As the NSA is gearing up to hire about 3,000 new employees some of the officials in the agency warned that there will be volume and skills challenges ahead of this endeavor.

Christine Parker, senior strategist and acting senior advisor to the Chief Human Capital Officer at the National Security Agency (NSA) noted these challenges during an online event titled ‘Workforce Priorities in the IC’ hosted by FCW on March 22.

“There’s the volume challenge – That’s just the fact that we’ll have some high volume hiring for the next few years. There’s the skill challenge, to be quite honest, are we seeing enough US citizens – and are there enough people [with] the skill sets we need,” she said.

The new program looks to hire over 3000 new employees within the next few years which is noted by the agency to be “one of its largest hiring surges in 30 years.”

One of the reasons that make hiring so difficult for employees within the intelligence community is the extra level of precautions and background checks that candidates must go through to be hired.

“It’s a little more complicated and then when you’re in the IC, it adds a whole another level,” she said.

Parker also outlined how the agency has been leveraging data as a means to best hire prospective employees.

“Our professionals are working with large datasets solving complex problems. And so being able to leverage some of that experience and background on the human capital side has been something that we’re working on very intently – but more intently in the last few years,” she said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.