The Office of Personnel Management, in an effort to recruit more cybersecurity talent, has issued new guidance on pay flexibilities for agencies to attract cyber professionals.
In a Nov. 29 memo to chief human capital officers, acting OPM Director Beth Cobert outlined two documents that provide agency managers insight into compensation options, the "Compensation Flexibilities to Recruit and Retain Cybersecurity Professionals" and the "Federal Employee Compensation Package: It's More than Just Salary" fact sheet.
"The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy issued on July 12, 2016, details governmentwide actions to identify, expand, recruit, develop, retain and sustain a capable and competent cybersecurity workforce in key functional areas to address complex and ever-evolving cyber threats," Cobert said in the memo.
"In this strategy, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) commits to establishing programs to assist federal agencies in their use of existing flexibilities for compensation to recruit and hire highly-skilled cybersecurity talent."
The guidance outlines the special rates under the General Schedule that can be paid to IT management and computer professionals, but also outlines other incentive tools.
For example, agency leaders can offer up to 25 percent of annual pay bonus for retaining an employee and 10 percent for a group of employees. There are also relocation incentives and student loan repayment up to $60,000.
The incentives are meant to find new ways to attract talent in an already competitive field. A GS-11 IT manager at the highest compensation level would likely earn $80,825 under OPM’s special compensation rate.
According to LinkedIn Salary, an IT manager in the Washington, D.C. area can earn a median base salary of $100,000, but the federal salary falls within a range of $70,000-$145,000 for the region.
Cyber and IT talent have been much sought after in the federal government following issues like the OPM hack of 2015 and the president’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan.