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Talent: finding it and keeping it.

Talent isn't everything, but it sure helps. Governments need diverse workforces full of hardworking individuals and motivated teams, but they also need specific skills to drive change and get results. For years, government managers have been shopping for talent with the same grocery list: public policy degrees, business acumen, altruistic internships and previous employment in government. But it is time to bring 21st century talent into city hall by rethinking how to find and keep top talent.

In this guide, the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) describes the core competencies that help modern governments accellerate the effective use of data and evidence. It provides sample position descriptions and ideas for where to recruit top talent. There are tips for taking advantage of existing talent by launching an analytics fellowship, along with sample assessments to help separate the wheat from the chaff. Chapters on building effective teams will help any manager create an environment for collaborative success and empowerment. Throughout the document, GovEx provides concrete examples of these tools in practice in cities across the country.

To assist cities in cultivating talent, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, a partner in the What Works Cities initiative, has created this guide. By learning from the experiences of other cities and following best practices developed by the Center, cities will be able to hire, motivate, and keep the talent necessary to provide better services to constituents.

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