The Federal Times reports that more federal agencies are looking outside government in an effort to recruit new employees. For example, the paper says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, on the lookout for scientists and engineers to work as patent examiners, doesn't recruit just recent college graduates. It recruits baby boomers.
In addition to holding regional job fairs in economically depressed regions, agency recruiters visit companies that are laying off significant numbers of employees, such as automotive companies in Michigan and technology companies in California. The companies have a rich supply of engineers and scientists -- just the talent the agency needs to fill 1,200 patent examiner positions annually for the next six years to keep up with skyrocketing demand for patents.
According to the Times, the recruitment efforts have worked. In the past few years, the agency has hired nearly 300 patent examiners age 45 and above.
"I find that people looking to begin their second, third or fourth careers are looking for a challenge. They want to continue in the field they're in, but they want more flexibilities," Peggy Focarino, deputy commissioner for patent operations, said in an interview with the paper.