HUMAN RESOURCES: Ensure a high-quality workforce with appropriate skill sets for today's global context.
Analysis: During FY 2012, the Department and USAID began reporting its results quarterly for the goal to strengthen diplomacy and development by leading through civilian power. The following two illustrative indicators for Strategic Goal 7 show quarterly data for staffing priority for language designated positions and positions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (AIP).
The language-designated position (LDP) fill rate is the percent of all language-designated positions filled by incumbents meeting or exceeding the language requirement for the position. Since FY 2010, the Department has experienced a steady increase in the LDP fill rate because of Diplomacy 3.0, the Department's multi-year hiring program that began in 2009. The goals of Diplomacy 3.0 have been to mitigate extended vacancies caused by increased commitments at priority posts such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan (AIP); eliminate the mid-level staffing deficit; build in a training component; and strengthen the service with the right mix of entry-level, mid-level and senior employees. Under the Diplomacy 3.0 umbrella are various recruitment and training initiatives. For example, the Department has recruited individuals with language skills (Chinese Mandarin and Portuguese) to fill limited non-career appointments at posts with high volumes of visa adjudication, such as posts in Brazil and China. Additionally, with an increase in training, the Department has been able to provide more opportunities for short- and long-term foreign language training in priority languages such as Arabic and Chinese Mandarin, which take two years of training to become proficient.
With guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, the Department revised its FY 2012 and FY 2013 LDP fill rate targets based on FY 2012 funding, and the assumption that future funding levels might be less than funding requests. If resources remain at lower than requested levels, our improvement trend in the LDP fill rate may begin to plateau. The Department will continue to allocate staff to the highest global priorities and to maximize the number of LDPs that are filled to requirements, using available resources.
Analysis: The Staffing High Priority Posts metric is a measure of the percentage of AIP positions filled for the current assignment cycle, which begins one full year in advance of the rotation dates. This is not a real time metric of AIP staffing rates.
The targets for this metric illustrate the nature of the AIP assignment cycle. The AIP assignment cycle begins in the second/third quarter, about three months before the regular summer assignment cycle, and ends in the second quarter of the following fiscal year. Accordingly, the target is at its maximum value in the second quarter when the assignment cycle ends, and the target is at its lowest value in the third quarter when the new assignment cycle begins.
Current AIP fill rates for the 2013 summer (third quarter) assignment cycle, which we began tracking in the third quarter of 2012, are on par with previous assignment cycles. Staffing AIP posts continues to be a priority for the Department. Using a variety of recruitment strategies, which include robust incentive packages, the Department has consistently met staffing requirements in those posts with volunteers, bypassing the need for directed assignments.
The Department will continue to review long-term and short-term staffing requirements at these three embassies and constituent posts, which will inform future recruitment strategies and policies.