers

Science Professionals included:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Scientists

After facilitating a series of conversations about workforce challenges with a broad range of New York City departments, we identified this final list of job types to include in the Pipeline:

  • Program Managers
  • Policy, Planning, and Strategy Analysts
  • Communications and Outreach Staff
  • Technology Developers
  • Administration, HR, and Finance Analysts